We are in California for a few weeks, and went out on a date night to Seabirds in Costa Mesa, CA. It’s located in the anti-mall, the Lab, and is about two years old. I remember coming to this area when I was going to college at UC Irvine years ago, which is not far from there, and pretending to shop in those areas. I really didn’t like the ritzy scene of South Coast Plaza then, when I was a poor college student, and now, when I’m still not into that stuff; I’d rather spend money on good food. But Seabirds was an awesome experience, and after we ate dinner, we drove to my old campus at UC Irvine and walked around.
I was telling my hubs of the memories I had with my friends there, walking along Ring Road, and it was weird because I hadn’t stepped foot on campus since I graduated 11 years ago. I may have been avoiding it. I’ve felt bad this whole time because I ended up going to Cal State Long Beach after UC Irvine to pursue nutrition and dietetics. I feel like I wasted time in being lost and figuring out what I wanted to do in life. If I went to CSULB in the first place, maybe I would have been done with my schooling earlier? But would I have discovered nutrition if it was right in front of my face?
This date night helped me get a perspective on things. Going to school at UC Irvine gave me lifetime experiences and such beautiful friends that remain in my life today. They’ve been there with me, through my lowest lows and even when we live far across the country. And it’s those things – rather than your specific job or degree, that you’ll take with you forever. It’s the relationships you have and the good things you do. When we were going to church in Texas, our pastor once said that you can’t take your “stuff” to heaven, so don’t place so much importance on material things (that’s probably why I still don’t care for shopping). Maybe I wouldn’t have the stick-by-your-side-when-the-you-know-what-hits-the-fan friends and learn-about-life lessons at a commuter school. And maybe I wouldn’t even get the wonderful experiences with the people I met at CSULB. I just felt grateful for where life took me. Hey, what a wonderful date night that was!
Anyways, back to this review. I found that Seabirds Kitchen had 370 reviews on Yelp, and it also had 4 1/2 stars! P has always told me to filter places with the most reviews on my Yelp searches, so this was obviously a place we had to go to. We were definitely blown away by the food. This was vegan food done right, not just heaping piles of kale and beans, but seriously creative dishes. And a great drinks list! Date night was off to a good start with my Cha Cha Kombucha and P’s beer – I don’t remember what it was, but it was one of the darker ales (nut brown ale?) and really easy to drink. My kombucha was awesome! It was the current brew; they change it often. I would totally get it again.
We wanted to sit outside, because we were loving the beautiful California weather, but all the tables were taken. The people sitting at the table we were eyeing were just about ready to leave and told us to sit while they waited for their check. We ended up chatting with them for a little while – they were so nice! They said they were there for three days in a row, and made some great recommendations. So glad we talked to them!
We ended up getting a few things. The grilled cheese crisp with a potato chip crust and Gruyere cashew “cheese” was the BEST grilled cheese that I’ve had that was not from a cow. I am really wary of non-dairy cheese, but this was awesome. I even loaded up my bites with the coconut bacon, which we also ordered on the side. AH-MA-ZING.
These meatball sliders were recommended to us by our new friends at the table. As if they weren’t flavorful enough (and the texture of these sliders were spot-on), a cilantro chutney perfectly complemented the sliders.
Next up: purple potato taquitos! Talk about hits of flavor. You’d think potatoes would be bland, but no sirree. I loved the vegan cream drizzled on top.
We were really hoping to order dessert (everything looked so good), but we were stuffed to the brim. It got to the point where we asked for a dessert menu anyways, in hopes of our stomachs suddenly getting hungry again (they didn’t). Oh well, maybe we can come back again? 🙂
Seabirds Kitchen: 2930 Bristol St, Irvine, CA 92606