Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jun 13, 2013 09:52 PM

Costa Mesa - Near the Hilton

I will be going to a wedding @ the Costa Mesa Hilton, and am not very familiar with that area - I was wondering what is good nearby for a late night cocktail (tiki or craft cocktail preferred) but if not a fun beer list would be acceptable or some late night dinner service perhaps

Separate thought: for breakfast is there anything special the around the area the following morning

the next day we are headed into LA for some Ramen and Vietnamese so those are handled already, not sure how early the ramen places open on Sunday - perhaps it would be better to just do breakfast in LA, open to ideas - thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There is actually a great ramen place right across the street from your hotel, Santouka ramen in Mitsua Marketplace. It is literally right across the street. Get the special pork and the egg, you won't regret it. If the food is terrible at the wedding, just sneak out across the street for some wonderful ramen. :P

    Charlie Palmers in South Coast Plaza mall has really nice cocktails. That could be an option.

    Also Mastros is really close as well.

    15 Replies
    1. re: A5 KOBE

      Oh that is awesome to know ramen is across the street - that was one of the ramen places that was recommended to me to check out

      which one is the special pork, they all look the same to me?

      Charlie Palmer's - barwise, never trust a bar that has bacardi as their rum :) They have a few decent looking gin drinks

      Memphis Cafe - they seem to have some old fashion cocktails, I didnt see a complete cocktail list but looks promising - Makers Mark 46 Brown Derby is always good in my book

      Mesa has Blanche de Bruxelles on draft, that is one of Mrs. D's fav's - seems like they have a nice draft list and sangria

      Habana - I did not see a drink menu, it does not appear they have a website either, am I missing something here?

      Breakfast will just depend on what time we are up, ty for the option nearby

      1. re: Dapuma

        You are correct about Habana not having a website. The drinks are not anything too noteworthy. There is a decent atmosphere, sangria and typical bar drinks with a larger than normal rum selection.

        Pizzeria Ortica near the South Coast Plaza also has a strong cocktail program worth checking out:

        1. re: Searching4Dunny

          +1 for Pizzeria Ortica for cocktails...and if the wedding rubber chicken is awful, PO has great pizza.

          1. re: josephnl

            +2 Ortica for cocktails, meatballs, pizza, and fresh pasta (bolognese and lamb ragu).

            1. re: Porthos

              also the fennel salad is really good at PO too

              1. re: Porthos

                Should also comment on the really nice management of this restaurant. Had dinner there last evening and among other things we ordered was the Banderas pizza (3 cheese, olives, oregano). We had plenty of delicious food, but somehow just didn't like the flavors on this pizza. There was nothing wrong with it, but we weren't crazy about it and were obviously not eating it. A manager walked by and noticed this. We made clear to her that there was nothing wrong with it, but it just wasn't our favorite. Without asking for her to do anything, she whisked it away, and returned 5 minutes later with a piping hot margherita pizza (which she knew we liked from a previous visit). Of course, we weren't charged for the second pizza. Definitely service above and beyond.

                1. re: josephnl

                  The Margherita is my favorite. Sometimes I'll add spicy salumi to it depending on mood. The alla Norma is also very good.

                  During lunch, the mortadella sandwich is excellent. Great bread, cold cuts, slaw. Like the godmother at Bay Cities but more refined and every bit as tasty.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I also enjoy the margherita pizza. Past few times I've been to PO there has been a pizza on the menu consisting of the margherita topped with spicy sopressata and funghi - essentially a top form peperoni and mushroom pie. The server last time mentioned that this is the pizza David Meyers typically eats when he's in the house.

            2. re: Searching4Dunny

              I really like the Mojitos at Habana.

              1. re: JAB

                That's what I typically order there as well - with aged rum.

                1. re: Searching4Dunny

                  Yes, I always opt for the aged rum as well. My favorite entree is the puerco primo.

                  1. re: JAB

                    I make my Mojito's with Rhum Barbancourt 8 year

            3. re: Dapuma

              I was actually referring to the special pork instead of chashu. It comes on a plate instead of inside the broth.

              Looks like this:

              1. re: A5 KOBE

                +1 on the special pork. It's delicious.

                1. re: A5 KOBE

                  Ahh ok, get the special pork and the Ramen

                  Looks like a good gin cocktail list at Ortica :)

            4. Mesa, Memphis Cafe and Habana are all nearby for a late night drink.

              For a very casual breakfast spot you could check out Rooster Cafe off Randolph and Bristol (close to Memphis Cafe). I enjoy their Mexican mochas, Texas toast items and breakfast burritos.


              1. I'll add ecco to that list. Excellent pizzas, full bar. Can vouch for their pizzas, but haven't tried their cocktails. Don't know how late they open, though.

                If you're into ramen, you might also look into Ramen Zetton. Hidden in a tiny strip mall off of Baker Street a couple of blocks from the hotel.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Professor Salt

                  How is Ramen Zetton? Any recommendations? Tsukemen, shio, shoyu? Will get 2/3 and report back tomorrow.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    It's solid, and different from the other other terrific ramen joints in Costa Mesa. I've also had the chicken broth, and I liked that too.

                    To my palate, they taste like they use dried fish in the broth a little heavier than some other restaurants, so it adds a little more complexity to the soup than some of the other places.

                    In addition to the fish in the broth, they sprinkle a little powder on top of the dish, and it's a dried fish powder + whatever other fairy dust they use.

                    1. re: Professor Salt

                      Ramen Zetton is very good. May be my current favorite in OC with the slow steady decline of Yamadaya and a mediocre showing by Santouka on Thursday. Completely agree with Professor that the broth is more complex.

                      Will do a separate thread for full review.

                      Below is the Tsukemen and Pork Shio.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Yamadaya spicy ramen is tops for me in OC. The regular broth is mediocre.

                2. For breakfast, Sidecar Donuts on 17th street in Costa Mesa, but not around the corner from the Hilton is some of the best donuts we've had in the country...yes, the country. Also, some of the best coffee in OC.

                  Though their sometimes on the menu Green Eggs and Ham Donut (poached farm egg, green sauce, and Nueske/Niman Ham) is savory, there is also Pie-Not for more savory breakfast fare next store.

                  1. Pizzeria Ortica is my favorite restaurant in that area. I was there last night. Fantastic food, as usual. Recommendations from my many visits: farro and seafood salad, octopus and potato salad, arugula/apple/blue cheese salad, meatballs, and especially the PASTA is the best. Pizza is very good, but the pasta is probably the high point of the meal.

                    Both the Charlie Palmer bar and Mesa are very crowded on weekend nights. Mesa also charges a cover after a certain hour. Mesa is the better bar but it is also a loud, crowded scene. If you want a drink before 10, Mastros or Pizzeria Ortica would probably fit the bill.