I finally had a chance to visit the Wild Rabbit in Costa Mesa for lunch today, and it was one of the most satisfying meals I've had in a while.
It is a small little restaurant on the 2nd floor in an outdoor strip mall called the Back Bay Center. It is a small, but very elegant restaurant that creates an atmosphere of fine dining. Environment would be perfect to bring dates or spouses for special occasions.
I ate there for lunch today, and it was a spectacular lunch. I started with the Thai egg rolls. I must not have had a good egg roll in the longest time, because this tasted like the best damn egg rolls in my life. Normally, egg rolls might have a somewhat chewy skin, sometimes might be tough if it's rolled 2 or 3 times, and, more often than not, there's very little meat and too much vegetables. Not here.
The skin was perfectly crisp, crunching very lightly as I bit into it, with its fair share of pork, and light mix of other vegetables mixed in. Two dipping sauces came, sweet and sour, and honey mustard. The order came with 3 egg rolls. Dining alone, I thought I might not be able to eat them all, but after I bit into the first one, the other two were gobbled up quickly without any hesitation.
Then came the main entree. Their menu consists of lots of American foods, like burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, salmon fillets, and steaks. But what popped out on the menu to me was the Chicken Monte Cristo. Now I've never had a Monte Cristo sandwich and have only heard and read about them, but I think this was like a Monte Cristo sandwich without the bread, and served on a plate.
I forget the exact ingredients in it, but it looked like two chicken breasts, with one layer of ham, all smother in some creamy, cheesy type of sauce, with various seasonings sprinkled on top of the sauce. This dish was absolutely fantastic, and it was only $10.95 at lunchtime. If this dish were at any other restaurant, it would easily be $15 or $20.
The dinner menu seems to be different, and the selection of items to choose from seems to open up widely, according to a recent newspaper review, listing entrees such as Beef Wellington, steak Diane, and Australian rack of lamb. Gives me a great reason to go back for dinner sometime soon.
And the service was fantastic. I believe it was the owner of the restaurant who was serving as the waiter. She was very attentive, constantly refilling my glass of water before it was ever empty.
The restaurant was relatively empty, with only two or three other tables occupied at the time. This place is a gem hidden in a mostly residential area, but it's got some fantastic food, and I will be sure to be back very soon.
The Wild Rabbit
2675 Irvine Ave., Suite D
Costa Mesa, CA
Mon-Sat lunch 11AM-2:30PM, dinner 5-10PM,
Two thumbs up by me, and I can easily recommend it to any curious about trying the place.
Below is a link to a local newspaper review of the restaurant.