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fun and cheap lunch in Costa Mesa

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  • veee Apr 15, 2011 07:06 PM
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We're going to be a group of ~10 people on Saturday, looking for a place to have lunch before a play at the South Coast Repertory (655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa).

Any place that has good food, affordable entrees (<$15), with good service so we can be out in time for the play at 2pm.

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  1. Unless you're going next Saturday this is too late to help you. But...for very good Greek food at a very reasonable price, you cannot beat the Greek Island Grille which is easy walking distance to SCR ~2 blocks away. See: http://www.greekislandgrille.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: josephnl

      thanks! we're going in a few weeks, so keep the suggestions coming!

    2. You have a few options at the LAB and CAMP malls a little south of the 405 on Bristol. Old Vine will be right at your price point. Native Foods has vegan fair, Memphis is Southern comfort food and Gypsy Den is sandwiches and brunch-y items in a kitchy environment.

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      Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar
      2920 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

      Habana
      2930 Bristol St Ste A110, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

      Old Vine Cafe
      2937 Bristol St # A102, Costa Mesa, CA

      16 Replies
      1. re: ocshooter

        Add to this list for the CAMP...ECCO...terrific pizzas, salads, everything is pretty good. I think they're open for lunch, but am not sure.

        1. re: josephnl

          what about nearby Vietnamese restaurants that have more than just pho?

          1. re: veee

            I've not been but there is the newish East Borough in the Camp (same development as ECCO and Old Vine Cafe) which, despite the name, is Vietnamese. Taco Asylum, in the Camp as well, might also be worth checking out for its unusual (but tasty) tacos.

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            Taco Asylum
            2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

            1. re: New Trial

              From what I have ready, Taco Asylum might be out of the price range.

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              Taco Asylum
              2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

              1. re: ocshooter

                If Taco Asylum is too expensive, ECCO will be too. Strongly recommend Greek Island Grille. Very good food at very reasonable prices. Check out their website.

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                Taco Asylum
                2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                1. re: josephnl

                  You and one other poster here raves about Greek Island Grille, but in my opinion, the food is just alright and the service is HORRIBLE unless you're one of the "favored few".

                  1. re: janetms383

                    I admittedly haven't been to GIG in probably 2 years. It's food was very good then, and service was decent. It may well have slipped.

                    1. re: josephnl

                      I don't think I am one of the favored few, but I enjoyed myself there.

                2. re: ocshooter

                  Not really. OP is looking for under $15 and the tacos at Taco Asylum run $5 -$6 each and are larger than normal. They also offer a "flight" of 8 (smaller 3" tacos) for $18. Valhalla Table (gourmet sausages), also in the Camp, is another possibility I had neglected to mention.

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                  Taco Asylum
                  2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

              2. re: veee

                For Vietnamese, go to Saigon - in the same spot as Greek Island Grille (much nicer service IMHO) and walkable to the theatre.

                1. re: janetms383

                  thanks! i think we'll go to Saigon!

            2. re: ocshooter

              Can I ask a somewhat related question about Old Vine Cafe? I wanted to go this Saturday for a pre-mother's mother's day. The latest seating they ever have is 8:30. What place can't seat you after 8:30? This isn't Montana or something. Why do they do their LAST seating at 8:30? I've never heard of a place where I can't actually get into the place after 9.

              Do places really all close that early in OC? Or is it something unique about OVC that they try and do some french laundry kind of bajillion course meal so you really are going to be there for 3 hours? I mean, I want a really nice meal, but I'm not going there for a 3-star michelin, 3-hour experience, right? Or is my context for the place off?

              1. re: adamclyde

                Old Vine Cafe closes at 10 (or 9?), and the food comes out at a slower pace than some other restaurants (they have prix fixes too). It's more of a chilling out kind of place, and the clientele tend to linger for a loooong time.

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                Old Vine Cafe
                2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                1. re: adamclyde

                  For diner service, you can order a la carte essentially to create your own tasting menu or choose one the set tasting menus which I believe is why they choose 2 seating's on Friday & Saturday at 5:30 & 8:30. I also believe that it's as much to protect the diner's experience as it is to help the kitchen. My experience is a relaxed casual environment with very good food and pairings at a very good price.

                  1. re: JAB

                    so... if I don't drink alcohol, is it stupid to go to OVC? or does the food hold its own?

                    1. re: adamclyde

                      While they are know for their pairings, I'd definately say that the food holds it's own and is worth going for.

              2. If you go to GIG I recommend you sit outside. Every time I eat inside the establishment I end up smelling like a grill for the rest of the day/night. This might not be desirable if you are dressed nice for the SCR. My 2 cents.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Searching4Dunny

                  can't seem to find the right Saigon? what's the address or cross-street?