Fresh Flavors + Locally-Inspired Cuisine
So many hotel restaurants miss the mark, and diners are left feeling like their experience was about as exciting as an over chlorinated indoor pool without a diving board. The Peel Craftbar & Kitchen, adding to the growing culinary landscape in Orange County, takes the hotel scene and elevates the experience with a quintessentially California, chef-driven menu and specialty cocktails.
Coastal California, meet luxury hospitality and heritage Mexican cooking. From the jump, guests are met with a unique tone: a dramatic U-shaped bar, retractable window for outdoor seating year-round, natural light through its floor-to-ceiling windows, and alfresco dining secured by lush greenery, fire pits, and an incredible water feature.
Executive Chef Luis Martinez brings a passion typically overlooked in hotel restaurants, confessing his passion in the kitchen comes from “cooking with my grandmother as a young boy in Mexico,” and inspiration from her menus has spilled over into his fish tacos, horchata ice cream, and bold flavors throughout the dressings and sauces.
Locally sourced (most items from within 150 miles of the restaurant), made in-house from scratch, and uniquely captivating, The Peel offers a new look at the seasonally focused menu: both at the table and the bar.
For a recent night out with friends, our group of fledgling foodies sampled a variety of delicious appetizers – the hummus duo (charred truffle carrot and garlic white bean) with grilled naan, crispy brussel sprouts enhanced with lemon, thyme and parmesan and Thai chicken flatbread piled with mozzarella, blackened chicken, crispy onions, spicy aioli and micro cilantro. Fan of salads to start? You’ll love the innovative options here. My favorite is the Asian Peel made with grilled bok choy and romaine mix, blackened sashimi ahi, mandarin oranges, edamame .
It was difficult deciding on an entree – which for me makes dining out with three others a particular treat since I have the chance to experience a variety of dishes. On this night, the steak frite arrived as a grilled-to-perfection 10 oz. ribeye served with garlic parmesan fries and chimichurri while the crispy skin salmon was simply divine paired with grilled bok choy, forbidden rice and a flavorful citrus coconut sauce.
Changing throughout the year to ensure peak flavor, cocktail menus complement the kitchen philosophy: neighborhood feel with a delicious taste of sophistication and luxury.