Photography By: Alan De Herrera

The Minds Behind Country Club and Wild Goose are About to Unleash Another 17th St. Winner in Costa Mesa

Playa Mesa Mexican Kitchen Will Have You Dreaming of a Baja-Vacay

Written By: Jessica LaGrone
Photography By: Alan De Herrera Playa Mesa

You won’t need to visit Baja to savor tastes of coastal Mexico. Looking for a swoon-worthy, date night hotspot? Maybe in need of a post-work happy hour? Or a family affair? Playa Mesa is your new jack-of-all-trades hangout. Beginning this summer, Costa Mesa’s latest farm-to-table restaurant is bringing fresh, Pacific flavors, made with the freshest ingredients, to Orange County’s neighborhood.  

Playa Mesa is another business venture from the trendsetting minds of Mario Marovic and Andrew Gabriel—the duo behind eateries Wild Goose Tavern, The Country Club, Matador Cantina + Cocina, to name a few. Chef Rolando Rubalcava joins the Playa Mesa team with over 10 years of industry experience; his appointment to Executive Chef showcases Gabriel and Marovic’s recognition of his unparalleled talent. “Everything Roland created exceeded our expectations,” said co-owner Marovic at a recent preview event. “Everything he brings to the table is extremely authentic Mexican food.”

The diverse seating features a spacious outdoor patio with fire pits, a cozy main dining area and a breathable enclosed patio. Playa Mesa’s lavish interior is reminiscent of a nostalgic Mexican getaway. Bright blue and yellow tones capture a resort-style aesthetic in a balanced, laid-back vibe. Crisp white walls and rustic wood floors complement the Aztec accents and vivid colors. The walls are evenly adorned with succulents and geometric tiles. Woven light fixtures hang from the ceilings and create a warm glow.

Staying in true quintessential Mexican fashion, Playa Mesa is stocked with a plethora of exceptional tequila and smoky mezcal selections. Over 50 to be exact. Bartenders work closely with Chef Rubalcava to orchestrate a rich Mexican experience fit for an exotic vacay. Cocktails are served in an array of chromatic hues and garnished with decorative flowers. Some are poured in adobe-inspired clay mugs.

The extensive menu features happy hour, brunch, dinner, lunch and kid-friendly options. Entrees and appetizers are curated with non-GMO ingredients. You can dig into ceviches—you read that correctly, plural—housemade mole sauce, fresh tortillas and a multitude of innovative Mexican cuisine dishes.

Sitting on the east side of Costa Mesa, Playa Mesa is an exciting addition to the blossoming 17th Street scene. You can scope out Playa Mesa when they open mid-summer 2018. Bring a friend, date, kiddo and most importantly—an appetite.

Playa Mesa
428 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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