There was a time when driving down 17th meant heading to Avanti or stocking up at Hi-Time. Nowadays, the options are growing like weeds. Costa Mesa is our favorite city to dine in, thanks to a trio of late-night Asian eateries at Bristol/Baker, South Coast Plaza and Mitsuwa Marketplace (among others). Yet the end of the 55 freeway signified heading to the surf more than anything else. Here's a loose timeline of what's gone down.
Over the summer, Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Cafe launched in the same plaza as Chronic Tacos and The Counter burger. It's at the corner of 17th and Irvine Blvd, but we still count it. With fancy pastries and Portola coffee available, it was strip mall chic. Shuji photographed excellent food porn in his write-up. 1126 Irvine Ave, www.pandorbakery.com.
Our own Dave Lieberman was found on the line at Picnics,
a former deli best known for hosting Sunday night community dinners.
Led by Anais Tangie and rotating guest chefs, diners were always in for a
treat. However, if you haven't been– tough. It ended last month, as
Anais upped her responsibilities over at SoCo. If you want to torture
yourself, head over to Gustavo's recap of their last supper. 435 E 17th St.
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop did open in the springtime, but we didn't hear much about it until our friends started checking in on their smartphones. Their first Orange County venture, they are not only open later than their counterparts, but a market and wine bar was added. In-house chef Jonathan Rollo admits to making this his passion project, admitting, "…it means my own family doesn't have to drive to LA to satisfy their Greenleaf cravings!" 234 E 17th St, www.greeleafchopshop.com.
Just in time for the holidays, Wild Goose Tavern joined in at The Little Knight's former spot (which reincarnated at the old Triangle Square). The neighborhood gastropub, their hunting theme and sausage menu is already getting rave reviews from Edwin. Check out his review this week. 436 E 17th St, www.goosebar.com.
In addition to Greenleaf migrating south, Pitfire Artisan Pizza blew up in a good way one month ago down the street. Featuring more than just pizza, we coveted their seasonal veggie dish pictured, with squash, kale, Brussels sprouts and farro salad. Customers are required to line up and order at the counter, so don't sit and wait for a server. 353 E 17th St, www.pitfirepizza.com.
Last, but not least (for now), Sidecar Doughnuts launches later this month. Our friend tipped us off to their test kitchen going on for a few months, and we finally caved in and motored there one Saturday morning. Not your standard old-fashioned variety, we munched on malasadas and breakfast sandwiches, washing it down with Stumptown Coffee. Sidecar Doughnuts will be located at 270 E 17th St, www.sidecardoughnuts.com.