You know Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan from his time at Leatherby’s Café Rouge in Costa Mesa at The Segerstrom Concert Hall. He’s now launched his own ambitious venture, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar (A Globally Inspired Chef-Driven Concept) in Downtown Santa Ana.
It’s an appealing, somewhat unfamiliar menu (Dinner) of global dishes with influences from traditional French and Italian to modern Filipino cuisines. Sunday Brunch has recently been added to the menu.
“The inspiration for my menu at Mix Mix comes from both the memories I embrace from childhood and techniques I’ve learned throughout my culinary career,” commented Chef Ross Pangilinan, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants across France and California. “At an early age, my father instilled in me an appreciation for diversity in food; together, we explored everything from hole-in-the-wall Chinese eateries to high-end French restaurants.”
Dishes like the Filipino Ceviche and Tropical Verrine pay homage to Pangilinan’s Filipino heritage. Among his signature dishes, the Tropical Verrine is a modern interpretation of the restaurant’s namesake dish, Mix Mix, the literal translation from Halo Halo, a traditional Filipino dessert featuring a mixture of sweets.
“The dining adventures I shared with my father sparked my inspiration for cuisine at a young age,” added Pangilinan. “To this day, I draw inspiration from the meals we shared together.”
In addition to its eclectic menu of global cuisine, Mix Mix offers handcrafted libations from its craft cocktail bar. The beverage program focuses on ‘shaken & stirred’ cocktails created with house-made bitters, syrups, and infusions, as well as French wines and craft beer from around the world.
Prominent features of the new restaurant include a succulent garden wall behind the bar and in the dining room, a 6-seat ‘butcher’s block’ Chef’s Table that peers directly into the restaurant’s open kitchen. The reservation-only Chef’s Table will offer a five-course “Oui Chef” menu that evokes a dining experience for all the senses.
Chef Ross briefly escapes from the open kitchen and is our in-studio guest.