Caught ‘On the Hook’

Vrinda Chauhan, Asst. A&E Editor

With its savory cuisine, stylish décor, and friendly service, the newly-opened Brea restaurant On the Hook should have rightfully been named “Off the Hook.”

From the moment I entered the restaurant, everything about it was simply impeccable—I truly felt as though I was not merely dining at a restaurant, but rather undergoing an experience. The place was oozing with Cajun perfection, down to every last detail. In short, I fell in love with the restaurant, hook line and sinker.

I arrived on a Sunday afternoon, and the place was surprisingly vacant. I found the venue a tad small, with several rugged wooden tables and chairs that seemed to take up most of the middle of the room.

The décor inside was tastefully done, with nautical wooden structures and ropes decking the walls. One side of the room held the seating and another held a mini-bar. The overall ambiance of the restaurant came off as very casual, yet picturesque.

I took a seat and a pleasant waitress helped me immediately. I knew my choices would be limited because I am a vegetarian and the restaurant’s specialty is seafood. However, the polite waitress helped me find delicious dishes that fit my diet. I decided to order garlic and cheese bread, stir-fry noodles, and garlic fries. I also ordered a mint tea. Overall, the food was not too pricey, averaging about $6 to $7 per dish, and I later found that each dish was worth every last penny. Other specialties offered at the restaurant include steaks, po’boys, crawfish, shrimp, and lobster.

My mint lemonade arrived no more than five minutes after I ordered, and it was utter perfection. The sharp minty flavor and the citrusy lemon gave the lemonade a refreshingly cool tang. Even better, it was served in a mason jar instead of an ordinary glass and held a very large quantity that lasted long after my meal was over.

My waitress then arrived with my stir fry noodles, which were appetizing, if a bit bland. The quantity was perfect, and it was served in a sizzler dish.

However, it was the garlic fries that impressed me the most. When I first saw the fries, I was a bit disappointed—they simply looked like regular fries topped with garlic bits and green onions. However, my first bite into the dish proved me wrong; the fries were fantastic. Unlike fries served at fast food chains, these were more butter-based instead of oil-based and struck me too savory for a snack.

Surprisingly, I had room for. However, instead of bringing me a menu, the waitress simply brought me a dish. I’m not sure if she mistakenly brought us someone else’s order or if that was the only dessert they kept in the restaurant, but it was unexpected. I was served beignets, which had no taste to it, so the cinnamon and honey were the only two ingredients providing flavor. However, I can’t complain; its texture and subtle taste flawless.

The small details of the restaurant, such as the platter they used, or the décor, tied the whole experience together. Overall, I’m hooked on this fun seafood hole-in-the-wall that wasn’t even a disappointment to a vegetarian.