Apr 16, 2014

Old Vine Café - Irresistible Beef Tongue Omelet with a Mexican Flair

Old Vine Café has always been one of my favorite spots in Orange County. Breakfast and brunch are superb here, especially the dishes that come with a Mexican touch. Dinner is served from Tuesday to Saturday but I never got a chance to try it. In fact, this place is packed almost all day long during dinner hours and weekends. If you ever want to pay a visit without the wait, try your luck before lunch rush hours on a weekday. 

Old Vine Café is located at The Camp between Bristol Street and Baker Street. There are quite a few unique shops and restaurants with a hipster vibe. Wine store, tea shops, sportswear, even salon can be found in this area. My beloved (and up till this moment: the only beloved) burger joint Umami Burger is also situated at The Camp. 

Semi-opened restaurant layout with no windows barrier between indoor and outdoor seating area. 

Weekday morning before 11 is the best time to come. However, beware that the service can be quite slow doesn't matter if the restaurant is full or not. Not a big deal for me since my purpose was having a delicious and relaxing meal while soaking in the California sunshine at the same time.

Best seat to my opinion, is the indoor ones adjacent to the outdoor area, like regular window seats.

Six for sixty, where you can buy 6 bottles of carefully selected wine at a bargained price here at Old Vine Café. Not a bad choice if not sure how to pick up a decent wine with limited budget -

Menu -

Click on the picture to enlarge the view -

3 course set lunch for $22, available daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. -

Drinks menu -

Hitachino Nest beer is getting popular in California, I can see that owl everywhere. Espresso stout for the morning $7 -

The pleasant coffee beans aroma adds a nice complexity to the beer.  

2011 Riesling, Scholss Lieser, Thomas Haag, Morsel, Germany $11 - 

Rabbit mole $16.5 -

"Braised rabbit, 2 eggs, pasilla and cashew mole, fresh baked corn bread."

Where else can you find rabbit from a breakfast menu in Orange County? The meat was tender with just a tiny hint of that chocolate bitterness from the mole.

Lengua omelet $14 - 

"Slow cooked beef tongue, queso fresco and spicy tomatillo salsa."

The fork tender beef tongue together with moist omelet and fragrant salsa, totally made my morning. Even though it must be at least 20 minutes passed from the moment when the order was placed till this wonderful plate of food showed up, it was all worth the wait. 

Spanish style potatoes are included for the lengua omelet and other savory dishes. The potatoes can be substitute with cheese grits or mixed greens for extra $2. However, Old Vine makes awesome potatoes and it would be a shame to switch off to something else. 

Unwillingness to give up my potatoes that was fully soaked in Spanish seasonings with crunchy seared edges, I ordered cheese grits on the side -

Creamy and satisfying. The leftover cheese grits were boxed home and turned into the dip for my salami chips

House baked English muffin that comes with the omelet -

Other choices are toast or fresh baked cinnamon roll for extra $2. In addition, other house made spread including kiwi marmalade, strawberry marmalade, and apple butter.

Final bill -

The waitress took out the extra cheese grits because she forgot about it till half way through the meal.

Old Vine Café, along with The Camp is the place I would bring my friends over if they come to visit Orange County. There is quite a lot of stuff to see, to shop around, and most importantly, delicious food to help the friendships bond.   

Cindy's Rating: 7 (supposedly 8 but the service can be very..very slow)

Old Vine Café
2937 Bristol Street. Suite A-102
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 545-1411

Operating Hours:
Breakfast daily from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Lunch daily from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday starting at 5 p.m.
Dinner Sunday and Monday closed

*Reservation is highly recommended for dinner
*Old Vine Café does not take reservations for breakfast or lunch


  1. Hi Cindy –
    I’m working with a start-up for food bloggers in Southern California called Tabelog (www.tabelog.us). They’re a subsidiary of the largest company in Japan Tabelog.com (similar to Yelp here in the US).

    We’re bringing their annual restaurant awards to the US that are judged solely by a panel of local food bloggers (all online). The winning restaurants get a framed 2014 award and the food bloggers get an “official judge” icon/etc and related PR for their blog. We’re looking for bloggers from the Southern California area to invite as an official judge. Is this something that you would be interested in? My direct contact is awards_losangeles@tabelog.us.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Brock,

      Yes! I just emailed you. Let's keep in touch through emails. Thanks for this opportunity!