Friday, February 4, 2011

On the Road: Native Foods, Costa Mesa, CA

If you'll remember from the last post, over the holidays I was in Southern California, and because I did not want to cook, I ordered holiday to-go dinners from two vegetarian/vegan restaurants, Avanti Cafe and Native Foods. The last post was about Avanti and this post will be about Native Foods' holiday dinner.

Native Foods and I are old friends. Whether or not it is accurate, I remember them as the first vegan restaurant I have ever been to, and I usually manage a visit there every time I am visiting my grandparents. Here is a look at my Christmas lunch plate.

clockwise from top center: Wheatberry Waldorf Salad, Cranberries (homemade), My Grandmother's Fruit Salad (homemade), The Native Wellington with Mushroom Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, Coconut Mashed Yams.

The Holiday Menu:

~The Native Wellington
~Mushroom Gravy
~Coconut Mashed Yams
~Fresh Green Bean Casserole
~Wheatberry Waldorf Salad
~Gingerbread Cheesecake

As with Avanti, the restaurant was closed on Christmas Day, and I picked up the meal on Christmas Eve morning. Most everything was premade and just needed reheating. With this meal, I had the time to heat the yams, gravy, and casserole on the stove top before making my way to my cousin's house. I also cooked the Wellington in the hotel suite's oven (it comes frozen). As a vegan, I highly recommend booking suites with kitchenettes. You get an oven, a stovetop, and a giant refrigerator. This kitchenette saved my life. There is no way I could have ordered these meals and stored and prepared them, while staying at my grandmothers house (overcrowded) or in a regular hotel room. My work was minimal, but the use of that kitchen was integral.

Anyway, some of my omnivore family dipped into the Wheatberry Waldrof and the Wellington because they looked so good and they got rave reviews. I really liked them both as well. The Wheatberry Waldorf was especially tasty. Everyone kept asking what the wheatberries were. So good. I really liked the Green Bean Casserole too. Green beans are my favorite vegetable (even if they are really unripe fruit). The yams were fine; I've never been a huge fan of yams or sweet potatoes, I much prefer regular potatoes.

My cousin made the cranberries on my plate, and my grandmother made her mom's fruit salad. I adore that fruit salad. I love having it for breakfast the next day, it's really the best.

Gingerbread Cheesecake

Ok, lastly, the dessert from Native was the Gingerbread Cheesecake as seen above. I am not a huge fan of gingerbread, though it is starting to grow on me more and more. This was decent, and I think gingerbread fans would have really liked it.

Overall, the meal was great. Even better, everything was so easy to prepare, which was basically just reheating things and popping the Wellington in the oven to cook for a bit. I would do this meal again in a heartbeat. It was reasonably priced and the food was tasty... I mean, it looked so good other people wanted some and they really liked it. That really says a lot when omnivores are eating their favorite non-vegan holiday foods, and might not have room for more than that, and yet they make room for the vegan food.

Native Foods (Costa Mesa)
Ranking: ****1/2

***** awesome! Highly recommended.
**** hey, this is pretty dang good.
*** not bad at all.
** eh.
* bad. Keep looking for alternatives.


Native Foods (Costa Mesa)
2937 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Monday-Sunday 11AM-10PM

1 comment:

Rikki Cupcake said...

yummmmm gingerbread cheesecake. i still haven't been to Native Foods. I think a road trip is in order!