June 18, 2007

Native Foods [Costa Mesa]

This bright, airy restaurant, with windows galore, is situated at The Camp and dishes up menu choices with health in mind. Brochures and stickers denouncing animal cruelty demonstrates that this restaurant isn't only concerned with the well-being of its customers. As a PETA-supporting restaurant, it prides itself on being 100% organic and vegan.

For lunch, I shared the Farrah's Fattoush salad and Bongo Congo hot bowl with Pop Tart. Both dishes were served in deep medium-sized bowls and the portions were filling. The Farrah's Fattoush has a Middle Eastern theme, featuring chopped greens, Kalamata olives, and a lemon oil dressing. The menu stated that there would be crusty bread in the salad but when we got it, the dressing had seeped into the bread and made it soggy. I was very pleased with the firm texture of the tofu feta. Although, I'm not sure if they were trying to emulate the flavor of cheese because it wasn't even noticeable.

The hot bowls are advertised as a bowl of brown rice with steamed vegetables. The Bongo Congo variation had a large half of a banana yam and two spears of tofu chicken. I'll have to admit that chicken is one of those meats that I like in a vegetarian version. I'm not sure if it was the curry or the steamed vegetables that contributed to all the liquids but the rice was slightly soggy, though not in the same way as congee (rice porridge w/similar consistency of oatmeal). The rice had a subtle, light curry flavor to it that reminded me of Japanese curry rice.

Portions are ample, but if you decide that you want more, the deli case has a variety of tofu, seitan, and sweets to take home. The restaurant boasts three other locations where you can get you fill of feel-good vegetarian and vegan foods.

Native Foods
2937 Bristol St.
Cosa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 751-2151

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