The California Boulevard - Bringing World Cuisine Closer to Home

California is known the world over for its dramatic Mediterranean weather, cliff-lined beaches, and palm trees. Not to forget the Hollywood entertainment industry, multi-cuisine food, prominent universities, bustling sports scene, etc.

I too have vivid memories of the state, since I studied at the UCLA's Anderson School of Management, California, which was one of the partner schools for my Advanced MBA program. Who can possibly forget the sprawling UCLA campus, Beverly Hills, Downtown Disney, Universal Studios, and J. Paul Getty Museum! 

Now imagine an upscale, world cuisine restaurant in the heart of the city that reminds you of California. There's something truly fascinating about The California Boulevard, right from the time you enter its premises.



When you're at The California Boulevard, you can't help but draw comparisons to the popular western US state.

Entrance of The California Boulevard

The interiors are aesthetically done. The brand has successfully recreated the perfect Californian ambiance with Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles Lakers, City Circle Tram, Regal Cinema, California Surfers, etc.

Interiors at The California Boulevard

At the restaurant, I was introduced to the lovely Kanchan H. from Bright Hospitality, who takes care of the PR, marketing, and corporate communication initiatives at The California Boulevard. She quickly gave me a familiarization tour of the restaurant, along with some valuable insights about its inception. 
  • The California Boulevard is a brainchild of Rajan Sethi, serial entrepreneur who opened the first outlet by the same name in Rajouri Garden, Delhi (2013). Rajan is also the name behind the Pind Balluchi franchise in Rajouri Garden, AMPM Café &Bar (again in Rajouri Garden), and Hotel Eternity, a 16-room boutique hotel in Delhi, which is ranked #25 on TripAdvisor.
  • The Gurgaon outlet swung into action in February 2015.
  • Since opening, the restaurant has won several accolades, including features in Rooftops and Meat Cravings Collections on Zomato.
  • Promoted as a world cuisine restaurant, The California Boulevard aims to satisfy the taste buds of people who like to "experiment with their food". People who are more exposed to travel and open to trying different cuisines. Kanchan says "there's something for everybody here!"
  • The restaurant has two floors and can house nearly 130 people. It serves cuisines from over 33 countries.
  • The background music at the restaurant is predominantly Hollywood Music, including Western Pop, Rock, Country, Jazz, and Classical.
While chit-chatting with Kanchan, I requested to meet the head chef, Karen Dsouza-Rawat, and the operations manager, Sandeep Kumar.

Karen and Sandeep

Hailing from Mumbai, Karen has worked with prestigious brands like the JW Marriott and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Now employed with The California Boulevard from past one and a half years, Karen believes that the people of Gurgaon favor the 'world cuisine' concept. So she likes to indulge them in authentic Indian, Continental, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Korean, and Fusion food.

Having set the stage for a memorable dining experience already, the head chef promised to serve me some of her most exotic offerings to date.

Welcome Drinks


Among the four drinks that I gulped down, my personal 'summer' favorite is the Cold Beetroot Soup.
  • Cold Beetroot Soup (Rating: ***** out of *****)

Cold Beetroot Soup

Quite honestly, I've never experienced a cold soup before. And the funny part is: it doesn't taste like a traditional soup but more like a smoothie or a cooler.
  • Strawberry and Basil Iced Tea (Rating: ***** out of *****)

Strawberry and Basil Iced Tea

  • Californian Fruit Punch (Rating: *** out of *****)

Californian Fruit Punch

  • Red Wine Sangria served with Fruits (Rating: ** out of *****)

Red Wine Sangria served with Fruits

Starters


Simply put, the starters served at The California Boulevard are out of this world. There's no two ways about it.
  • Dilli Ki Chaat (Rating: ***** out of *****)

    Dilli Ki Chaat

    My personal favorite, Dilli Ki Chaat is also the chef's signature dish served on spinach leaves.

    • Tangy Butter Mushroom (Rating: ***** out of *****)

      Tangy Butter Mushroom

      • Sushi Paneer (Rating: ***** out of *****)

      Sushi Paneer

      • Thai Wok Fry Chicken (Rating: ***** out of *****)

      Thai Wok Fry Chicken

      • Bread Platter from In-house Bakery (Rating: ***** out of *****)

      Bread Platter from In-house Bakery

      • Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (Rating: *** out of *****)

      Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

      • Kaffir Lime Chicken Tikka (Rating: *** out of *****)

      Kaffir Lime Chicken Tikka

      • Dimsums and Salads (Rating: *** out of *****)

      Dimsums and Salads

      • Ganderi Kebab (Rating: ** out of *****) 


        Even though I wasn't particularly gung-ho about how the kebabs tasted, I'd still give them brownie points for a spectacular presentation.

        Main Course


        Having spent a considerable amount of time in South Korea, I can smell authentic Tofu without too much hassle. The Korean Chilli Tofu I savored at The California Boulevard was even better than the ones I've had in Korea. 
        • Korean Chilli Tofu (Rating: ***** out of *****)

        Korean Chilli Tofu

        • Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Kofta (Rating: **** out of *****)

        Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Kofta

        • Pad Thai Noodles (Rating: ** out of *****)

        Pad Thai Noodles

        • Green Vegetable Moussaka (Rating: ** out of *****)

        Green Vegetable Moussaka

        Desserts


        The signature Choc Nutella Torte just blew my mind off. It is that amazing! 
        • Choc Nutella Torte (Rating: ***** out of *****)

        Choc Nutella Torte

        • TCB Gajak Kulfi (Rating: ***** out of *****)

        TCB Gajak Kulfi

        • Trio Crème Brûlée (Rating: *** out of *****)

        Trio Crème Brûlée

        Post lunch, I spent some time with the operations manager, Sandeep Kumar, who provided his insights into the day-to-day running of this restaurant.

        • The peek rush days include Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
        • Wednesdays are exclusively booked for kitty parties or walk-ins.
        • The restaurant opens from 12 noon to 3.30pm and later from 6.30pm to 11.30pm every day.
        • Even though the restaurant is open throughout the year, there are special days like Holi or Diwali when the restaurant is only operational for half day.

        Finally, my verdict is that The California Boulevard is not just a restaurant but an experience in itself; it is a potpourri of cuisines, cultures, colors, and entertainment.

        Professional and experienced staff will only make your experience more memorable. Go indulge in über chic dining with unobtrusively stylish service. You shall not be disappointed!

        The California Boulevard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato