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What's Cookin' Behind the Curtain - Breaking the Fusion Stereotype

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Every Friday, LAist is taking you on a trip down to Orange County to uncover the unique dining experiences that await adventurous eaters willing to explore beyond the county line.

I’m prejudiced.

You mention the words “fusion cuisine” and I immediately reach for stereotypes. Pretentious. Overpriced. Lacking any culinary soul. Just altogether unappealing.

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Oh sure I’ve had good fusion meals once in awhile. But I’d never admit to it. I wouldn’t want to acknowledge that my taste buds had been denigrated by such nefarious food.

So it took every ounce of willpower to force myself to walk through the door of Café Hiro in Cypress and stay for a meal without turning around and leaving in disgust. Fusion of Asian, French, and Italian? How can this be any good?

And yet, slowly it won me over. The restaurant was simple, no ornate décor with scented candles (yes, what exactly was Dale from Top Chef thinking), just a handful of wooden tables and some random pieces of art that looked like they could have been purchased at Goodwill. A ceiling painted with like the sky, a la the Forum Shops at Caesars. A diverse menu with very recognizable ingredients, except integrated into unconventional combinations like spaghetti and plum paste or Hamburg steak and curry. And very reasonable prices, with most entrees under $15 and coming with both soup and salad. Maybe this could work.