Missing the mark
Reviewer: Aalok Wadhwa | 7th January 2016 | Reviewer Rating (Out of 5) 3.50

There is almost nothing Californian about this restaurant. A nod to Hollywood, yes. Wines, no. Mexican influences, no. Leafy, fresh, light food, no. It is a multi-cuisine restaurant with darkish interiors (and a well-lit private dining hall with a ceiling that can retract to let the natural light in). The location is a winner, placed just behind the IFFCO chowk station.

Food can be disappointing if it is the quest for good food that has brought you here. The menu is exciting but there is many a slip between the plate and the lip. Tom Yum Prawn Soup (Rs 315), the Thai classic is tangy with the right hit of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime, chilly, and coriander but the overcooked prawns break the spell. Prawn Aglio (Rs 655) is not the Spanish tapas that I am expecting but cooked for too long and hence tough sautéed prawns on a bed of feta cheese and olives in a tangy dressing.

           Tom Yum Prawn Soup                                 Prawn Aglio

Reuben Sandwich (Rs 565) (it is spelt rubein in the menu and that should have warned me) is a New York city classic and is a really delicious sandwich with corn beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut in rye bread slice. The dish that is served to me is burnt keema in a hoagie like bun. Not a good dish.

                              Reuben Sandwich

In the mains, Greek veg mousssaka (Rs 445) has too little aubergine, and the béchamel sauce is replaced by paneer, thereby depriving the dish of its soft creaminess. Charmoula fish (Rs 725) is overcooked sole fish with no presence of chrmoula or its wonderful Moroccan flavours.


           Greek veg mousssaka                              Charmoula fish

Passion Fruit Panacotta (sugar-free; Rs 425) is one dish that I enjoy. It is wobbly, creamy and as delightful as it can be. Being sugar-free does not detract from the flavours or taste of this dessert.

                           Passion Fruit Panacotta

California Boulevard has a lot going for it with its location. But to succeed, it has to serve authentic, well cooked food.

Please note: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant to taste their food, and no bill was presented to the author. While the author assures you of objectivity, the review may be influenced by the personalized attention the author got.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 3.5 | Ambience: 3.5 | Service: 3.5 | Value: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5

Meal for two: Rs.2200 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Wheel chair friendly: Yes

Address: SCO 383 & 384, Sector 29, Gurgaon. Tel: 099711 76948

About the Author
Aalok Wadhwa Aalok Wadhwa
Restaurant Information
The California Boulevard The California Boulevard
SCO 383 & 384, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Telephone: +91 9971177085, +91 9971176948 view on a map
Opening Hours: 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 6:30 PM to 12 Midnight
Average Price: Rs. 2000 - 2200