Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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Make Valentine’s Day into a Weekend Away

Posted on February 4, 2017 | 6:26pm

It’s almost time for the most romantic day of the year! With Valentine’s Day falling mid-week this year, local restaurants and hotels are offering menus to allow you to extend the celebration by spending the weekend in Costa Mesa beginning February 10.

 

Whether you are planning to treat your sweetheart to a nice dinner out, a weekend away, or you’re looking for just the right gesture to show you care, Costa Mesa is your one-stop destination for exclusive gift ideas, Valentine’s Day menus and some great hotel deals to make getting away easy and memorable.

Silver Trumpet

Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar at Avenue of the Arts – a Tribute Portfolio Hotel will offer a four-course prix fixe menu including baked brie; a pink cauliflower soup or heirloom salad, followed by a selection of entrees like a 10 oz. lobster tail, New York prime steak or wild mushroom risotto; and chocolate beignets for dessert. Guests will also enjoy a complimentary champagne toast. This menu is available for $75 per person on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11 from 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations can be made through Opentable. To complete a romantic evening, check out the Kiss and Tell package being offered by Avenue of the Arts.

 

Le Chateau Garden Bistro, located at Ayres Hotel & Suites, is offering a full à la carte or prix fixe dinner menu. Start with Le Chateau’s signature lobster bisque and end with their chocolate lava cake or a heart-shaped red velvet cake. This dinner menu is available from 5 to 10 p.m. for $47 per person beginning February 10 through Tuesday, February 14. Call 714.549.0300 ex. 407 for reservations. Ayres Hotel & Suites also has a variety of special weekend packages.

 

Ayres Le Chateau Bistro Outdoor Patio

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Segerstrom Center for the Arts has a weekend lineup making for a perfect date night.

Michael Bolton Pacific Symphony

Michael Bolton, the Grammy-award winning legendary singer, will perform a medley of his greatest hits on February 10 and 11 at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

 

Actress, producer and Broadway star Rita Wilson is joined by talented songwriters Billy Steinberg, Holly Knight and Desmond Child on February 10 for an intimate evening performing and sharing the stories behind their music.

Rita-Wilson-Photo-by-Nathan-Chapman

 

WEEKEND AND VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER SPECIALS

 

Habana offers a decadent Valentine’s Day menu and entertainment with special dishes like grilled filet mignon with Dungeness crab Béarnaise, fried yucca, and watercress salad. Live music and the special menu will be available February 11 to 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Enjoy one of Open Table’s top 100 best al fresco dining spots in the U.S. Make reservations by calling 714-556-0176.

the-lab-plaza

 

 

One of Costa Mesa’s top Indian restaurants offers a three-course prix fixe menu including an appetizer or choice of gourmet salad; a selection of entrées including their own Khyber Nectar (lamb shank aphrodisiac) and a selection of sweet desserts. This menu is available from February 10 to 14 beginning at 5:30 p.m. each evening for $39 per person. Make reservations on Opentable.

 

Royal Khyber -Khyber Nectar

 

Open for an exclusive dining experience Valentine’s Eve, guests will enjoy complimentary Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label champagne, alongside chocolate-covered strawberries to celebrate the occasion. This offer is available on February 13. Make reservations online or by calling 714.432.1140.

 

 

VALENTINE’S DAY, FEBRUARY 14

SoCo couple 

Take your romantic dinner up a notch by participating in a hands-on cooking class at Bistro Papillote. You and your loved one will work together to create a Valentine chocolate dinner that’s sure to set the mood for a romantic evening! You’ll prepare pepper-crusted filet mignon and chocolate port wine sauce, fig and Stilton salad with port vinaigrette, potatoes sautéed in duck fat and a beautiful flourless chocolate torte for dessert. The price is $225 per couple and includes one bottle of Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine. The cooking class begins at 6:00 p.m., with the sitdown dinner to follow. For more information and to reserve your spot, please call 714-697-1707.

 

Offering a special appetizer menu as well as a nine-course prix fixe menu this Valentine’s Day, guests will enjoy an appetizer selection that includes Ishiyaki Wagyu beef, miso-marinated lamb chops, seared scallops with black truffle, Kumamoto oysters, abalone and more. The prix-fixe menus include live spot prawn carpaccio with uni & caviar, foie gras steak, grilled Chilean sea bass and much more. The nine-course pre-fixe menu is $125 per person and includes Australian Wagyu; for $150 per person the nine-course menu includes Japanese Wagyu. Appetizers are priced per selection. This exclusive event is on Tuesday February 14, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For reservations please call 714.850.0880.

 

 

Enjoy the fresh, vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean this Valentine’s Day at Mezzet. In addition to the à la carte menu, a special four-course menu will be available. Begin with an appetizer sampler followed by an arugula salad. Entrée choices include chicken scaloppini or grilled salmon. For dessert, a decadent heart-shaped chocolate cake with coffee will be served. Two glasses of champagne and a red rose for the ladies will also be part of the prix-fixe menu for $55 per person; À la carte prices vary per selection. Enjoy this Valentine’s Day dinner at Mezzet (exclusive of tax and gratuity) Tuesday February 14, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For reservations please call 714.540.3365.

Two heart shaped red roses and champagne isolated on white background, Valentines day

 

Vaca by Amar Santana is offering their full menu, with some extra special Valentine’s Day items like seafood-stuffed squid ink canelon and their rum raisin ice cream with peanut chocolate crunch and caramel peanuts. Dinner service is on February 14 from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Make reservations or call 714.463.6060.

 

Offering three different tasting menus, guests can choose the Original, Vegetarian or Vegan Tasting Menu, each four courses and served with wine pairings. This special menu is offered on February 14 beginning at 5 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made calling 714.545.1411.

oldvine at the CAMP

  • Pueblo “Choose Your Own Adventure” Dinner

For Valentine’s Day, Pueblo will be doing an “Elige Tu Aventura” (Choose your Own Adventure) dinner, where each guest will have a list of 15 specially curated tapas for only that evening. Each table will have an option to freely order the items à la carte, as a combination of 5 or 9 items, or El Mundo, which is all of the above! The last option works beautifully for parties with 5 or more guests. The more a table orders, the better the value received. To make your reservation, please call 714.340-5775.

Pueblo Shrimp

Enjoy a holiday three-course menu, which includes an appetizer, entree and dessert featuring Darya’s most popular dishes. Live music by Amir will be featured throughout the evening. Pick one of two seating times on February 14 with two seating times. The first seating is from 5 to 7 p.m. and the second seating is from 7 p.m. to close. This dinner is $79 per person exclusive of tax and gratuity. Advanced reservations are required. 714.557.6600.

 

FOR A SWEET TREAT OR A NIGHT CAP…

 

The LAB and The CAMP

 

Try Black Market Bakery at The CAMP for a delicious variety of baked goods, chocolates and their “Drunk in Love” cheesecake.

 

Popbar, a concept founded in New York, serves up frozen treats on a stick in a variety of blends including gelato and sorbet. With flavors like chocolate, vanilla, banana, mint or passion fruit, the all-natural Italian treat comes in a variety of flavors and can be customized with a variety of dips and toppings.

 

RUIN Bar: Cat Lady (and Gentlemen) Anti-Valentine’s Day Celebration February 10 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Enjoy anti-Valentine’s Day house drink specials, knitting, movies and more!

 ruin bar exterior

 

South Coast Plaza

 

Love is sweet at Sugarfina! Fill your own customized XOXO bento box with festive chocolates and gummies including  “Love You a Bunch” rosé roses imported from Germany, “You’re a Catch” Swedish fish imported from Sweden, “I Pine for You” Parisian pineapples imported from France, “Kiss Me” sugar lips from the USA and other domestic and imported goodies. Prices vary per selection. Sugarfina is located on the first floor between the Jewel and Carousel courts.

 

Antonello Espresso Café

Enjoy a special heart-shaped shortbread cookie and espresso beverage at Antonello Espresso Café. Antonello Espresso Café is located on Level 2, Carousel Court.

 South Coast Plaza Couple and Champagne Bakery

Champagne French Bakery Café helps you say “I love you” with heart-shaped sugar cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries or heart-shaped cakes. Valentine’s Day specials will be available from February 1-14. Call for availability. Champagne is located on Level 1 of the Crate and Barrel Wing.

 

SoCo and The OC Mix

 

Stop by ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, Chef Stéphane Tréand’s elegant pastry shop in The OC Mix courtyard. Not only will you find lots of chocolate for this Valentine’s Day, but the selection of macarons will entice you to buy one of their specialty variety gift boxes. And, while wandering around SoCo Collection, stop into Restaurant Marin for made-from-scratch desserts including their amazing “cake-of-the-day” special!

St Pastisserie Chocolat

Enjoy! XOXO

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Posted in Events, Food, Hotels, Locals, Misc, Music & Art

3 Top Costa Mesa Stops for National Waffle Day

Posted on August 24, 2016 | 8:03am

Today’s National Waffle Day, and we love any excuse to celebrate this fluffy, carb-loaded treat that works great in a variety of delicious ways. Eat it plain and topped with butter and syrup or whipped cream as a decadent dessert, or as part of a savory dish like fried chicken and waffles or a breakfast sandwich. Open faced, sandwich style or folded like a taco, waffles work in many versatile ways to create a delicious dish. Here’s three of our favorite places to get this criss-crossed delicacy:

 

IRON PRESS

iron press waffles costa mesa

Iron Press is located in The OC Mix shopping center, and was one of the anchor restaurants of this culinary hotspot. Making waffles hot and fresh in front of you with the kitchen tool it’s named after, Iron Press serves sweet or savory waffle dishess, tater tots, ice cream and craft beers along with great events like tap takeovers.

 

PLUMS CAFE

Plums Cafe is well known by locals for its amazing breakfast and brunch. One of our favorite dishes is the Northwest Berry Waffle, simply a large waffle with fresh berries and cream. Add some Oregon pepper bacon for a little bit of salty-sweet heaven.

plums cafe waffle

 

PANCAKES R US

You’ve been to Toys R Us, and Babies R Us, but have you ever been to Pancakes R Us? It’s a Costa Mesa breakfast staple serving eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and of course pancakes galore, but they’ve also got some great waffles.

waffle

 

Happy National Waffle Day!

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Posted in Food

Breakfast For Days (and So Much More) at Restaurant Marin

Posted on April 12, 2016 | 7:47am

Breakfast aficionados have just one more great reason to choose Costa Mesa for the most important meal of the day. Restaurant Marin recently opened in SoCo Collection Costa Mesa, and we got to stop by and get our midday breakfast fix, as this new Costa Mesa foodie hotspot is serving to brekky fans all day long.

Inspired by an experience at an old-school Midwestern diner, executive chef Noah Blom and co-owner Marin Howarth developed the concept of a bright, airy California-style diner, taking it to the next level with upscale decor but keeping the diner feel alive by serving breakfast all day. The blue and white tile and booths, along with the tables made from pressed sea glass, evoke the breezy coastal California feel for this cozy restaurant’s 30-seat guest capacity (20 inside, 10 on the outdoor patio).

chef noah blom restaurant marin

The breakfast menu is decadent, including duck liver pate on toast and a selection of several pies made from scratch like apple, pecan and a daily special.

restaurant marin breakfast menu

We decided to try the donut holes, the smoked salmon and the baked eggs. The food was just incredible, but we’ll let these pictures speak for themselves…

restaurant marin donut holesrestaurant marin smoked salmonrestaurant marin baked eggs

Rich, decadent flavors permeated each dish, with special touches like the chili flakes on the toast and the red pepper roasted over wood fire. And while we love eggs any way they’re prepared, baking them just takes the richness and creaminess of eggs to the next level, complemented with the homemade spicy sausage and goat cheese.

But make no mistake, Restaurant Marin doesn’t just serve breakfast. They’ve got an incredible lunch and dinner menu as well, with a strong emphasis on seafood. Restaurant Marin has a wood-fired oven just like its sister restaurant ARC, set low for grilling seafood, bread and desserts, and if you are looking where to eat on Koh Chang this is the best place. Some mouthwatering dishes include bouillabaisse, grilled shrimp over vegetable “spaghetti” and a Crab Louie salad. For non-seafood eaters, Chef Blom offers roast chicken, steak roulade and even beef stroganoff with filet and made-from-scratch egg noodles.

This elegant yet breezy spot is another fantastic addition to the Orange County foodie scene at SoCo Collection. Stop by Restaurant Marin soon and be sure to let us know in the comments what you tried and what your favorite was!

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Posted in Food, Locals

Taco Maria at the OC Mix

Posted on October 17, 2013 | 1:11pm

Costa Mesa is home to some of the top dining destinations in Orange County.  From upscale dining to casual eateries, and everything in between, the City of the Arts boasts an incredible collection of talented chefs.

Now you can add another option- gourmet Mexican food at Taco Maria at the OC Mix.  The Taco Maria food truck has been serving award-winning fare for years and is constantly ranked as one of the best food trucks in Southern California. Run by chef Carlos Salgado, Taco Maria is a real family operation, with his investors including his parents and sister.  Using time-honored recipes right from his mother’s kitchen, Carlos has taken this homestyle Mexican cuisine to the next level.

Pork Belly Tacos

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Posted in Food, Locals, Play

The Blackwing Experience in Costa Mesa

Posted on June 26, 2013 | 12:10pm

The Blackwing is more than a pencil – it’s an experience…and at the Blackwing Experience at The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity at The OC Mix, that saying is certainly true.

World's Smallest Blackwing

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Posted in Events, Locals, Misc, Music & Art, Play