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Restaurant Review: Seabirds Kitchen, my new favorite vegan Restaurant

Restaurant Review: Seabirds Kitchen, my new favorite vegan Restaurant

After over indulgence for the past couple weeks, my gut started to look pregnant. I needed something made with healthy ingredients. That is when I remembered that my favorite vegan food truck, Seabirds , just opened their brick and mortar  restaurant at The LAB in Costa Mesa. Seabirds Kitchen now joins the ranks of The Playground, Slapfish, Taco Maria who have successfully transitioned to full-fledged restaurants.

Seabirds Kitchen Outside Collage

Seabirds Kitchen is located in The Lab, Facing Bristol St.

As I have mentioned in several other blog posts, the Seabirds Truck was  the reason I have an appreciation for vegan food and ingredients like kale and jackfruit. This life-long meat eater was impressed by just how much flavor is packed inside fruits, vegetables and nuts. I give owner and chef, Stephanie Morgan, credit for expanding my palate. What I like about Seabirds is that they don’t always try to recreate chicken or steak protein textures, rather they embrace the vegetable as a unique ingredient and utilize it in comfort food recipes.

Seabirds Kitchen Interior Collage

Seabirds Kitchen is light and bright. Very relaxing environment to enjoy an avocado taco.

Seabirds Kitchen is located at The Lab Anti mall in Costa Mesa, tucked in the back next to the Gypsy Den. Park in the back and Just follow the path and you will find them facing Bristol St. Seabirds Kitchen is a sit-down restaurant format, and I found their service to be very quick during the business lunch rush. I went during my lunch break with less than an hour to spare and my food was served within 15 minutes of entering the door. That was pretty impressive.

Food

Seabird's Kitchen menu

The food at seabirds kitchen will not disappoint if you are an old Seabirds Truck fan, you can expect to see some of your old favorites properly platted and portioned on china. Since Seabirds is now a restaurant they have the capacity for bigger menu. Diehard fans will be happy to find their best of items on a grander scale. Their menu is separated into tacos, small plates, bowls, salads and Dillas (“quesadillas” but with out the queso.

 

Here is what I ordered:

Beer Battered Avocado – beer battered avocado, seabirds sauce, chopped cabbage, red onion, lime, corn tortillas This is the dish that made seabirds famous and was their golden ticket to get on Good Morning America and The Ellen DeGeneres show. When the dish arrived at my table, the smell wafted up and it was very pleasant aroma of hot avocado. This dish is a wonderful example of contrasting flavors and textures. When you bite into the taco you feel contrasting tastes, temperatures and textures from the hot and crispy and gooey deep fried avocado, snappy crunch of cabbage, and cool sauce that finishes with a touch of spicy. For 4 dollars you get one big taco, which is pretty filling.

Seabirds  Kitchen Avocado Taco.jpg

Seabirds Kitchen Avocado Taco- This is the dish that made them famous. A must try when you visit.

Burnt Brussels –Seabirds truck was one of the reasons I got into Brussels sprouts, so I had to order them at the restaurant. They are burn roasted to a crisp on one side (the way Brussels sprouts should be cooked to unleash their flavor) and tossed with fried garlic, lime and dijon mustard. The flavor was amazing with the garlic,  lime and Dijon creating an aromatic and tangy flavor to the nuttiness of the Brussels sprouts. Beautiful execution.

Seabirds Kitchen Burnt Brussels sprouts

Seabirds Kitchen Burnt Brussels sprouts – Tangy and nutty

Soup of the Day –  Pumpkin Curry with fried onions – This dish stole the show. Owner, Stephanie Morgan told me that they just threw this soup together in the morning and hoped for the best.  The soup was creamy smooth with the sweetness of the pumpkin accented by the flavor of curry like a satin scarf wrapped around the supple skin of a womans curves.  If that description sounded suggestive, then yes it was. This bowl of soup was a sensual experience on my tongue.  The crunchy fried onions added a wonderful crunch bombs to the texture and a contrasting flavor to the sexy soup.

Seabirds Kitchen Pumpkin Curry Soup

Seabirds Kitchen Pumpkin Curry Soup – the soup stole the show and is my new favorite item on the menu. But don’t get your heart set on it, because it was the “Soup of the Day”

BBQ Jack Dillas – The other ingredient that mad Seabirds famous is their use of Jackfruit as a protein replacement in their dishes. Although I have always said that vegan restaurants should never try to imitate meat, I have some exceptions. Seabirds BBQ jackfruit is not trying to taste like meat, although the first time I ate one of their BBQ Jackfruit Dillas, I went back to the truck and asked if there was meat in the dish.   This dish is made with grilled bbq jackfruit, roasted garlic, caramelized red onion, cilantro, vegan cheese blend on a whole wheat tortilla with chipotle sour cream. The flavor is slightly peppery and when mixed with the carmalized onions and vegan cheese you swear you are eating something naughty for your diet. In reality this dish is extremely healthy.

Seabird's Kitchen jackfruit Dillas

Seabird’s Kitchen Jackfruit Dillas. I love their use of Jackfruit and vegan cheese. Amazing flavor

Be sure to try their blood orange lemonade, it is sweet and tangy. I drank a couple cups after I finished my meal to sit back and relax.

Seabird's Kitchen blood orange leamonade

If you don’t get their delicious house made lemonade, they have a full beer and wine menu! I couldn’t drink during my lunch break :(

My Final Thoughts

Saebirds Kitchen Owner and Chef  Stephanie Morgan

I caught Saebirds Kitchen Owner and Chef Stephanie Morgan in the back washing dishes, yes even the boss has to wash dishes. She brings a great energy to this restaurant.

I was very excited to see Seabirds accomplish one of their goals of moving from food truck to restaurant. The current menu is very similar to the cuisine served on the trucks, but spruced up, amped up and served on china. To me their pumpkin curry soup is a good representation of what we can expect to see from Seabirds, as they more foward. I expect to see a divergence from their food truck favorites menu to more experimental dishes that are packed with wow. Of course Stephanie and the rest of the Birds can never say good-bye to the famous deep-fried avocado tacos or jackfruit creations, so they will have to do a careful dance of new and favorite  menu items. Tom’s Foodie Blog highly recommends Seabirds Kitchen, even if you don’t think you like vegan food. If you are a foodie, you know that fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other plant based ingredients are the most flavor packed ingredients on the planet. The right vegan restaurant can make magic happen with plant based ingredients; for me, Seabirds Kitchen is that restaurant.

Seabirds Kitchen
2930 Bristol St

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

http://seabirdskitchen.com/

Seabirds Kitchen on Urbanspoon
M: 11am-3pm

Tue-Fri: 11am-9pm

Sat-Sun: 10am-9pm

See www.tomsfoodieblog.com‘s other posts

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About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

17 comments

  1. YEAH!!! So excited to see you blog about one of my FAVORITE restaurants!!! SEABIRDS!!! We just LOVE it! We LOVE the Pumpkin Curry Soup and the Burnt Brussels! actually there isn’t anything we haven’t liked :) My favorite is the salads!!! Thank you for blogging about them today, I’m sharing this!!!

  2. I tried to eat at a vegan cafe once in NYC, and i did not like it.. on the other hand the soup looked very good..

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog post and I love that you searched for a delicious and a healthy restaurant and the food looks delicious. Great review of Seabirds and I would love to try it one day.
    Best Wishes and Happy Holidays ,
    Barbara Iris Alsieux , the Founder and the Owner of Parental World Knowledge!

  4. Love, love, love this restaurant! We were in town for a conference in November and it was suggested by a friend to eat here. What a treat! Our group made it a point to visit every day for lunch or dinner. Everything we ordered was fabulous! The hardest part was trying to pick out what we wanted to eat. Everything looked so good on the menu. Our group consisted of people who eat healthy but not necessarily vegetarians, however everyone was completely blown away by the taste, texture and creativity of these dishes. Like I said, we made it a point to eat there at least once a day while we were in town. So amazing. Will definitely be back if I’m in the area again.

  5. So glad to see this! My family has most recently went vegan and it’s very hard to find a place to eat out that is healthy and vegan friendly. Thanks!!

  6. Wow the food at seabirds looks delicious, we don’t have anything like this near me. I don’t think this food would have helped your pregnant looking belly tho, lol as it looks packed with calories and fat.

  7. Wow…this is amazing. I sure wish we had places like this in our area. I could just it too. The taco is something I’d go for. Nice blog article and pics.

  8. I really try and eat heathy 90% of the time. I would really like to have Seabird in my area.

  9. Very cool post honey! I know how much you hace loved seabirds since they had their truck! Their avocado tacos are bomb and I cannot wait to try the jackfruitadilla:)

  10. Oh how funny, I made roasted Brussel sprouts yesterday. I love them when they get dark and crispy. Only used minced garlic & EVOO. I’ll have to try the Dijon & lime!

  11. You always make me so hungry when I read your posts! All these places you visit I get so jealous! I would love to visit Seabirds Kitchen!

  12. That looks like an amazing restaurant! The food just makes me hungry. I love the veggie options like brussel sprouts and deep fried avocado. This would be the job for me! Traveling to restaurants and trying different foods. Your article and images made feel like I was there.

  13. My best friend is a vegan; she would love this place! Looks so good!

    Laura
    LifesDaringAdventure.com

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