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A Razón To Dine In Buena Park

By Minna A in Food on Aug 3, 2012 7:00PM

In what the owner has dubbed a “casual-to-upscale” space, Razón welcomes diners to this windy corner of Buena Park where they’re serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for both café goers and sit-down diners.

Tucked away inside the Imperial Towers on north Marine Drive, Razón has a menu and space that caters to all types of crowds. There is a café area with Lavazza coffees, healthy smoothies and large scoops of gelato in addition to cases full of fresh bakery goods and breakfast sandwiches for those seeking fast and friendly service. The main dining space contrasts with the bright and lively café, with dark red and black décor accommodating both small and large groups of diners, and a list of cocktails served from a large full bar floating in the middle of the dining room.

Razón is owned by Nash Cvetkovski, who has also owned Beograd Meat Market and café in the Irving Park neighborhood for approximately three decades. Cvetkovski believes in the importance of using local ingredients, and features food and drinks from local farms and breweries.

Dining options include a variety of charcuterie selections, small tapas-style plates and large plates. Italian-inspired, the menu also offers diners a range of pizzas, pastas and main course meals that reflect that inspiration. On our visit we tried the pulled pork and pesto, a deconstructed plate of pulled pork with a side of fresh basil and poached pears, as well as the mango-glazed duck breast with crimini mushrooms. Both plates had the the "ingredients" separated for diners to combine according to their own tastes.

For our entrées, we chose the crispy salmon with rice and the pulled pork and pancetta pasta. While the salmon was indeed crispy, salty and cooked to perfection, the "risotto" offered as the side was more like an undercooked rice and vegetable medley then the promised risotto. The pasta dish was unimaginative, without any cohesion between the dry, flavorless, sauceless pasta and the pulled pork nested atop it.

On the other hand, the cocktail list was creative and flavorful. While Razón does have a range of beer and wine selections, their neighborhood-themed cocktails are, in our opinion, the highlight of the menu. The Argyle, a favorite of the Razón staff, is made with pear vodka, poached pears and a housemade sour melded into a fresh blend full of pear flavor, and perfect for summer weather.

While the small plates and entrees weren’t our favorite, we’re willing and ready to give Razón another chance and eager for them to succeed in a neighborhood that needs more dining options. On our next visit, however, we’ll likely focus on their selection of savory sides like their duck fat fries, the fire roasted pizzas and hearty scoops of gelato. Oh, and of course, the deliciously crafted cocktails.

Razón is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in weekends and offers a menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Razón is located at 4250 N. Marine Dr.