July 2nd, 2012, 8:53 am · · posted by GUEST
In the land of my dreams, I could find a pastrami sandwich at almost any place I looked, including a wine bar.
Sunset Beach must be the land of my dreams.
It has been the land of my dreams since I discovered the wine bar of my dreams – Brix.
Frankly, I don’t care that much about wine, but I do care very much about pastrami, and Brix may be the least likely place anywhere to find a really good pastrami sandwich. Orange County is so pastrami-challenged that I should have figured that I’d find great pastrami in the most unlikely place imaginable.
Brix, which is named after a unit of measuring sugar, is not just a wine bar that serves pastrami sandwiches that will make a transplanted New Yorker weep with joy. It’s also a really fun wine bar.
Rick Reich, who opened this nightspot seven years ago, told me that he thinks of Brix as an extension of his living room.
“I wanted to create a friendly atmosphere like a living room, where everybody talks to everybody,” he explained. “We want people to have a really different experience when they come here. We want people to walk out of here and say, ‘Did that just happen to me?’ If you don’t feel that way, then we have failed.”
Brix offers happy hour discounts Monday through Thursday, and a menu that will remind some deli aficionados of Katz’s in New York City. In fact, Reich confessed that he and his chef modeled their pastrami and other deli specialties after Katz’s. I should mention that one of the discounted items during happy hour is half a pastrami sandwich. I doubt you’ll find that in any other bar in Orange County.
It’s not all pastrami, however. The sausage is first rate, the pizza and flatbreads can hold their own with most pizza restaurants and the sweet potato fries are something to behold. Even the chicken sandwich – called the “Shiksa” – comes highly recommended by picky Orange County diners who wouldn’t know pastrami from corned beef.
Besides the expansive beer and wine selection, Brix features live music Wednesday-Sunday.
And did we mention that they serve pastrami?
Photos and article by Barry Koltnow, the Orange County Register.
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