Rob Marshall, Bryan Gonzales, and Mario Marovic have revitalized the Downtown Fullerton restaurant scene with their innovative college town concepts of Matador, Wild Goose, and Commonwealth Lounge. In November 2012, HopScotch opened with the widest assembly of specialty whiskeys in Orange County with over 100 different varieties from single malt Scotch to small-batch and single barrel Bourbons. Mixologist, James Wood (now lead mixologist at Scott’s Restaurant in Costa Mesa), started up their handcrafted cocktails menu making whiskey not just a gentlemen’s drink but a palatable, hip mixer. Yes, they are known for their selection of whiskey, but they also have an excellent scratch kitchen creating craft American cuisine headed by Chef Cody Storts. No canned or processed foods are in this kitchen – only fresh from the farm produce and fresh meats.
In November 2013, HopScotch started a Weekend Seasonal Brunch Menu. On the menu, I saw the word “scrapple” and I was in food love. Let’s take a look at some of the menu items I tried:
Crispy Pig Ears is served with roasted Fresno coulis and lime. These are amazing! I’ve had pig ears before off of a roasted pig and just love the crispy texture and roasted flavor. HopScotch’s version is cut into strips, fried to crispy perfection and tossed in a seasoned salt mixture which matched perfectly with the porky flavor. The roasted Fresno coulis was a little spicy, but comfortable, with a sweet, roasted flavor that paired well with the crispy pig ears. This would be perfect as a snack during happy hour or shared as an appetizer before brunch. Warning, they are addictive so try not to fight over the last strip! Thumbs up, way up!
Rocky Mountain Oysters are veal fries (testicles) coated in blue cornmeal, deep-fried, and served with citrus crème fraiche and sour beer salsa. Okay, there is nothing to be afraid of with testicles. I’ve tried testicles from bulls and roosters and I really like the texture and flavor. It’s not off-tasting and has the texture of a pate or soft sausage. The flavor of HopScotch’s veal fries was creamy with the texture of a soft boiled egg. The cornmeal added a crunchy texture contrast. I think the sour beer salsa was a little too acidic, but I liked the spicy zing. I would have liked a sauce made with the crème fraiche for dipping or no sauce at all. Thumbs up, way up!
HopScotch’s Scrapple is a fried pork cornbread and topped with maple syrup, Pico de Gallo, fried egg, red Fresno coulis, and micro cilantro. My first experience with scrapple was on a business trip to Philadelphia. There was an Amish food counter that served scrapple for breakfast in Reading Market. It was fantastic and couldn’t wait to have it again. Scrapple is normally like a porky sausage made in a brick form with the flavor of bacon, sausage, liver, etc. HopScotch’s take on scrapple is a little different. It is more like a cornbread with pork chunks inside of it. I was a little disappointed but I totally understand that this is Chef Cody’s take on the dish. The flavors almost reminded me of a tamale with pork but crispy on the outside. I love the sunny side egg on top as I used the yolk as a dipping sauce. The red Fresno coulis worked really well with the pork flavor just like the Crispy Pig Ears. My husband, who doesn’t like organ meat and actually loved this version as he wouldn’t like the traditional version. The presentation was beautiful as well! Thumbs up!
Crème Brulee French Toast is made with brioche and served with espresso pastry cream and lemon Chantilly cream. Wow! This is the best French toast I’ve had in a very long time. They singe the top of the French toast just like a crème brulee so it has a hard sugar glass crust. The espresso pastry cream looked like peanut butter but it tasted like thick espresso custardy goodness. The lemon Chantilly cream was fresh and light as cloud. Thumbs up, way up!
What’s brunch without a Crafted Cocktail! Naughty or Nice is made with blueberry infused port, lime juice, simple syrup, ginger beer, and 1 ounce of Larceny mixed “nice” or as a back “naughty”. It has a refreshing berry flavor. Larceny Bourbon was smooth and oaky. This drink seems more like a spring/summer drink, but with our beautiful California weather, we can drink this anytime! Thumbs up, way up!
1-2-3, make your way to HopScotch! 4-5-6, you don’t want to lose your turn at a table.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars
For more information:
136 E Commonwealth Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832
- Hours: Monday through Friday from 11am to 2am, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2am
- Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm