I've been watching this restaurant for some time. I travel to Newport Beach several times per year and I happened to be there as they were first opening and they were training new employees. I told myself that the next time I was in town, I'd give it a try. When you walk in, there are beautiful desserts and breads to the right. There are many organic items, including organic coffee and teas. I love the fact that they are stepping in that direction. In my opinion, it's the only real food there is. I was excited to try one of their soups and a salad. We sat on the porch which had a glimpse of the ocean. It was lovely out there and the anticipation of a fabulous lunch was overwhelming.
My salad arrived, but much to my dismay, the only gluten-free option there was for a bread with my salad was a very dry cracker, tasteless and hard. I could have eaten the shoe box from the new pair of shoes I had purchased that weekend and found more flavor. That aside, my salad looked fresh, but it did lack a lot of interest and varied flavors. I was terribly disappointed.
My eyes wandered to other tables and other meals looked more interesting. I would probably try it again, but my salad and the other at our table were pretty average. I had an iced coffee that I was not permitted to have refills on, which I found very annoying. You can get hot coffee refills but not cold?
Service was friendly, but they are very busy so don't be in a rush. I think there are better options in this part of the world, including the incredible salad at cafe r+d....even a Nordstrom's cafe' salad. I also just LOVE the salads at Pain du Monde. This was more expensive, took longer to get waited on, and I'm still quite annoyed by no refills on a rather small iced coffee that, by the way, was 3.50.
I'll try it again, but I was not blown away the first time.
Oh yes, by the way, my bill was incorrect. We were charged approximately 2-3.00 more per salad than the stated price on the menu, which we did bring to the attention of the manager who adjusted it. I wonder how many people did not notice this that day.
The 'look' of the restaurant is wonderful and the concept is brilliant. I think I'll try something other than a salad next time, however.
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