OC Weekly Intern Lunch At Native Foods!

Javier and Mimi.jpg
Just another day being an OC Weekly Intern...
Interns at the OC Weekly offices work hard. Updating calendar listings and the restaurant database begets quite the voracious appetite, and this past Thursday, fellow intern Mimi Tran and I decided to have lunch at Native Foods!
Mimi Tran: Intern at OC Weekly. Hi, Mi!

Mimi Tran goes to Cal State Fullerton and lends her nifty wordsmith skills to Heard Mentality, the OC Weekly Music Blog. She's cool; we share a cubicle.

For our first hour out in the town, we decided on Native Foods. I was in a must-detox phase, she doesn't eat red meat much, and it's close to Weekly world headquarters. I'd never been, given I'm from Los Angeles and all. It all worked out relatively great.

We were excited to get out of the office eat there. She had hyped up the cashew cheese on the chili fries, and I have been meaning to try the UCLA location for years already. It also happened to be St. Patrick's Day, so beer was half-off. It's the middle of the day? You have to return back to work for another hour followed by a two-hour commute back to an evening class, too? Don't worry, the spirit of St. Paddy's Day overcomes all!  (And I'm sure el jefe Arellano wouldn't mind back at the shop anyways, he he).

I had a beer, but it was organic and brewed with acai berries, so my health and booze concerns canceled each other out. It came from Eel River Brewery in Northern California and was actually pretty tasty. A wheat beer, it was already naturally fruity--and with the faint, tart acai berry flavor? It could've passed as a Hansen's soda or something. Anyhoo, back to the food!

We shared an order of the chili-cheese fries and the meatball pizza. And . . . it was okay. It sucks to be misled in life, and with food, it sucks even more. The "pizza" ended up being a freakin' focaccia topped with a thin layer of marinara, a drizzle of pesto and a seitan-based meatball on each slice. Everything was cool except for one thing: It didn't have cheese! I know it's a vegan place and all, but couldn't they have put on some fake cheese? At least the bread was nice and chewy, I guess.
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The chili-cheese fries, meanwhile, were the most uncluttered I have ever had, with only the scantest amount of chili carefully nestled atop a generous heap of seasoned fries. I appreciate the large portion, but they were a little on the underdone side. Best part was definitely the house-made scoop of whipped cashew cheese, but I think its because it reminded me of hummus.

On the bright side, all this food came to less than $20, with a beer and a specialty lemonade. And I am down to return to try some of the other stuff . . . but there are other places to try. Stay tuned to find out where the OC Weekly intern lunch lands next time!

Location Info

Native Foods

2937 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA

Category: Restaurant

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