Wine Down at These New O.C. Lunch Hot Spots

Unwind with authentically prepared dishes inspired by the coastal and southern regions of Mexico at Costa Mesa’s Playa Mesa. Chef Rolando Rubalcava’s innovative take on Mexican street food shines in a predominately gluten-free menu built from non-GMO, organic and farm-to-table ingredients. Reminiscent of Baja flavors, the Tacos Dorados de Papa are flavored with fresh tomato salsa and cotija cheese, while the Aguachile offers a lighter take from the ocean with raw scallops, lime, serrano and avocado, finished with an olive oil drizzle. Albariño wine adds a robust finish to any dish that is sure to take patrons south of the border. 

Gabbi Patrick melds together exotic spices, ripe produce, and the smoky profiles of the Yucatan Peninsula into her chef-driven menu at CHAAK in Tustin. Diners can expect Ejotes, a vibrant union of green beans, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, pecorino and citrus vinaigrette; and Huaraches, corn flatbreads piled with ingredients like chorizo, mushroom and Oaxaca cheese. Each dish is a testament to the establishment’s deep roots in the Mayan culture. Completed by a pairing of 2017 Bodegas Henri Lurton Valle de Guadalupe Sauvignon Blanc, this Southeastern Mexican meal incorporates the steadfast spirit of tradition with modern Orange County energy. 

TERRACE by Mix Mix fuses Italian, French and modern Filipino cuisines, yielding an eclectic menu curated for South Coast Plaza’s global audience. Lunchtime diners are graced by a three-course prix-fixe meal featuring preparations of house-made pasta and small plates such as the market fish with smoked fingerlings and roasted chicken breast with Israeli couscous paella. Each of these items pairs harmoniously with your choice of wine from a value-driven international list of more than 20 vinos by the glass. Keeping true to its name, TERRACE also boasts a peaceful outdoor dining area, prompting a holistic culinary experience bursting with worldly air and influences. 

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