Happy hour date night! And restaurant review! Continuing with our Austin restaurant reviews – this week tried out the District Kitchen + Bar. It’s super close to where we live, but we didn’t even know it was there. Super nice outdoor seating area under a little grove of live oak trees. We love happy hour dates, because there are often good deals and we can share several small dishes. In short, this was a great find – close to home, tasty food, good atmosphere. We’ll def go back. Here are my thoughts on the particular things we had…

Hamachi Crudo $13 – A really nice crude. The presentation was beautiful. We both enjoyed it. Here’s my picky chef review… It doesn’t compare with the subtlety of a crudo we had at Uchiko this summer. The fish and and jicama were cut a bit large for my taste so that you have to bite through them instead of getting a mouth sized bite. The sauce was very simple – like a Japanese shoyu and dashi sauce that goes on agedashi tofu, tasty but a bit strong for hamachi. I thought the serrano peppers were cut too large – if eaten with the crudo they overpower the delicate flavor of the fish. A paper thin sliver would have been much better. But, I’m being picky. It was a really good dish that we would get again. 🙂

Texas Fig Salad – Super tasty. We loved the goat cheese on it, but I told Rachel that the fig salad she made the other week was way better. You should try it! Last week Rachel posted the recipe here: Fresh Arugula and Fig Salad with Citrus Dressing and Marcona Almonds – goat cheese would be a great addition.

“Farm Tomato + Pesto Naan” happy hour dish $9. Can’t beat it at $9. Yummy. Cilantro pesto was excellent.

Sweet Corn Risotto side – tasty risotto for a side. It would be better paired with something. Rachel got it, because being gluten-free she couldn’t share my pizza.

No, no, no!! What is the deal with shishito peppers and restaurants?! Maybe I got spoiled living in Japan, but really – shishitos are the simplest thing to make well. I am ALL about creativity, but putting a chili lime aioli on top of a pepper just doesn’t make sense. Food combinations are supposed to enhance and contrast flavors – not just throw several similar flavors together. I made a short video post about how to make shishitos in the traditional Japanese manner that brings sweet and umami flavors to go with the shishitos. Try this at home, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

$4 for a Topo Chico?? Gimme a break.

So nice to find a Happy Hour wine that is decent. So often restaurants serve totally lame wine for their happy hour. I had the Honoro Vera Garnacha – super nice red table wine. Some other restaurants with decent happy hour wine are Vino Vino, Texas French Bread, and Flour and Vine. Hope we can review all those soon!

We were totally happy with our experience at District Kitchen + Bar. We’ll definitely go back (but we’ll avoid getting Topo Chico 🙂 ). Here’s a link to the District Kitchen menu – give it a shot, and let us know what you think!

District Kitchen + Bar

District Kitchen + Bar

Oh yeah – we saw this cool guy on the sidewalk when we went for a sunset walk in the park across the street after dinner. It’s so rare to see these beautiful little dudes, but don’t pick them up – they have a nasty bite. Sorry for geeking out on you – it’s the former biologist in me coming out. I can’t help it!

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