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Next Level Seafood at Anchor Hitch

Easily one of the best seafood and raw bar restaurants in Orange County is located in an unlikely spot— at Union Market, on the top level of Kaleidoscope, a lifestyle center in Mission Viejo. Anchor Hitch specializes in artistic and delicious seafood dishes—incredible plates like Green Curried Scallop Risotto, with scallops flown in from Hokkaido, Japan; Pan-Seared Branzino with roasted cauliflower puree, cashew raisin puree and mushroom truffle jus; as well as Uni Pasta with fresh egg noodles, uni cream, sous vide poached egg, rice puffs and seaweed.

In the kitchen, chef Michael Pham, formerly at The Foundry on Melrose, Melisse ad Providence, has also cooked and toured throughout Asia before settling in at Anchor Hitch to showcase his passion for seafood with an Asian twist. Chef Pham just debuted his spring menu that also include more small plates, sandwiches and a variety of seafood and non-seafood entrees such as Braised Short Ribs with potato croquette, caramelized carrots, and five spice demi glaze; and Hanger Steak with roasted shallot puree, tempura jalapeno and twice baked purple potatoes.

Some of our favorites from the menu include Lobster Tater Giants, handmade potato croquettes with green onion covered in lobster bisque cheese cream, finished with fresh chopped lobster; Clam Chowder Pot Pie with fresh clams, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, potato, cream, Nueske’s bacon, freshly baked pot pie crust. We also highly recommend the Calamari, grilled over Japanese binchotan coals and glazed with soy bbq glaze, served with sautéed iceberg lettuce with garlic, sunchoke puree, squid ink chips, Spanish chorizo and sunchoke chips; and, Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with toasted English muffin, sautéed spinach, house crab cake, citrus hollandaise, and poached egg.

Anchor Hitch Happy Hour is worth noting--- 3 to 6 p.m. daily--select cocktails for $8, wine and beer at $6-$8; and perfect bites such as half/full dozen oyster for $8/$15; two grilled/fried shrimp tacos for $8 with salad and fries; Hamachi Chipotle Ceviche at $10; lobster roll at $14; and Blue Cheese Burger at $10.

Open 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday; brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

27741 Crown Valley Parkway (inside Union Market at Kaleidoscope Grill) in Mission Viejo. 949.226.8949.

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