Chique Patio Dining: Social Kitchen + Craft Bar

I’m wrapping up work on this particular Wednesday and decided that I was looking for some excitement. Before I started blogging I have only been to this specific location once for Happy Hour. I’ve been wanting to return for a while but as of recently they completely altered their Happy Hour schedule during these unprecedented times. I o mean completely altered because now you can only experience this Happy Hour once a week. I’m sure you can guess what day that is already.

Trendy Sign

Social Kitchen + Craft Bar is located in Costa Mesa and is walking distance from the Triangle. They also have a second location in Huntington Beach, which I haven’t had the chance to dine at but it does bring up another time where I did technically have had food and drinks from Social. It was around the 4th of July a year ago when we were in a much different world. At the Pasea Hotel, they had a food festival with many local vendors serving food. Social was one of them and they had some delicious appetizers and libations. I knew I had to try it in person one day.

Two Comfy Chairs

As you enter you are greeted by two of the comfiest looking chairs I have ever seen. How can one not love the backdrop of the sign covered with love in a variety of colors? The table made of a tree trunk is what caught my eyes because it adds a nice natural touch to the area. I do enjoy the astroturf that the restaurant uses for the patio. It is of higher quality than some of the ones that I’ve seen also compared to other make-shift patios that are popping up everywhere it is one of the nicer ones.

Chique Patio Dining

The tables aren’t as socially distanced as I would like but luckily I had one whole side of the patio to myself so nothing to worry about from other patrons. I just made sure to put my mask back on whenever the waiter came by the table for both of our safety. I love the aged wooden wall to add to the natural setting. My eyes always get drawn to the Good Vibes Only painted in that bright yellow paint.

Happy Hour Food Part 1
Happy Hour Food Part 2

I love that restaurants are utilizing technology more during these times to be both environmentally friendly and for sanitary purposes. The food prices all range around $7 to $8 which does add up if you order too much but one can still manage to stay within budget.

Happy Hour Drinks

All of the cocktails are $7 and some are some that you may not typically find on Happy Hour special.

Paloma

I thought I would start with a Paloma for something that would be nice and refreshing. The big two identifiers are all about the grapefruit juice and the tequila. I find Palomas on the lighter side which I feel is the perfect cocktail to ease you into things. I’m still not the biggest fan of carbonation but I feel like the bubbles were manageable in this drink. The touch of lime juice is what helped create a nice pairing with the grapefruit juice.

Old Fashioned

Next, is the Old Fashioned which I wasn’t going to get originally but Juan Gabriel, my waiter, said it was a must-have. I’m starting to enjoy Old Fashioneds! I’m sure you remember the story I told you about from my first experience of having an Old Fashioned. If you don’t remember check it out at Bosscat Kitchen. I’m still trying to decide if I enjoy this Old Fashioned or the one from Bosscat more. I truly think the sugar from the simple syrup helps to enhance the taste of the whiskey. I don’t talk about the glassware enough but I loved the patterns and design of the glass. I’m a firm believer that the glass itself can change how someone sees a drink. I could never see myself drinking an Old Fashioned out of a plastic cup.

Negroni

It may look the same as the Old Fashioned but trust me, it is a completely new drink. It is something that I have been meaning to try for the longest time, a Negroni. I’ve heard many tales of the Negroni mainly because of its infamous use of the liqueur, Campari. Campari is an Italian liqueur that is very bitter which is what draws many people away from it. My first sip is all about the juniper berries flowing over my tongue from the gin. Then I’m getting the lovely sweetness from the sweet Vermouth which is key to the drink. The reason why it is key is because of the bitterness of the Campari that does eventually hit you in the end. I am still conflicted on the drink because I love the first sip but the bitterness near the end does become a little overwhelming. 

Ceviche Tostados

I hope you are hungry because you are going to be dying to take a bite of these appetizers. I started with some refreshing Ceviche Tostadas which paired perfectly with the Paloma. This is a Pescado ceviche made with sea bass. The reason they use sea bass is that for dinner they serve a branzino so they can consolidate on the fish that is purchased. It is also topped with an avo salsa to give it a nice creaminess to the tostada. I enjoyed the freshness of the addition of radish and micro cilantro. I am always a fan of the bite that you get from the red onion. Honestly, it was some of the best white fish ceviches I’ve had in a while.

Drive-Thru Burger

I was originally going to give my shot at the grilled cheese but Juan sold mean on another item which was the Happy Hour Drive-Thru Burger. The patty itself was akaushi beef which comes from one of four breeds of Japanese cattle. I had asked for no egg but to my surprise, I saw a perfectly cooked fried egg blanketing across the patty. I am so glad that it came with the egg because when that yolk was punctured there was a golden flow of deliciousness. The bacon jam gave it a nice touch of fattiness and sweetness at the same time which took the burger to a whole other world. The diced onion and sliced pickles were the perfect accompaniment to add some additional texture. Although I think the best surprise was the garlic aioli that was spread on top of the fluffy bun. I am a huge sucker for garlic so this helped to expand the flavor.

Open Patio

When I first sat down a realization hit me, I had completely forgotten my wallet. I could not believe the mistake that I had made and as soon as Juan Gabriel came I asked him if they had Google Pay or Apple Pay to pay for the meal but unfortunately they did not. I told him that I was going to go grab my wallet and then enjoy a fabulous meal. However, Juan had other plans and told me that since I was already at the restaurant there was no need to worry. I said are you sure and I told him I could come straight back after the meal to pay but he said it was on him. I felt awful for making such a huge mistake but it made me realize that there are good people out in the world. I was originally not going to get a Negroni but Juan Gabriel kept insisting that I get one last drink while I enjoyed the World Series. The one thing he said was that I would have to return which based on the service and the meal I had I knew that wasn’t going to be a hard decision.

Website: Social Kitchen + Craft Bar

Rating

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Since Juan Gabriel was such an incredible person and waiter I have to ask you this. What is the best service you’ve ever had at a restaurant?

Let me know down below in the comments and be sure to share with friends that would enjoy this Happy Hour.

May the adventures continue! Cheers!

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0 Responses

  1. Best waiter that comes to mind is from a cruise ship. Royal Caribbean maybe? I don't remember his name because it was like, 10 or 11 years ago, but he told us jokes and riddles and stuff without being too cheesy about it. I still use one or two of those jokes. There was also a cashier at the Magic Kingdom Starbucks that was very kind to me once. Really exemplified the 4 keys or whatever that service structure was.

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