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Sunday, June 24, 2018

NEW Restaurant Review: Playa Mesa in Costa Mesa

Playa Mesa Mexican Kitchen is set to open 
in July 2018 in Costa Mesa!

Orange County residents will soon have a new destination to enjoy fresh Mexican cuisine with the opening of Playa Mesa. Located along trending 17th Street in eastside Costa Mesa, the Mexican restaurant is set to open in July offering lunch and dinner daily and weekend brunch.

The concept is another venture by restaurateurs Mario Marovic and Andrew Gabriel who have produced a number of other venues throughout Orange County, including Costa Mesa’s The Country Club and Wild Goose Tavern, Dory Deli in Newport Beach and award-winning Matador Cantina & Cocina in Fullerton, among others.  I was recently invited to visit the new venue and sample the restaurant's food and drink offerings, and of course jumped at the chance to check out this new soon-to-be eastside hotspot! 

Upon first impression, you can't help but be struck by the lovely open space with large open windows allowing in the nearby coastal breeze.  Highlighted white-washed brick walls are set-off by pops of color throughout evoking a relaxing ocean feel and natural wood finishes. 

A centrally located bar surrounded by comfortable turquoise seats is manned by expert mixologist, Jane Williams, who came up with a fabulous and very creative bar program featuring some of the best tequilas and mezcals from Mexico. 

The bar menu is filled with flavorful cocktails crafted with agave spirits, Spanish and South American wines, as well as draft and bottled Mexican and craft beer.

For those seeking more of an outdoor experiences, there is a gorgeous patio which transitions seamlessly via large bi-folding doors and offers relaxed comfy couch seating along with two large fire pits perfect for those chilly coastal evenings.  I have no doubt this is gonna quickly become the local Happy Hour hot spot for those summer nights! 

The theme behind Playa Mesa is a place where guests can relax and unwind while enjoying a chef-driven scratch menu inspired by the traditional and exquisite flavors of Mexico. The Kitchen is run by the well known Chef Rolando Rubalcava and features coastal Mexican dishes with non-GMO, organic and farm-to-table ingredients. Expect to see items such as Hamachi crudo, octopus, halibut ceviche, house-made moles and innovative takes on Mexican street food. 

I was able to sample quite a few of the dishes and as my friend put it "There were no 'misses' on this menu!" The Chef told us they did extensive tastings to ensure only the best dishes made it to the final menu, and it's quite evident in how flavorful and creative the dishes are at Playa Mesa. If you love Mexican food you're definitely in for a treat here folks! 

Playa Mesa is scheduled to open in early July 2018.

Lunch will be served from 11am Monday through Friday, dinner from 5pm-10pm daily, and brunch from 10am-3pm Saturday and SundayHappy Hour will be served from 2pm-6pm Monday through Friday. The bar will be open until 11pm daily.

Playa Mesa is located at 428 E. 17th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. For more information, call 949.287.5292 or visit

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