Andrei's Restaurant

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www.andreisrestaurant.com

This wasn’t my first visit to Andrei’s, but it had been a while, so I was looking forward to getting back to Andrei’s to see “what’s new”.  I recently had that chance and was not disappointed.  Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, located in Irvine, has a menu filled with a variety of local and organic options. This is definitely the spot for a healthy business lunch, and I’m not alone in that opinion, as Andrei’s was named one of the Top 10 Restaurants for power lunches in OC for 2016. The inside is very open and spacious with a cool ambience, welcoming you to dine and stay a while. They have a new outdoor terrace area that would be a great spot for cocktails and appetizers in the evening with the sparkly overhead lights strung across the terrace and comfy seating. If you enjoy watching sporting events, they also have a big TV screen on the terrace.

All ingredients on the menu are carefully sourced and Andrei’s strives to serve the best local and organic food from nearby farms. All the meats are organic and grass fed and all fish is wild-caught.  Local, California purveyors are used for their honey, cheese, breads and chocolate.  The menu offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan choices.

I started with the pan-seared calamari Provencal small plate, which was tasty and very light. It came with roasted bell peppers, zucchini, capers and a lovely, gluten-free, lemon vinaigrette dipping sauce. Every bite was delicious. My husband’s appetizer included organic mixed mushrooms sautéed in wonderful white truffle oil. I could have eaten more . . . it was mouth-watering good, yet so simple.

Next up, the wild salmon salad, which was an excellent choice for me because I love me some good fish! It consisted of a Moroccan spice marinated and grilled wild Alaskan salmon served on top of a salad comprised of baby, red romaine and little gem lettuce, hearts of palm, fresh strawberries, watermelon, cucumber and lotus root with a delicious, fresh, gluten-free, herb dressing.  It’s a perfect portion size with a wonderful blend of flavors.

The food and ambiance may be the main reasons to dine at Andrei’s, there is more to the story of what makes this restaurant so good.

I was incredibly impressed to learn that 100% of the restaurant’s net proceeds benefit The Andrei Foundation, which was established in memory of the owners’ son Andrei Olenicoff. “The Foundation serves to honor his memory by carrying on his legacy of kindness, hope and respect for all people, animals, and the natural environment, with a focus on eyesight-related causes because of Andrei’s affliction with a degenerative retinal disease.” The Foundation supports a variety of charitable organizations.  Find out more at www.andreifoundation.com

I will be coming back very soon to try some other delicious dishes at either lunch or dinner and feel happy to support this wonderful local restaurant.