Scout this: Meet S. and MESA!

In the midst of an economic crisis, I have taken it upon myself to pick up and rescue our economy one martini at a time. Someone has to continue to enjoy the nightlife, good food and tantalizing drinks. That would be me. Hello, everyone and let me introduce myself as your S(cout) on the Town.

Each week, I will search Southern California for venues where you can kick up your feet after a long hard day at work or if you are unemployed like many of us, then you can simply sit around and sip on your cocktail as your friends complain about the daily grind of employment.

This is my very first feature for Elevating Brilliance and I would like to introduce to you one of my favorite establishments, MESA located at 725 Baker St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

Tucked away in the CAMP with no signage, MESA is a hidden little gem in Costa Mesa’s nightlife. When you first walk into MESA, your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and you take note of the lounge located to your left. With greenery covered walls, fireplaces to keep you warm and its infamous retractable roof, MESA is an experience in itself. The atmosphere and crowd screams lounge as people sit, stand, and sip on their cocktails while engaged in conversations with friends or simply mingling to make new ones.

One of the underlying themes that I have noted from MESA is diversity, not only in the crowd which frequents it for cocktails (I recommend the Lychee martini) and ambience but its menu. Any food lover will find MESA a dream come true and I had the pleasure of sampling numerous plates to report to you, here it goes:

Hello to Hamachi Sashimi on Crispy Rice Cakes! It was a perfect way to begin our meal as I chewed into the tangy flavored yellow tail atop the rice cake.

Next, I feasted on a family of Cast Iron Skillet Mussels. The mussels having traveled all the way from Prince Edward Island to their final resting place, my stomach, paired with a white Paco and Lola Albarino, I became a mussel maniac. Using the shell as a spoon to dip into the melted butter, I savored each bite as the combination of butter, mussel and sea salt created a party in my mouth!

Come to me comfort food! Peter, the manager brought over our Flash Fried Calamari complete with three dipping sauces paired with Boddington’s Pub Ale. I am not usually the beer drinker but the combination of Boddingtons and calamari had me wanting to jump on the table singing and waving my beer mug in the air. Without a beer mug in my hand, I refrained since we don’t do those things at MESA. Perhaps I need to lay off of the comfort food.

To cleanse my palate, an Heirloom Apple Salad was brought out. The combination of apples, aged Gouda, Marcona Almonds and the Cider Vinaigrette made with Aliso Viejo Honey made me want to skip the remainder of the meal and order another. Paired with a Pinot Gris, the dish was simply refreshing.

In honor of my occasional 5 year old eating habits, my main course came out. A Porcini Pizza cooked in a brick firewood oven and paired with a red Austrian wine. Okay, so perhaps the wine, Marscapone cheese and Porcini mushrooms took the edge off and it wasn’t a childish meal but every bite of the thin crispy pizza was delicious!

No feast is ever complete without dessert and while the name escapes me. Just think soft, round donut like cinnamon balls with a whipped espresso dip paired with a shot of Patron XO Café. The easiest way I found to eat this dessert is to bite the donut ball, spoon on some espresso dip and finish with a sip of Patron…so heavenly.

The seasonal menu changes so you never know what MESA will offer to tantalize your taste buds. Ask for suggested pairings to enhance your dining experience at MESA as your waitress will know what to offer.

From a dinner for two, small intimate group gatherings and large parties, MESA is a wonderful choice for anyone looking for a new and unique venue.

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 6pm to 2am
Full menu available Tuesday-Thursdsay from 6-10pm, Late night food menu available from 10:15pm-midnight
Full menu available Friday & Saturday from 6-11pm, Late night food menu available from 11:15pm-1am

Call 714.557.6700 for reservations.

Thank you to Peter and Stella, the amazing management at MESA who challenged my palate to try new dishes and for making my dining experience a truly wonderful night. A shout out to Erica, the witty, funny and sarcastic waitress who was awesome!

Until next week.

S(cout) on the Town