Known for its annual end of summer bash The Taste, the Los Angeles Times continued its celebration of food with the first-ever The Taste Costa Mesa which took place at THE MET, October 19-21.
Highlighting some of the areas most recognizable restaurants and off the beaten path hidden gems, the mouth-watering event brought together an amalgamation of culinary dreamers and cocktail innovators for a weekend of great food, drinks and shared memories.
With the landscape almost half the size of the Los Angeles event, if not smaller, The Taste Costa Mesa surprisingly represented a flavorful sample of the city’s 15.7 sq miles food scene. Popular chains Salt & Straw, Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken, and The Pie Hole delivered as expected with customer favorites and a few holiday themed surprises such as Mummy’s Pumpkin Spice Potion, a vegan and gluten-free ice cream from Salt & Straw. The Pie Hole saw repeat faces with their Mexican chocolate pie-hole cookies and Bundaberg-apple crumble pies.
Local vegan and vegetarian OC gems found just as many people crowding their tables with highlights going to:
- Adya – Mixed squash chaat with tamarind, puffed rice and pomegranate (V)
- Puesto – Chile relleno tacos (VEG)
- Lido Bottle Works – Roasted eggplant hummus with Castle Vetrono olive caponata, fried capers and espelette (V/GF)
- Supatras Thai – Green curry and Veggie Wontons (V)
- Fill | Ice Cream & Malasadas from Hawaii – Concord grape sorbet (V)
Meat eaters found their way through the weekend with plenty of options ranging from beef inspired sliders, tacos, tuna nachos, ceviche and poke.
Memories of summer were on display with drinks pouring from every corner of the intimate gathering. Bacardi transported guests with their tropical Havana-inspired vibes serving fresh coconuts filled with its signature coconut rum.
Maker’s Mark customized drinks combining whiskey with various palate pleasing concoctions. Complimentary hand poured whiskey candles were also available for the taking. Another noteworthy drink, or two, worth the calories were Rums of Puerto Rico’s mojito and margaritas which topped with the warm breeze and live band, made one feel as if they were somewhere in the Caribbean.
Seeing how this was the first OC event but with (hopefully) more to come, the vegan and vegetarian options were extremely slim but mighty. When looking at the bigger picture, The Taste Costa Mesa was worth the drive (including traffic) and delivered on a fun night of celebrating all things food and drinks with friends and loved ones.
Is it too soon to anticipate what next year’s event will be like? No, we didn’t think so either.
For more information about to do, see and eat in Costa Mesa, visit Travel Costa Mesa.