In April, the Business Journal profiled new dishes from Henry’s Coastal Cuisine at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. The new menu was created by Chef Lewis Butler, who came to Henry’s last fall from the now-shuttered Center Club adjacent to Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which is being remade into the Park Club.
Butler completely revamped the menu at Henry’s, and wants to be known for creative, progressive and satisfying dishes. Officially, it’s “refined California surf country cuisine.”
In July, Butler launched Sunday brunch and his new morning menu reflects the same attention to detail.
Fresh and seasonal ingredients are Butler’s forte, and they are showcased in his Roasted Strawberry Ricotta Toast with hibiscus chili honey; and Honey Grilled Chicken Salad with grilled summer peaches, candied pecans, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette.
“Sunday Brunch is meant to be satisfying and relaxing, and ours is designed to excite the many locals and visitors who enjoy Huntington Beach this time of the year,” Butler said.
“The current brunch menu is a reflection of the season and will evolve throughout the year as we present our unique take on brunch favorites.”
Butler’s “unique takes” are evident in the Chicken & Waffle with a sweet potato waffle and karaage chicken with fermented maple garlic syrup and togarashi, Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Hush Puppies, and Oreo Cookie Pancakes topped with vanilla icing and maple syrup.
“Our executive sous chef and I collaborated on the dishes,” Butler explained. “I wanted a fun menu, something different, but I didn’t want the menu to get too big, although we do have two benedicts and two pancakes. The fruit I use is everything in season. This is my favorite time of year for fruits and vegetables.”
The OCBJ Review
Fellow foodie Isabella Ocanas accompanied me to a brunch media tasting for Henry’s Coastal Cuisine last month to see what delights Chef Lewis Butler had whipped up.
We started with lavender orange scones with passion fruit jam and raspberry jam. “Those are made in-house,” Butler told us. “For the jam, I wanted two colors and flavors, and whatever we can get fresh.”
The scones were marvelous, and the jam delicious. Ocanas was ready to reach for more, and so was I, but we had other dishes to enjoy.
Next came a delightful strawberry ricotta toast with hibiscus drizzle, followed by satisfying Dr. Pepper-braised pork hush puppies with mozzarella cheese sauce.
Karaage chicken with sweet potato waffles came next. The chicken was tender and sweet, and the waffles made even better with the sweet potato ingredient.
The crab cake benedict with asparagus and béarnaise sauce was one of the best I have tasted.
We ended with mochi beignets with a peanut butter sesame seed chocolate sauce, as decadent as they come. Butler uses a combination of rice flour and regular flour to make the beignets crisper and chewier.
“With the peanuty chocolate cause, I was trying to do a tahini chocolate sauce, and I like the flavor of sesame, but it wasn’t strong enough, so I put some peanut in there,” Butler said. “It’s a little Asian in style. I like donuts, and beignets are a bit softer, more delicate.”
The beignets were sensational, and the sauce was so good I’d take a gallon to go.
Brunch is currently served only on Sundays, although Butler said they may add Saturday brunch as well.
Henry’s Coastal Cuisine at the Waterfront Resort: 21100 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, (800) 822-7873, waterfrontresort.com/dining/henrys-coastal-cuisine