As unlikely as it sounds, a small cafe wedged into a strip mall manages to bring a little bit of Oregon to Costa Mesa.
Owner Kim Jorgenson has brought some of her favorite foods to Plums Cafe, a hip little spot on East 17th Street.
At first, only the potted pine trees circling the patio and a few tree sculptures hint of the Pacific Northwest. But a glance at the menu reveals lots of imported flavors: Chinook salmon, fennel, cranberries and hazelnuts, all plentiful in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Even the modern art splashed over the dining room is the work of Jeff White of, you guessed it, Oregon.
This sunny cafe, filled with bright colors and ultramodern industrial lighting, attracts a young and fashionable crowd every day for breakfast and lunch. The restaurant plans to open for dinner soon but so far has concentrated on morning and midday meals, with an emphasis on pancakes, scones, waffles, omelets and fish.
The “special brunch” is served daily, and that means that for $4 more than the regular breakfast price you get along with coffee or tea a choice of a Ramos fizz, mimosas, Bloody Marys, champagne or fresh squeezed orange juice.
The brunch includes anything from the breakfast menu – a list of some two dozen exotic-sounding items, including ratatouille egg white omelet, crispy coconut French toast and hazelnut pancakes.
Plums is the kind of restaurant that cares about freshness and flavor. The lemons presented with a deep dish pancake come already peeled because the peel is used to flavor lemon-scented cakes in another dish. The whipped cream on the strawberry waffle is actually beaten in the kitchen rather than sprayed from a can. And the spinach and feta cheese omelet is sprinkled with baby yellow pear tomatoes, kalamata olives and fresh oregano. When is the last time you had an omelet with tiny yellow tomatoes on top?