Dining outside of your comfort zone doesn’t always mean you have to hit the nearest fast food or I’ve heard of that chain restaurant before place – it’s an opportunity to taste the finest, most inventive, exciting food that city has to offer. Main Street in Lake Elsinore just got a little tastier with the addition of Maska, a California-style bistro that serves up some delectable upscale dishes and some sneaky, awesome hidden deals during the week.
The interiors at Maska are clean and contemporary – white table cloths, fresh flowers, and beautiful art prints over each table create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere perfect for any occasion, even the just because I’m hungry occasion.
The cocktail menu is like Christmas all year round – a gift that certainly keeps on giving and gets you a little tipsy too. On hot summer days light, refreshing cocktails are a treat like the Watermelon Jim made with Jim Beam whiskey and muddled watermelon and the Maska Margarita. The drinks are handcrafted by the mixologists at Maska and made with fresh, homemade ingredients. Rosemary sprigs, check! Fresh watermelon, check! A vigorous shake of the martini shakers and voila, a pink cocktail that is surely insta-worthy. Tuesday-Friday you can indulge in Happy Hour at the bar from 4pm-6pm where you can enjoy 1/2 off all appetizers and $5 sangrias and margaritas.
The starters menu for dinner covers all appetites and includes such tasty dishes as Ahi Tuna Tower, Tequila Gravlax Salmon, American Kobe Style Beef Skewer, and Mushroom Risotto. The portions are generous, presentation on point, and seasoned to perfection. I tried the Kobe Beef Skewers which were fall-off-the-skewer stick tender and dressed in colorful veggies.
While perusing over the starters menu you can also try the Sunset Menu offered in the bar and dining room Tuesday-Friday from 4pm-6pm and features a three course prix-fixe menu with your choice of appetizer (salad or soup), main entree (prime rib, grilled salmon, roasted chicken) and a dessert. This deal is just $22. The prime rib itself is a generous cut served with mashed potatoes and a killer horseradish sauce.
Okay, now that we’ve taken care of the specials….
Continue on to….Entree!
The dinner menu is divided between Land and Sea and features the greatest hits of all my favorite foods. Drunken Mahi-Mahi, Cedar-Planked Salmon, Filet Mignon, BBQ Pork Ribs….are you salivating yet? They even have their own signature-style seafood paella made with savory saffron rice, mussels, clams, shrimps, and fresh fish of the day served up in the traditional metal pan.
The menu also includes several vegetarian pasta dishes like wild mushroom ravioli if you are looking for a meat-free dish.
Although all the dishes looked amazing, I could not help but order the Truffle & Shrimp Mac N’ Cheese made with cold water shrimp, penne pasta, smoked Gouda, white cheddar and yellow American cheeses, imported truffles and parmesan gratin crust. This dish did not disappoint! It was heavenly cheesy and so incredibly creamy. I’ve had plenty of mac n’ cheese dishes at upscale joints and this is by far one of my favorites. The shrimp is plump and lays atop the mac n’ cheese like a comfy security blanket. All in all this is a great entree with all the elements of a great dish including great taste and original presentation. The use of penne pasta instead of macaroni was an unexpected gem!
And for the finale….Dessert!
I’ll take them all!
“Think again,” said my waistline.
I chose the lemon and vanilla bean panna cotta with wild berry compote. It was beautifully presented in a porcelain ramekin drizzled in berries and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint. Light, refreshing, and the perfect end to a wonderfully lovely meal. Add to it the friendly and attentive service, great atmosphere, and central location – we recommend Maska for your next night out.
There are an array of dining choices including Happy Hour, Sunday brunch, and the $22 Prix-Fixe Sunset Menu for dinner.
You can also take advantage of the weekday specials which include:
Tuesdays (all night) – $5 sangrias and margaritas, fish tacos baja style 2 for $5, and prime rib $22
Wednesday – 1/2 off a bottle of wine
Thursday – no corkage fee (limit one bottle per table)
Maska is located at 123 Main Street, Lake Elsinore 951-609-2488