We've been to Paon a couple times for dinner, more than a dozen times for dessert and drinks, and to the attached wine bar for tastings a few times, too. I highly recommend dinner and/or dessert as we have always been happy with our meal and the impeccable. Steve and the rest of the staff make you feel welcome with friendly, attentive service and the outdoor dining can't be beat; snuggled in to a cozy patio with a water feature, greenery, ambient lighting, and heat for chillier nights, it's one of my favorite places to eat outside year round.
There is an excellent wine selection, with a wine tasting bar attached to the restaurant (that also serves food - it's a good place to start your meal with some wine tastings and appetizers, particularly with out-of-town guests!). The ahi and salmon tartare duo and the butternut squash soup are my favorite starters, with the beet salad a close third. For dinner I also love the tuna. Everything my husband and I have ever gotten has been perfectly prepared and delicious, some other favorites are the lamb, diver scallops, and braised short rib.
No matter what I get, though, I ALWAYS save room for dessert and I always get the same thing (although I've tried other people's and they've all been great, too!). I LOVE LOVE LOVE their homemade mint ice cream dessert. LOVE doesn't even begin to describe my feelings for this dessert and we often come here just for dessert and coffee on the patio - it's my favorite treat in all of southern California! Not only do you get three scoops of homemade, minty deliciousness (it's the best mint ice cream you'll ever eat, the first time I had it I thought I had bit into a mint leaf with my spoonful), those three scoops are served atop kiwi slices and drizzled with a chocolate coating and crushed pistachios. Hello yumminess! There are also berries and chocolate covered bananas surrounding your three scoops of heaven. I want to go there right now and eat one, even though it's 9am.
Overall, you can't go wrong at Paon no matter the occasion. Go for wine and appetizers for some light fare, dinner for a special occasion or night out, or just for dessert and coffee. All are enjoyable and memorable experiences.
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