For this week’s edition of Travel Tuesday we check in with photographer, blogger and co-creator/co-curator of the Heel Bruise x Stussy “Under the Radar” exhibit Nick Joseph. Born and raised in South Orange County, California, Nick runs down his current top 5 Costa Mesa/Newport Beach eateries. He tells us the two neighboring towns are essentially where all the OC “cool guys” reside…and the food is amazing.
1. Greenleaf in Costa Mesa
This place is awesome. Great healthy food options that are extremely tasty. Plus, since there’s a neighboring yoga studio, there is constantly pretty ladies eating inside there. Not even exaggerating, the guy-to-girl ratio is like 20 to 1 in there. They offer great sandwiches, build-your-own salads, and healthy juices; and I sometimes daydream about their white bean and turkey bacon soup because it’s just that good.
2. TK Burgers in Costa Mesa
This is a go-to spot for burgers. Really simple charbroiled hamburgers served on a white paper plate picnic style. Their fries always seem to be crisped perfectly and their onion rings are fantastic. They’re across the street from an Umami Burger, and an In-N-Out is close by, so there’s stiff burger competition but TK still holds its own.
3. Bear Flag in Newport Beach
This is one of the top spots for fish. Their fish burrito rules the school. Service is wack a lot of times and they often run out of their super delicious guacamole, but it’s still a great place to eat at. Other nice treats from there include the BBQ’d oysters, seaweed salad, and clam chowder.
4. Habana in Costa Mesa
I’ve been eating there for years. It’s a Cuban spot that makes a tasty Ropa Vieja, which is a staple dish. The halibut prepared in a tamale husk is great, too. It’s at The Lab next to BLENDS, so it’s a nice little place to eat at after sneaker shopping. It’s also lit nicely and looks dope, so it’s a good date spot, too.
5. Taco Asylum
This spot is located at The Camp off of Bristol St. It’s a taco spot, which there are thousands of in South Orange County, but with a twist. They make tacos that are more exotic like roasted duck, octopus, and wild mushrooms, but then more traditional ones with steak and beef tongue. Tacos are kinda pricey at about 5 bucks a pop, but 2 will get you full thanks to nice portioning.