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Pho-Stuffed Pies Are Just One Of The Crazy Inventions At This Food Festival


As a key part to the flourishing and Instagram-friendly food scene in Orange County, Costa Mesa is home to a plethora of unique, creative, and delicious restaurants. Nearly every one of them will be putting their best eats and drinks on display for a single weekend.

On October 19-21st, the Los Angeles Times and Travel Costa Mesa will host The Taste Costa Mesa, where the city’s top restaurants all gather together for a massive foodie experience. Hosted at The MET in Costa Mesa, there will be live cooking demos from big-name chefs, entertainment, and unlimited tastings to all of the food on offer.

Everybody from the city’s hottest and newest spots to names established in Costa Mesa’s dining scene will be present. This includes Toast Kitchen & Bakery, a new kid on the block whose innovative pot pie menu has got the streets buzzing. Be sure to look out for their Pho Pot Pie, which is stuffed to the brim with noodles.

Other featured spots include Pie Not, an Australian-style pie shop that brings both savory and sweet versions to the table. Their meaty mini pies are one of the must-try items when stopping by.

Tons of other popular restaurants from around Costa Mesa will be at this foodie-centric festival. From poi malasadas from Fill to figs and burrata from Social Kitchen & Craft Bar, you can expect everything you bite into to be innovative, Instagrammable, and delicious.

Tickets are available for each day of The Taste on the festival’s website. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all feature different restaurants, so check out the lineups to make sure you get to try the spots you want to.


Created in partnership with Travel Costa Mesa.

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5 Instagram-Worthy Foods In Westside Costa Mesa

Tucked just above the beautiful shores of Newport and Huntington Beach is one of Orange County’s oldest and most historic cities — Costa Mesa.

Costa Mesa also happens to be the local Chomping Ground of our friend and popular Instagram foodie, @Dradevsfood.

Join us as we take a ride with Drade to see how he spends his time cruising through local eats within Costa Mesa’s vibrant and ever-expanding food scene.

First stop, Wild Goose Tavern, which is known for a robust list of signature cocktails, gourmet burgers and a super laid back vibe. Drade highly recommends the caprese burger, a juicy burger stacked with a thick slice of fried mozzarella, cilantro chimichurri, and garlic aioli.     

Don’t forget a Wild Goose Sour to go along with your burger, though. This fresh take on the classic whiskey sour – made with Basil Hayden’s, angostura bitters, egg white, and lemon – is not to be missed.

Donuts, anyone? If you’re in Costa Mesa, Sidecar Doughnuts is a must-see for any level of donut lover. Sidecar has been supplying the Orange County scene with delicious, colorful and seasonal donuts for years.

If there’s a must-have at Sidecar, it has to be the Eggs Benedict Donut — made with a poached egg, Benton’s ham, and infused with a homemade basil hollandaise.   

Now it’s time for a steak dinner at Boathouse Collective. One of the most popular plates is the off-the-menu – but always available – 20 oz. ribeye served with yakimo, a.k.a. Japanese sweet potato, and miso butter.

This perfectly cooked, juicy steak is packed with flavor, and the miso butter provides the perfect depth to the dish.

One of the greatest things about Costa Mesa’s proximity to the ocean is the access to super fresh, super delicious seafood at all times. If you’re in the mood, there’s no better spot to check out than Catalina Fish Kitchen.

While there’s plenty to choose from, do yourself a favor and go with the LSB Burrito stuffed with Lobster, Shrimp and Bacon. This surf and turf burrito is smothered in a homemade gumbo sauce (per request) and is a surefire way to make all your Instagram followers jealous.  

For some lighter fare, Oak & Coal is your go-to spot for some Kimchi Dumplings. These perfectly handcrafted dumplings are stuffed with chicken and pork and will become an instant favorite.

Thanks for showing us around, Drade! Make sure to visit https://www.travelcostamesa.com/eatcation/ to learn more about the foodie scene in Costa Mesa.

And don’t forget to tag all your pics with #eatcation!


Created in partnership with Travel Costa Mesa

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Top Chef Amar Santana Has A Luxurious Uni Scrambled Egg Dish You Need In Your Mouth Right Now

Amar Santana is a product of Queens, New York, but has found a new home on the West Coast, as chef and partner of Vaca in Costa Mesa, and Broadway By Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, California.

After finishing as a finalist on Bravo’s well-known culinary elimination show, Top Chef, in 2016, it’s safe to say Santana’s culinary resume is intimidating.

Yet, his humble demeanor paired with his competitive passion for cooking – along with an outside-the-box approach in creating vibrant, imaginative delicacies – is exactly what makes this Southern California chef and his cuisine “Foodbeast Approved.”

Recently, FOODBEAST was able to catch up with Chef Santana at Vaca, a Spanish-style tapas restaurant in Costa Mesa, where he whipped up one of the most elegant items on the menu.

Erizos con huevos, softly translated to “uni scrambled eggs,” consists of a freshly cut sea urchin with a mixture of soft scrambled eggs, served with toast and housemade miso butter.

If you’ve never had sea urchin before, don’t let this enigma deter you. The Erizos con huevos is creamy and full of umami, and manages to be the shining star despite a Vaca menu consumed with meaty options like Jamon de Iberico and pork belly.

Vaca is located in Costa Mesa – also known as ‘City of the Arts’ – a bustling neighborhood on the Newport Beach border full of good food and culture. If you hadn’t heard of this spot previously, it’s for certain Amar Santana and Vaca should be on your radar in 2018.

To learn more about the Costa Mesa food scene, visit travelcostamesa.com/eatcation. Don’t forget to tag your photos with #eatcation!

Photos by Pete Pham


Created in partnership with Travel Costa Mesa

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Watch Top Chef Richard Blais Make Us His Iconic Fried Chicken Sandwich

For those who don’t consider fried chicken a delicacy — it’s probably because they’ve never tried The Crack Shack, one of San Diego’s most legendary fried chicken joints, led by well-known Top Chef and restaurateur, Richard Blais.

FOODBEAST recently caught up with Chef Blais at his newest Crack Shack location in Costa Mesa, California, to check out one of the most iconic fried chicken sandwiches ever created — the Firebird.

It all starts with The Crack Shack’s signature Nashville-style fried chicken. After marinating the chicken in buttermilk and pickle juice, the chicken is doused with a helping of “Crack spice” – a signature blend of herbs and spices – before it’s fried.

Now, it wouldn’t be fair to call this sandwich “The Firebird” without throwing this perfectly crispy chicken breast into something that’ll get your forehead sweaty, which is why every Firebird is dunked in a hot sauce blend of paprika and cayenne pepper right before it’s set on the toasted bun.

The Firebird comes together with a double helping of Ranch dressing on each bun, some fresh pickles and crispy onion straws.

Next time you’re craving fried chicken, just know that The Crack Shack is FOODBEAST Approved.

To plan out your next foodie-venture in Costa Mesa, visit travelcostamesa.com/eatcation and tag your pics with #eatcation!

Photos by Pete Pham


Created in partnership with Travel Costa Mesa