Mesa Restaurant sounds like an ideal setting for you. I have been there a couple of times and am always blown away by the food and ambiance. Situated along Baker Street adjacent to The Camp in Costa Mesa, this is a casual albeit upscale place with an eclectic menu that doesn't mince on great ingredients, flavor or personality. It is definitely not the mass production of hotel food! One of my favorite details about this place is the dining room, which is a designers paradise. Simple, crisp, elegant that's lit up with votive candles, small fireplaces and the restaurant's roof retracts like a sunroof in a car, which means you can star gaze while eating, which let's be honest, is pretty cool. They have lots of room for parties here, service is impeccable, small plates and big plates and they have an amazing cocktail and wine selection. Worth a look for sure. Here's a link to the LA Times article that came out about Mesa in January: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jan/...
Thanks everyone. I know it is such a vague question, so I appreciate the feed back i have received. I was talking to a friend last night who lived in North Carolina for a stint and she says that food from the carolinas is different then say Nashville, because Nashville is closer to the midwest? Is this true?
I'm doing some research for a project and the crux of the question is "What is Southern Food?" I'm really interested in asking some of you here what you consider Southern food to be.
All I know is fried green tomatoes (from the a movie! never had them) and fried chicken. I am heading out to some southern style restaurants this weekend, but i thought I could get some feed back from everyone here!