The culinary scene in Costa Mesa continues to heat up with the addition of 4 new sizzling restaurants.
By Benjamin Epstein.
Adapted by Whitney Lauren Han from WHERE Orange County magazine’s spring 2018 issue.
1. The Country Club
From the owner of Wild Goose Tavern down the street, The Country Club evokes a Gatsby-esque sports club. Highlights: Shinnecock cocktail, a popcorn-infused Old Fashioned; hamachi tacos on jicama shells; Aspen Ridge filet mignon with rosemary confit garlic; and not-to-be-missed caramelized white chocolate bread pudding with bourbon caramel and salted creme chantilly.
M-F 2 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sa-Su 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Dinner: Daily 5-10 p.m.; Happy Hour: Weekdays 3-6 p.m.; Brunch: Sa-Su 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 330 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, 949.281.2582. countryclubcm.com
2. Oak & Coal
Just opposite of The Country Club, the owner of Tabu Shabu opens Oak & Coal in the same center; it’s devoted to yakitori; order by the skewer. The menu focuses on all manner of chicken including hearts and gizzards. Elevated ingredients such as wagyu beef tongue dot the menu.
Su-Th 5-11 p.m., F-Sa 5 p.m.-midnight. 333 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, 949.287.6150. oakandcoalcm.com
3. The Crack Shack
Bravo Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais brings his playful approach to chicken- and egg-centric dishes to The Crack Shack. Order outside, eat inside the striking dual-level space amid whimsical chicken-themed decor. Consider the spicy Firebird sandwich; fried chicken with housemade sauces on tap; or matzo ball pozole.
Su-Th 9 a.m.-10 p.m., F-Sa 9 a.m.-11 p.m. 196 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, 949.383.5040. crackshack.com
To the east, 17th Street becomes Westcliffe Drive when it enters Newport Beach. The team behind Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills opens a third wine country-inspired venue, Olea. Design includes tree-branch sculptures and a ceiling of whole logs. Try the Jorge Lucas tequila-and-mezcal cocktail, Duroc pork osso buco and Belgian chocolate chunk and fromage blanc cookies.
Su-Th 5-10 p.m., F-Sa 5-11 p.m. 2001 Westcliffe Dr., Newport Beach, 949.287.6807. oleanewportbeach.com