I have been wanting to try the Little Sparrow for a long time, but the reviews were a mix. When I saw a 30% off for LS on Black Board Eats I was surprised, because I don’t think they ever offered a deal in OC before. Still, I was not sure if it was worth a try, but since the options in OC are not that great, finally gave in and tried the Little Sparrow.
The setup of the place was the most bizarre of any restaurant I have ever been to. There is a very large coffee house in the front and a much smaller restaurant in the back. That is not the bizarre part though. Their kitchen is in the middle of the coffee house and the restaurant, but their pantries were in two different rooms facing the dining room. As we were sitting waiting for our food to arrive, I saw a parade of kitchen staff going back and forth to these rooms and walking away with all kind of produce. It was just unbelievable. Who came up with this insane setup? Service was OK. Our hostess/waitress was not well informed about the menu and made a mistake with our bill.
Chickpea Masala pomegranate, Yogurt
It sounded better than it tasted. The masala spice was there, but a little bit of salt would have done wonders for this dish. If you put yogurt and pomegranate as part of the ingredients, don’t skimp on it specially if you are charging $12 for it.
Lamb Merguez Couscous Bowl Harissa, Tzatziki
I encouraged my husband to try this dish and when we asked our waitress how gamey the lamb was, she responded it is gamey. Guess what? It was not gamey at all. He seemed to enjoy his dish. I took a little bite of the meatball and it was flavorful. The pita crisp looked a little greasy though.
Marinated Hanger Steak Salad Creamy Pepita Dressing, Tortilla Strips
My steak was in a desperate need of seasoning which was a shame considering the good quality of the beef. The salty tortilla strips helped to balance the dish. The dressing on the other hand was a little too spicy.
When we got the bill we were charged for a hanger steak dinner rather than the salad. I felt the value was not there considering the setup and lack of seasoning and I am glad we didn’t pay the full price. Also after our chickpea starter it took a long time for the rest of the food to arrive considering they were not even busy.