Friday, November 6, 2009

Peace, Love and Cardamon Cupcakes: Native Foods, Costa Mesa

"She looked weird naked," my mom said, referencing the nude Charlize Theron scene from the movie Burning Plain we'd just seen, as we hopped in my car after the movie.

"But mom, that's what tall people look like naked!," I tell her, while my dad nods his head. My mom is 5'11 after all.

I'll admit, I've been spending a lot of Saturday nights with my Significant (m)Other and father. Not because I am a total loser, but because they have spiffy date ideas like shopping at Costco then catching an obscure indie flick. How can I say no to that? I leave my uber cool LA neighborhood, kindly decline drinks at a cool new wine bar in WeHo stammering some excuse like, uh, err... I have to take my grandpa shopping at Stater Bros before the $0.39/lb bananas go off sale, then get in my car and head to the OC.

On this particular night after seeing Burning Plain, it was nearly 10 pm and we needed something yummy for dinner and post movie discussions. We headed to Old Vine Cafe per twitter rec's from my friend Diana . No dice. Alas, this is the OC and places close at 9:30 PM on Saturday nights. I turned and saw the lights of Native Foods and heard the inner vegetarian singing kumbaya.

"Let's go to Native Foods," I direct my parental units.

"Do they have chicken? I need meat," harks my 60+ dad who still coughs down protein powder and ranks top 10 in Master's Track and Field in the US.

"Er...why yes, of course they have chicken!" As I point to the menu hoping he doesn't figure out their "Native" chicken is really tempeh chicken, trying my best to coerse my father into eating here.


My dad orders the Soul bowl with "southern fried" native chicken, a mess of red beans, spiced rice and organic veggies topped with corn bread. My mom surrenders her ordering to me so I select the Portobello and Sausage burger with grilled portobellos, seitan (no, not the devil) sausage, carmelized onions, sweet roasted garlic and pumpkin seed pesto and mayo. It was my favorite that night- and luckily my mom gave me half of hers. My mouth still waters thinking about the juicy portobello, savory seitan and creamy pesto combination. I ordered the respectable Rockin Morroco bowl for myself: grilled native chicken, veggies, quinoa, currants and almonds.

But then.

I glance over to the dessert window case and the gal at the register chimes in like clock work.

"We have three types of cupcakes: Cardamon with rose petals, chocolate and vanilla." 

Wha, wait? How can you name off such an exotic cupcake varietal followed by the two most boring flavors on planet earth? The whole time during dinner I couldn't stop thinking about the cardamom cupcakes. Chef Tanya, herself comes to our table and mentions them. I just couldn't take it any longer. I ditched the rest of my dinner and went right in for that potpurri cupcake. The first bite was enchanting. It was like a sweat and creamy perfume that kept teasing me for a little more. Beckoning me to come a little closer each time. The Significant m(other) had the chocolate cupcake, made with fair-trade cocoa mind you, which was a little too sweet for comfort.

Cardamon rose = my #1 lova.

Fair-trade cocoa cupcake.

Big poppa's Soul Bowl. Shhhh don't tell him it's really not chicken. He still doesn't know!

A side of lovely kale and peanut thai dipping sauce.

Rockin Morrocan Bowl. 

Portobello Porno alert! XXX-treme close up. 

2937 Bristol St # E100
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 751-2151


yutjangsah said...

Your folks do have awesome date ideas. There's no topping Costco, movie and dinner. i may have to join you guys next time. hehe. The cupcake looks awesome.

fam. Constantinides said...

Dear Anna, your photo's make us hungry for exclusive food. After reading your blog we take the cookbook for experiments. Your blog is causing us extra kilos. haha. Of course we bring you to nice places when you are here. Only Holland does not have typical Dutch food. We will mix it with Greek ingredients to make a culinary wonder. Kisses from Holland.

Banana Wonder said...

Yut! You can totally come next time so I won't be the third wheel. Maybe we can even swing by and pick up Diana!

Marion - I like your style. I would be in food blogging heaven in Holland. When can I come ;)?

Diana said...

Hear hear for dates with our significant (m)others!

But I say we ditch them sometime when we are both in the OC and have our own nosh dates! Native Foods and Marche Moderne!

Banana Wonder said...

Diana, amen sista let's do the nosh dates sans the significant (m)Others. Maybe then we can find real significant others? hehe, hello TABFs?

lydia said...

your folks are sooo cute and cool. you can see naked peeps with them?! that food looks absolutely killer.

fam. Constantinides said...

We will wait me chara!!! filia Marion

Banana Wonder said...

Lydia, Welcome to BananaWonder! Yeah, well it was my dad's idea to see a R-rated movie. What can I do?!

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

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