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COSTA MESA - dinner @ family owned restaurant - inexpensive

Looking for an inexpensive (>$14 per person) family owned restaurant for an early dinner this Sunday night in Costa Mesa.

-We are willing to drive but not far. Staying near the Performing Arts Center (going to see Phantom).
-Chicken/pork, veggies, potatoes/rice preferred; Thai, BBQ, diner-style food, French provincial... no only pasta/pizza or only fish.
-It's just my husband and I; we'd like casual, comfortable, and clean.
-A family owned Mimi's type would be great. Or something better!

I have looked high and low on the boards but everything is too casual (Taco Mesa) or too upscale (Golden Truffle). Memphis looked great but I had some reservations. I don't want to do anything too spicy and not feel well through the performance.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. how about plum's cafe, mesa, or inka grill?? they're decent and inexpensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: namstermonster

      Very difficult to get out of Mesa with a check of less than $25/person unless you want to leave hungry!

    2. If you are in the mood for fresh made pasta and Argentine dishes and for a great deal then you should consider Pasta Connection. The family lost their lease and it will be closing soon.

      1. Dick Church's = A family owned Mimi's type near the Performing Arts Center. Actually, it's more like a family owned Coco's.

        1. Italian - there is a place on Harbor Blvd in the Harbor Center called Nicks that has been a local favorite for a long time. Can be especially fun if Nick is there.

          Further down, in Huntington Beach (right next to Costa Mesa and maybe 5-10 minutes from the PAC area) is a place called Lou's Red Oak BBQ that has great tri-tip and chicken - cheap, fast and good.

          Inka Grill is a good choice.

          1. If you don't object to great vegetarian food, go to Native Foods in the Camp shopping center on Bristol, 3 minutes south of South Coast Plaza. Fun, casual, indoor/outdoor seating, and really tasty vegan food at very reasonable prices. I'm not a vegetarian, but I always enjoy this place.