I recently was invited to check out Mesa, a restaurant/lounge located at The CAMP in Costa Mesa that specializes in small plates and delicious libations. I was also told I could bring a +1, so I invited the lovely Karla from Foodologie to join me, because two food bloggers are better than one. Karla also brought her fancy Canon DSLR camera with her so all the photos you see in this post are compliments of her.
Upon walking into the restaurant I immediately loved the space. There was a sleek bar, fireplaces in between booths, and the center of the restaurant had a retractable roof so you could literally dine under the stars. Mesa is by far one of the more beautifully designed restaurants I have seen in a long time.
Mesa is known for their old-fashioned cocktails, but since it was a school night, Karla and I stuck to a glass of wine each. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a good time looking at Mesa’s little black book aka their secret “off-menu” that had all sorts of interesting cocktails and delicious sounding dishes. Plus, how awesome is the design in the menu?
Since we weren’t partaking in the cocktails this time, we decided to order some of the Smoked Chorizo Meatballs as one of our small plates. The meatballs were juicy and tender and I loved the spicy sauce they came in. They also came with a side of grilled bread which I sadly did not partake in.
Of course no meal is complete in my book without sweet potato fries, so we ordered some of those which came with a blue cheese dip.
Naturally the fries did not disappoint – they were light and crispy and fried in a canola and olive oil blend. So good.
Karla and I are both goat cheese fans, so it seemed only natural to order the roasted beet salad with goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts.
I personally have a love/hate with beets (sometimes they taste like dirt), but these roasted beets were perfection. And the tartness of the goat cheese and saltiness from the hazelnuts were the perfect complement.
Next up was the free range chicken with fingerling potatoes, mushrooms and truffle oil in a light cream sauce.
The sauce seriously made this dish. It was nice and creamy (but not too rich) and the mushrooms and potatoes were cooked perfectly. You can’t go wrong with truffle oil in my opinion.
And just for fun here’s an action shot of all our food and me instagramming in the background.
One of the great things about dining with another food blogger is that they completely understand and support your need to have dessert. Especially when the dessert involves vanilla maple bacon ice cream.
Mesa’s ice cream trio might have been my favorite part of the night. This trio came with an Espresso Chocolate Stout, Organic Blackberry Sage, and Vanilla Maple Bacon ice creams. While they were all amazing, the maple bacon was hands down my favorite. I may have also recruited Karla to recreate this, only adding some peanut butter in as well.
While we were enjoying our ice cream we were presented with a digestif, aka a cocktail I probably would’ve drank more of had it not been a work night. I wish I could remember everything that was in it, but I do know bitters, fresh herbs, and chocolate was involved.
Mesa is one of those cool lounges where you could easily spend an evening, sipping a signature cocktail under the stars. Karla and I didn’t stay too late, but the lounge/bar area was definitely starting to pick up when we left.
Thanks Mesa for the invite and thanks to Karla for being an awesome dining companion! I’ll definitely be making a return trip to try a signature cocktail (or two) soon.