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“The Taste”

We attended as a guest of the venue

Everyone always thinks LA has the best restaurants, but watch out City of Angels, Orange County is coming in hot! The Taste is an annual food festival honoring the unique cuisines of the world with a Southern California twist. Los Angeles Times hosts this delicious event each year, but this year marked a little something extra special…hosting it in OC’s, Costa Mesa.

Costa Mesa has long time been the hub of the hottest and newest restaurant concepts with a unique flavor spin in all of Orange County. It’s draw is this city has always held a diverse cultural feel which organically brings in a plethora of plated options. The Taste truly highlighted these flavors both in an eatery way, but also in a libations way – I mean who doesn’t love a great cocktail with their entree!

For one weekend only, award winning chefs came together to showcase their specialities all in hopes of raising awareness not only for their hard earned businesses and talent, but for the Second Harvest Food Bank as they were the event’s charity beneficiary. A portion of all ticket sales went to bringing nourishment and hope to over 300,000 hungry people throughout OC.

The Met, an open aired courtyard surrounded by architecturally beautiful buildings provided the backdrop for all the yummy eats. They had various sections set-up allowing you to walk thru each tasty restaurant or bar in a relaxed feel. You were thrown in the history and cuisine that each chef offered and fully immersed with your fellow OC community. Not only did you taste the flavors of the food and drinks, but you really understood the backgrounds of them because of being up close & personal with each chef. You could hear in Chef Linda Johnson’s voice on why she chose certain flours at Filomena’s Italian Kitchen, to work with her famous homemade pastas or learn from a mixologists mind on how Maker’s Mark really does capture the essence of BBQ’s richness.

Learning of new and upcoming restaurants in our OC community was a forefront as well. Descanso, a modern Taqueria, will be opening this fall off Adam’s in Costa Mesa and hands down their Chicken Mole taco with a homemade blackbean tortilla was one of the best tacos I’ve ever tasted. As I picked up what seemed like a normal tasty taco, I walked away to the next restaurant, I took a bite and walked right back to the chef and my jaw dropped. I could not walk away without shaking his hand and asking for his opening date; no doubt I will be first in line.

Fill, a new Hawaiian Bakery & Ice Creamery that opened off Newport Blvd just this summer, was featuring their unique take on a classic favorite Peanut Butter & Jelly. Their freshly made jelly ice cream was stunning next to their Peanut Butter Donut Balls. The combination of fresh fruits chilled & pureed with a warm peanut infused donut was beyond. Yours truly lives not too far away from their location, so you know where to find me.

Pie-Hole unveiled their newest creation, Pie Bites! A simple idea in retrospect, but hasn’t really been done, They captured the beauty of their incredible pies into a small bite sized variation that cures that craving for something sweet without overindulging…but let’s be serious we’d eat the whole pie too because they’re just that good!

Numerous liquor, wine & beer companies showcased their brands and the delicious flavors they offered. Among the strong forever classics such as Stella Artois and Aperol Spritz, there were fresh brands like Hochstadter’s Rock & Rye Whiskey, winner of best packaging of the night by far in my book and Meiomi Wine, with the most crisp & refreshing Rose I’ve ever had the pleasure of sipping.

Meandering thru the vignettes of flavors was mesmerizing. Each little detail with decor, lighting, the delicious smells, the kind voices of famous chefs all brought that special feel of being in OC – greatness in a small pocket as I like to call it. The Taste truly honored what’s special about Costa Mesa and it’s people.

Nicole Sebring is a young professional who loves to travel, stay fit and live life to its fullest. She’s a true California beach girl, with a passion for the ocean and enjoys surfing, paddle boarding & diving. As a Sr. Visual Merchandising Manager for the action sports retailer, Tilly’s, she’s on the pulse of fashion, music and pop culture. Nicole has a close relationship with her mom, Darice Sebring, who also blogs for OCMomBlog.com.
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