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Monday, March 20, 2017

Get in here! Jimmy's Famous American Tavern in Brea!

There's a new tavern in town in Brea, and you really need to get in there!

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (JFAT) opened up the doors to their new location in Brea in 2016.  This was my first visit to this location even though I'd been to the one in Dana Point years ago. Recall it being pretty tasty with a fun vibe so had some pretty high expectations for J-FAT in Brea. Happy to say it didn't disappoint!

First of all, the ambiance itself is very fun with a very modern yet playful design. Upscale modern lighting throughout and fun signs coupled with spacious tables make for an inviting space. There's also a large patio overlooking a fountain for those who want to dine al fresco.

The service was top notch at J-FAT from the friendly hostess who'll greet you at the door with a smile to the attentive wait staff. They really try hard to make a good impression here and it shows!

One thing I loved about the Dana Point location is the drinks and the drinks here were as good as I remembered! I ordered the pineapple pear mojito and my friend ordered a skinny margarita. So I love me a good mojito but also love it when restaurants/bars get creative with my old standby so I was more than happy to see all the unique mojito flavors - Mango, Pear Pineapple, & Raspberry! I was also pleasantly surprised to taste that the mojito was NOT overly sweet - always a concern with any kind of fruity drink. You can tell the ingredients are freshly muddled and sugar is only added to enhance not overwhelm. My friend also loved her skinny margarita, which came loaded with fresh fruit - never seen this before at any place and we both agreed it was a nice touch!

As for the food (oh the food!), we ordered a variety of starters including the calamari, the buffalo meatballs and the brussel sprouts.

Our hands-down favorite was the calamari. OMG, if you only order one starter at JFAT make it this. I'm used to rings and tentacles when I order calamari - not here! These were big fat fry-like cuts of calamari steak - meaty yet tender and tossed in a sage rosemary mix after being lightly battered and fried. They were also served with the most divine garlic remoulade. Serious calamari here folks...don't miss these!

So yes, I know brussel sprouts have been overdone of late as every corner restaurant has 'em on the menu BUT I have to say these were some of the best I think I've ever had! Charred perfectly and topped with applewood bacon, pine nuts and a simple sauce of maple syrup. They were just the right amount of sweetness, crunch & savory. We ate all of 'em and it was quite a large serving!

I have to admit the buffalo meatballs were a bit of a disappointment to me. I am a card-carrying buffalo ANYTHING fanatic so when I heard buffalo and meatballs I expected to be blown away. Unfortunately, I found the sauce so spicy that it killed any buffalo taste that might have been present. They really should list them on the menu as ' spicy meatballs'. Don't get me wrong, I happen to like spicey food but it wasn't what I was expecting so I think it just didn't work for me. However, my friend who's motto is 'the spicier the better' couldn't get enough of these bad boys and ended up eating them all by herself, aside from my initial bite. I think this dish is a bit subjective as you're either gonna love it or hate it so just be aware. ;)

As if the starters weren't enough food, we also ordered one of the flatbreads and their newest addition to the menu, the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, along with a side of the white truffle mac and cheese.

Holy smokes - someone got it right with the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich! It comes perfectly crispy with a moist tender inside served with the most flavorful crunchy cole slaw on a slightly grilled bun. I had heard their fried chicken was pretty delish here but this exceeded any expectations I had about it, and the heat from the chili oil sauce was just right! It came served with truffle fries topped with parmesan which were the perfect complement to this crunchy spicy sammie.

The pear, black fig jam, blue cheese & fontina flatbread was tasty (how could it not be with that mix of ingredients?!) but honestly, it was a tad bit on the limp side for me as the crust was on the softer side. Again, this is most likely a preference issue as I like my flatbread crispy on the bottom to hold up to the ingredients on top, but I know some people prefer a softer crust. Regardless, I just ate the toppings and was in heaven as it reminded me of a cheese plate you'd get at a wine bar. Yum!

The white truffle mac and cheese was almost a bit of an illusion. I seriously don't know how they are able to get such a crunchy baked top with the tender creamy cheese-laden 
macaroni underneath! The truffle taste was on point and shined through with every bite.

You would think with all this we'd be too full for dessert? Nah.. ;) We actually told the waiter to surprise us, and surprise us he did with the behemoth of the Bananageddeon! This is one seriously ridiculous dessert reminiscent of the ones you get at an ice cream parlor. It was loaded with fresh sliced bananas, pecan blondie crumbles, banana pastry cream, several scoops of butter pecan ice cream and topped with a slightly salted caramel sauce, white chocolate drizzle and loaded sky-high with homemade whipped cream! If you're a lover of all things banana (like me!) you're going to be in NIRVANA with this dessert - just make sure you have someone to share it with you cuz even with two of us we didn't make a dent!

All in all I enjoyed Jimmy's Famous American Tavern in Brea! 
Loved the ambiance, d├ęcor, hospitality and although there were a few dishes that were a slight miss for me (primarily the buffalo meatballs) they were only a miss because of subjective taste as my friend LOVED them so I can't really ding them too much for that.

I HIGHLY recommend you check 'em out!

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern is located at the Village at La Floresta Center,  3325 E. Imperial Hwy. in Brea

Phone #: 714/733-1310

Check out their hours, other locations & explore the menu on their website: 


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