Every weekend my wife and go through that same question followed by another question: “What do you wanna eat?”, “I don’t know what do you want to eat?” until both of our eyes roll out of our heads. Any suggestion is instantly shot down because it’s probably either too busy, reservations aren’t available, or the place has zero parking. While debating ad infinitum, I opened DoorDash (first month, $0 delivery fee for newbies), flipped through the local spots serving cocktails, and ordered for the whole fam. Forty-five minutes later, there it sat perched neatly on the front porch, my wife looking at me like I was David Blaine doing some mind-bender routine.
As most restaurants still have limited capacity as they’re staffing up, grabbing delivery is still a great option for any meal where you’re just not ready to fight the crowds, cook dinner in a hot kitchen, or have never-ending food debates.
The crown jewel of Pacific Coast Highway has been a fine-dining institution since the mid-sixties, where even American Presidents have dined. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding are the stars of the show, and there are four cuts available: California cut (6oz), English cut (6.5oz sliced), Crown cut (10oz), and Henry VIII, a massive 23oz cut “for the Tudor in you.” Pair it with the extensive wine-to-go menu or their luscious Old Fashioned or Lavender Lemon Drop, which has springtime vibes, fresh as a lemon meringue pie. Order from DoorDash.
Olea Craft + Cook
The hardest part about ordering from Olea is picking just one thing, as literally everything sounds spectacular. For starters, the fried green tomatoes with fresh burrata are served with crispy serrano ham chicharrones and hazelnut-infused romanesco. For mains, try the crispy Jidori chicken Schnitzel with a satisfying garden herb spaetzle and the most perfect baby carrots. Craft cocktails to-go are a house specialty, where noted bartender Inga (@cocktailsbyings) has eight to choose from (the Rich Girl is a great place to start), each is as easy as pouring over ice to enjoy. Order from DoorDash.
Gracias Madre isn’t just famous for its artfully-prepared plant-based Mexican cuisine, their cocktails are just as impressive. If you’ve never tried plant-based ceviche, here’s the perfect place to start: it’s made with fresh toasted coconut, mango, banana pepper, jicama, cucumber, coconut milk, and scoops nicely with their crunchy house-made tortilla chips. Canned-to-go cocktails are totally a thing here, including the house margarita (all diffuser-free Tequila/Mezcal brands), Mezcal Old Fashioned, Paloma, and a Puerto Nuevo, which includes house-made Tepache (lightly fermented pineapple juice). Order from DoorDash
The Blind Pig Kitchen + Bar
Yorba Lindans were starved for a great local bar and gastropub until The Blind Pig brought its second location to North O.C. The nightly neighborhood party vibe they strive for in-house is just as achievable at home with their enormous four-page cocktail menu that’s filled with all kinds of fun. Whichever dish you choose, be sure to add on their kimchi fried rice that adds a special funky zing to just about anything. The drinks span from shaken and refreshing, stirred and boozy, to curious specialty drinks such as Rescuing Princess Peach are all available starting at $12. If you’re into tiki, they have you covered as well! Order from DoorDash
Little does the DoorDash driver know, but inside the bag he just dropped on the front porch contains smoked bone marrow slathered in bacon jam, crispy shallots, and the cutest pimento grilled cheese sandwiches you just ordered. The smell is incredible! Social in Costa Mesa’s kitchen is full of fun surprises, like the amazing al pastor cauliflower, or perhaps a full-on brunch menu on the weekend, complete with daytime boozy delights like the Social Spritz, which makes eight drinks at home! Order from DoorDash
Brunching from home is something a lot of people forgot about during the pandemic, but Great Maple had us covered all along. If you’ve ever wondered what a maple bacon donut paired with a maple bacon Old Fashioned tastes like, believe me, it’s as life-changing as it sounds. The drink stays pretty close to the original: the Benton’s OF made famous in PDT of New York: bacon fat-washed Four Roses bourbon, B-grade maple syrup, and Angostura bitters. Classic! Order from DoorDash