Hollywood Connection – California Boulevard

California Boulevard Review, SCO 383 & 384, Sector 29, Gurgaon

California Boulevard is a newbie on the Gurgaon restaurant scene. It is Located in sector 29, right behind the IFFCO Chowk Metro Station. California Boulevard has adequate parking outside and ample space within. As I entered, I had Hollywood Stars right at me feet. Guess I saved loads by stepping on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” right here in Gurgaon.

California Boulevard is the brainchild and second avatar of seasoned hospitality professional Rajan Sethi. The doors to California Boulevard, Gurgaon opened just a few days back. The first and other California Boulevard is located in Rajouri Garden, Delhi. Both restaurants have iconic Harley Davidson motorbikes parked outside which look classy with an American touch.

I was expected for the review, though there was a confusion on the name. The smartly turned out receptionist checked and escorted me inside the precincts. I wasn’t impressed at all with the first look. The interiors were dark. I look at dark themed restaurants with a bit of a disdain. However, before I could register the first impression of the review Rajan walked in. He instructed that the large wooden blinds covering the windows be opened. A small tweak and the restaurant was bathed in light. My mood changed instantly and favourably.

Before the lunch service Rajan gave me a guided tour of the restaurant and its facilities. The interiors of two floored California Boulevard are chic. The furniture is classy and comfortable. The walls have video panels that play lives and times of Hollywood stars and starlets whose birthdays fall in that specific month. This is indeed a very nice touch since you won’t see the same thing on the walls again. The restaurant has an al fresco seating at the back which can be used for small parties. Don’t miss the specially imported, original Californian surf boards hanging on the wall.

The back of the house was neat and clean. A lot of consideration has been given to employee welfare including fat panel televisions, lockers and cafeteria. It seems Rajan has an outright winner in his hands. Both front and back of the house look well tended.

Chef Karen came to assist us with the luncheon order as two of us sat down to eat. As usual, I left the ordering to the Chef. I did request for smaller food portions to be able to taste more. The starters started flowing in almost immediately. The first round was that of Dilli ki Chaat which has fried spinach leaves as a base. It was tangy and definitely needs to be ordered. Next to appear were Fried Mozzarella Sticks that we merrily dunked in accompanying marinara sauce. I didn’t think much about the Chicken Satay with warm peanut sauce. However, the Kaffir Lime Chicken Tikka that followed was outstanding.

Following these was a battery of starters including Prawn Spring Rolls (ok, couldn’t taste the prawn), Paneer Sushi (innovative; should thrill vegetarians), Mutton Barah Kebab (good but there wasn’t enough meat on the bone); Tandoori Salmon Tikka (outstanding); Buffalo Chicken Wings (didn’t generate much feel); Prawn Agilo (fantastic and must have) and finally Sushi Rolls (very nice). After these starters I requested a break before the main course. I was absolutely stuffed so declined the soups completely. Chef Karen on the run sent in a serving of Classic Caesar Salad which was quite well done.

We resumed lunch with a serving of Seafood Thermidor which was absolutely superb. Seafood lovers, don’t miss this ever. Next came in Gosht Nihari accompanied with Bacon Kulcha and Burani raita (outstanding again). Both Rajan and I were bloating by now, however, the kitchens were not slowing down on us. The next main dish was from their Chinese stable. Diced Chicken Ma Lah was served with plain rice and was quite decent.

For dessert was TCB Kulfi Gazzak which was flamed right in front of us. This was a befitting end to our luncheon. I am yet to explore European food at California Boulevard so I’ll be back for more. May be once they receive their bar license.

In a nutshell, the food was splendid and well balanced as any multi cuisine restaurant should have. In my humble opinion, California Boulevard is an outright winner.

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The California Boulevard
Address: SCO 383 & 384, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 99711 08803

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