‘Hoods: Four New Costa Mesa Spots To Check Out

These four spots—three in The Hood Kitchen Space—with unconventional business models opened over the summer.
Mellowist owner DJ Aleman expanded his popular succulent-centric Instagram account into this brick-and-mortar shop in July. Photograph by Emily J. Davis
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Mellowist
The minimalist decor allows the leafy green houseplants and potted cactuses to take the spotlight in this colorful boutique. Handmade earthenware pots and a small collection of Mellowist-branded T-shirts, hoodies, and caps round out the offerings. The store is open on weekends, and appointments are recommended. 2968 Randolph Ave., Costa Mesa

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Savor Up Puerto Rican Delights
This ghost kitchen cooks authentic Puerto Rican dishes, including empanadas ($6 to $7), crispy plantains ($3.95), and bowls with rice, beans, avocado, plantains, and a choice of chicken, pulled pork, or steak and onions ($10 to $13). Try the “placos”—marinated chicken tacos with shells made from fried plantains ($8). Open Sunday evenings for delivery or pickup. 350 Clinton St., Costa Mesa, 646-579-4907

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Ola Cha
Fruit teas and milk teas almost too pretty to drink dominate the menu here, including cold-brewed green teas topped with juicy slices of citrus fruit ($5) and matcha milk tea poured into a cup lined with panna cotta ($5.25). The smoothies are likewise photo-worthy, especially the mango-pomelo ($5.50). They all pair well with the mango yogurt mousse that looks like a wedge of cheese. 350 Clinton St., Costa Mesa, 949-880-5083

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Northeast Sisters
Specializing in Northern Chinese food, this kitchen is known for its roasted cold noodles ($8): thin flat noodles brushed with egg and filled with your choice of more than a dozen proteins and veggies, then grilled, rolled up, and cut into thick slices. The puff paratha ($8), a savory pancake filled with protein and veggies, and the spicy hot pot ($12) are also winners. 350 Clinton St., Costa Mesa, 626-893-7157

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