Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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Costa Mesa’s “Ramen Row” – Overflowing With Flavor

Posted on May 18, 2022 | 5:13am

Did you know Costa Mesa has its very own “Ramen Row”? As Costa Mesa continues to build its image as an Eatcation® destination, a street in the urban center of the city is home to a number of outstanding ramen hotspots. Noodle houses, specifically ramen ones, are coveted by locals and visitors alike to the city. The soul-satisfying broth potent with umami flavor, juxtaposed with jammy egg, green onion and a flurry of toppings is a feast for the senses.

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Top Tips for Mother’s Day Brunch in Costa Mesa

Posted on May 4, 2022 | 11:00am

Costa Mesa has every option you need to treat mom to a perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Whether mom’s up for an elegant Michelin-star experience or a lively brunch, the table’s set for you, mom and the family to enjoy the special celebration. Read on for some ideas of where to brunch in Costa Mesa.

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Posted in Food, Locals, Misc

5 ways to spend Thanksgiving in Costa Mesa

Posted on November 9, 2021 | 5:00pm

What if you could skip the cooking and enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner at one of our celebrated restaurants, take the family to a holiday event AND get your shopping done Black Friday or Small Business Saturday? Enjoy your break with these 5 ways to spend Thanksgiving in Costa Mesa. Visit during the holidays and get one of our holiday hotel deals starting as low as $99.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Several Costa Mesa restaurants are serving up some delicious Thanksgiving dinners. Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar, in Avenue of the Arts, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is serving a family-style, prix fixe menu. Choose between butternut squash fritters or corn chowder for a starter, market greens or baby arugula salad, turkey and ham or prime rib for the entree and, for dessert, pumpkin creme brulee or carrot cake. All meals come with stuffing, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Le Chateau Garden Bistro, at Ayres Hotel Costa Mesa / Newport Beach, has a 3-course Thanksgiving menu, plus complimentary glass of house wine with fresh baked sourdough bread and olive tapenade. Choose between butternut squash soup or winter green salad to start. The entree is an oven roasted sliced turkey breast with port gravy, creamy mashed potatoes, fresh roasted winter vegetables and homemade stuffing with Italian sausage and herbs. For dessert, choose pumpkin pie with whipped cream and caramel sauce or apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream.

Cafe Sevilla, in Triangle Square, has a three-course menu (two-course for kids) that includes choices of starter, entree and dessert. The full dinner menu is also available. 

The Capital Grille dine-in option comes with slow-roasted turkey with brioche stuffing, French green beans, cranberry-pear chutney, Sam’s mashed potatoes and pumpkin cheesecake. There’s also a take home option with all of the sides that serves 4. 

If you’re eating Thanksgiving Dinner at home, Mastro’s, named best steakhouse byThe Orange County Register, has you covered with their family dinner kits for 4. The cook-at-home kits come with Caesar salad, three-bone prime rib with au jus and creamy horseradish, garlic mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, creamed corn, creamed spinach and cinnamon pecan butter cake.

Vaca is also offering a Thanksgiving to-go package that serves 4 to 6. The dinner includes a whole roasted Mary’s Farm all-natural turkey with gravy, roasted squash and banana soup, buttermilk chives mashed potatoes, orange scented cranberry sauce, Santana famous Italian sausage corn bread stuffing, bourbon and maple glazed yams with candied pistachios, charred broccolini with toasted garlic and preserved lemons. Plus, four desserts to choose from: pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie or cheesecake.

For South Coast Plaza restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinner options, click here.

Photo courtesy of Night of Lights OC

Night of Lights OC

Get in the holiday spirit with Night of Lights OC at OC Fair & Event Center! Opening the day after Thanksgiving, the drive-thru experience is a perfect family-friendly event. Enjoy the mile-long winter wonderland filled with characters, snow and over a million lights. You might just spot Santa too! Pre-order holiday treats to eat during the drive. If you go opening weekend, you can receive 40% off with the code BLACKFRIDAY. 

Photo courtesy of South Coast Repertory

A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory

A Christmas Carol returns live to the stage at South Coast Repertory! The Orange County family tradition will feature SCR founding member Richard Doyle taking on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Bring the whole family to see the classic story from Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol opens November 27.

Black Friday

Where else should you spend Black Friday except the largest shopping destination on the West Coast? Shop what they call “Fabulous Friday” at South Coast Plaza, which has 250 boutiques and 30 restaurants to choose from. Check the South Coast Plaza calendar for the Black Friday specials you just can’t miss.

Small Business Saturday

Support Small Business Saturday in Costa Mesa at The LAB Anti-Mall, The CAMP, SOCO and The OC Mix and more. The LAB has celebrated the “Little American Business” for over 25 years. The indoor/outdoor space hosts an eclectic array of small businesses including a zero waste refill shop, record store, boutiques in Airstream trailers and more. Across the street at The CAMP, you’ll find another collection of unique shops such as SEED Peoples Market which carries ethical and eco-friendly clothes, accessories and home goods. There’s even a shop within Blackmarket Bakery with fun gift ideas. 

The variety of boutiques at SOCO and The OC Mix continues to grow. Within The OC Mix, you can find Savory Spice Shop with great gift collections for home cooks, The Mixing Glass for the mixologist of the family, clothing boutiques and a recently opened luxury pet store. SOCO and The OC Mix hosts an annual Small Business Saturday event with tenants offering special discounts at shops and restaurants. There’s even a special event for kids from 11:00am to 12:00pm with hot cocoa, treats and a sing-a-long with Mrs. Claus!

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels

What’s New at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa

Posted on September 30, 2021 | 9:00pm

Get ready to hit the road because South Coast Plaza, the largest shopping destination on the West Coast, continues to define the luxury shopping and experience with award-winning dining, exciting new offerings and more this fall. With 250 boutiques and more than 30 restaurants, along with world-class entertainment just across the street at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory, there’s too much to see in one day. Now is the time to create your escape to Costa Mesa.

Knife Pleat

Knife Pleat, from renowned chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, was awarded a Michelin star in the 2021 Michelin guide. The elegant restaurant features Chef Esnault’s modern take on classic French techniques. In addition to lunch and dinner, Knife Pleat offers Saturday afternoon tea and seasonal tasting menus. Knife Pleat is the third restaurant in Orange County to receive a Michelin star, after Taco Maria and Hana re in 2019. All three are located in Costa Mesa.

Collage Culinary Experience

A two-story, elevated global dining collective, Collage Culinary Experience, features sit down restaurants, fast casual establishments and full-service bars. The restaurants within Collage include the debut of Paradise Dynasty in the U.S., along with Le Shrimp Ramen and Mah Jong’s by Chef Mike are currently open. Egg LXIII, Mochinut, Cha Redefine, Bruxie, Churrino, PhoHolic and more will join Collage.

Cha Cha Matcha x Tiffany & Co.

Have Tea at Tiffany’s! Cha Cha Matcha, the popular matcha shop in New York and LA, has a pop-up in Tiffany & Co. at South Coast Plaza. Cha Cha Matcha uses ceremonial grade matcha for calm, clear and centered energy. Stop in for a Tiffany blue matcha or one of their signature beverages and small bites. Cha Cha Matcha x Tiffany & Co. is open through October from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s recently unveiled its newly renovated store, featuring a completely transformed second floor. It includes new designer boutiques from Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and more, as well as men’s and women’s shoes from Saint Laurent, Gucci, Valentino, Dior and Jimmy Choo. The cosmetics department now offers dedicated brand shops from Valentino Beauty, La Mer, Cle de Peau Beaute, and Clarins, plus the most sought after brands such as Jo Malone, Cartier, Bulgari, Aqua di Parma, Diptyque, Hermes, and Charlotte Tilbury, along with the first Gucci Beauty counter in on the West Coast. Shoppers can also enjoy facial treatment services in the brand new spa treatment rooms.

Read our press release here.

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Posted in Food, Shopping

3 reasons to make Costa Mesa your next foodie vacation

Posted on September 22, 2021 | 3:00pm

One of the best ways to get to know a new city is by checking out the local food scene. Travel based around food, including food tours and food trails, is a tasty way to learn about a region’s history and culture. Thinking about taking a foodie vacation in Orange County? The culinary diversity, award-winning restaurants and popular chefs make Costa Mesa the place for your next foodie vacation. We call it an Eatcation®.

Taco Maria photo courtesy of Chelsea Martin

The only Michelin star restaurants in OC

Costa Mesa’s Taco Maria, Hana re and Knife Pleat are the only restaurants in Orange County awarded the prestigious Michelin star. Both Taco Maria and Hana re received their honors in 2019. Knife Pleat received a Michelin star in 2021. Taco Maria, located at SOCO and the OC Mix, honors both chef Carlos Salgado’s family traditions and the blend of Mexican and American cultures, in what he calls Alta California cuisine. The menu changes seasonally and, currently, only serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5-9pm. The summer menu features his popular aguachile appetizer, a scallop crudo with Persian cucumber, serrano, lime and watermelon jam. Entrees include new dishes such as mole de pato, a Muscovy duck leg confit with fig mole, and arrachera, a hanger steak with grilled bone marrow vinaigrette. There are also a selection of vegetable sides and desserts.

Hana re brings the chef’s table to the sushi bar. Guests dine omakase, leaving chef Atsushi Yokoyama to create a unique menu for them. Whether watching chef Yokoyama from the 10-seat counter or enjoying the meal from one of the tables, Hane re is an unforgettable experience. Courses can include sushi, sashimi, Japanese A5 Miyazaki beef or matsutake soup. Reservations at Hana re, at The LAB Anti-Mall, are a must and often book well in advance. 

Chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi bring delicious French cuisine to Orange County. Knife Pleat serves lunch, dinner and Saturday afternoon tea. Chef Esnault also offers a Friday night tasting menu.

TV Chefs

Top Chef and Food Network fans will, no doubt, want to check out some of Costa Mesa’s restaurants owned by chef-competitors. Top Chef winner/judge Richard Blais owns The Crack Shack, on the Eastside, a fast casual spot specializing in chicken dishes. The menu features fried chicken, salads, sandwiches and sides. Like Nashville hot chicken sandwiches? Try the Firebird with spicy fried Jidori thigh, cool ranch, crispy onions and pickles on a potato roll. The Mexican Poutine comes with schmaltz fries, pollo asado and jalapeño cheese wiz. For groups or families, flock” meals are a great option with fried chicken, biscuits, fries, coleslaw and cookies. There are also vegan and vegetarian options. We love the Baja Chop with guac, radish, cotija cheese and charred poblano dressing.

Top Chef runner-up/judge Amar Santana’s Vaca, near Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory, serves authentic Spanish cuisine and boasts an impressive bar menu. The tapas menu includes the bikini sandwich with Iberica ham, manchego and truffles and the canelon de pollo ahumado, smoked chicken cannelloni with foie gras sauce and a sherry reduction. Entrees include paella and an impressive selection of beef that is grilled over a wood fire. 

For something on the sweeter side, visit Chopped champion Rachel Klemek’s Blackmarket Bakery at The CAMP. Blackmarket Bakery offers a variety of delicious treats including cakes, tarts, cookies and other sweets, including vegan and flourless options. There’s also a breakfast menu with pastries and sandwiches. The coffee is delicious too!

Food Halls

Costa Mesa now has two exciting food halls at South Coast Plaza that are worth a foodie vacation. The Hall: Global Eatery and Collage Culinary Experience, set to open in October. Top Chef alum Amar Santana’s The Hall: Global Eatery is inspired by European food halls. Named one of the best new restaurants by the OC Register in 2020, The Hall features a Mediterranean grill, a patisserie, a poke bar and lounge. 

Collage Culinary Experience features sit-down restaurants serving world-inspired plates, next-level fast casual establishments, and full service bars pouring carefully crafted cocktails. Collage Culinary Experience includes Paradise Dynasty, Le Shrimp Ramen and Mah Jongs by Chef Mike. Bruxie, PhoHolic, Egg LXIII, Mochinut, Cha Redefine and Churrino coming soon.

Want to know more about a foodie vacation, or Eatcation®, in Costa Mesa? Visit our Eatcation® page here. You can also view our list of Costa Mesa restaurants, Costa Mesa happy hours and Costa Mesa Beer Trail.

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Posted in Food