My favorite cuisine in the world is probably French Mediterranean, so I may be slightly prejudiced when I say that one of my favorite recent meals was at Pas.tu on Balboa Island. The restaurant name literally translates to mean “a cozy tiny spot hidden in the far end of your desired spot which holds all treasures and special memories.” in Farsi. All I can say is that I am glad someone created this small artistic haven of food.

With only about 10 tables in this intimate restaurant, it feels as if you are in a secret alcove as you feast on everything, so to make the most of my dining adventure, I chose three appetizers to get a sense of the kitchen. I started with an excellent warm goat cheese salad with beets, pecans and spring greens served with a champagne dressing, segued to a marvelous Mediterranean roasted eggplant with garlic, onions, walnuts and tomato ground beef, and ended with the escargot en croute, served classically with garlic and parsley was spectacular in both presentation and taste. I am always grateful when garlic is applied generously to dishes which are supposed to be garlicky. Their wine list includes glasses and bottles from California, France, and Argentina, so be as international as you wish with your choice.

I loved the beautiful presentations of the plates as much as I loved the tastes of every ingredient on the plates. The chef must be an artist to arrange the mouth watering masterpieces with such beautiful details and colors. Finish your meal with a Turkish coffee and wander around Balboa Island with the happy smile of a happy well fed islander.