Marche’ Moderne located on the penthouse level in the South Coast Plaza has been creating exceptional French fare for years now. The location can be a little tricky, being on the third floor of a two-floored mall, however it is worth the effort to dine here. The French Modernesque cuisine has subtle touches of elegance that are hard to find in many French American restaurants.
The space is large with a bar on one side and white tablecloths with an open kitchen. Also, there is a patio area on the side overlooking the second level of the mall. For lunch they have a daily special for $25 – salad or soup, entree and dessert.
The regular menu begins with Charcuterie and Cheeses as well as a Small Plates section. This time of year I recommend starting with fresh Oysters from British Columbia. My favorites were the Kusshi.
For lunch, they had various larger plates including Salads, Whole Fish and Risotto, but the Banh Mi sandwich prepared multiple ways – Crab, Ahi, Pork Belly etc. was a nice treat. The Korean BBQ Pork Banh Mi was a perfect choice with a hint of spice and crisp vegetables. The house made potato chips were a nice crunchy side too.
The other selections of Duck Confit and Veal Sweetbreads looked great coming out of the kitchen, but the Red Snapper with Asian flavors was the perfect dish for lunch. The slightly tangy sauce with bok choy, carrots, peppers and herbs paired nicely with the freshly prepared fish.
The dinner menu contains more traditional French favorites with some modern flair. This would be a great spot before the South Coast Repertory across the street or after a long hard day of shopping. Marche’ Moderne has fantastic food.