Aug 29, 2014

When Grab and Go Food Done Right - Lemonade Newport Beach (Inside Fashion Island Mall)

A friend suggested meeting up at Lemonade for a quick and healthy lunch the other day. This grab and go/cafeteria style restaurant is located inside Fashion Island, on the second floor close to the fountain. 

Outdoor seating area -

Entrance -

High ceiling with soft yellow and green color design give a casual/relaxing tone to the space -

Indeed it was a great choice. The restaurant has a wide selection of multi-cultural cuisine ranging from red curry salmon to double Decker grilled cheese sandwich. 

On top of all the savory dishes, Lemonade also carries various salads, dessert, and my favorite thing during this visit - lemonade. 

Never a big fan of lemonade, then later realized that I was just never met the right one. The restaurant carries seven different kinds of lemonade for $3/cup: old fashioned, cucumber mint, blackberry thyme, watermelon rosemary, ginger peach, blood orange, and Arnold Palmer. 

My oh my, the cucumber mint flavor I had immediately converted me to a lemonade lover. It was refreshing with just the right amount of mint used to give you a slight tingling sensation. There are also tiny bits of cucumber pulps on the bottom, no doubt a perfect summer drink (non-alcoholic wise). 

The dessert on the side is coconut layer cake $5. Very coconuty with generous amount of coconut flakes. The cake itself is light and airy.

The savory dishes all look so fresh and delicious -

Some lighter choices -

Array of salad -

Sandwich samples including buttermilk baked chicken, ham/manchego/quince, turkey, Masala green apple curry chicken, SW turkey club, herb grilled chicken, and grilled cheese -

For sweet-tooth diners -

Moroccan chicken with olives $7, one portion of beet and orange salad, one portion of radish/tuna/sesame salad, side of basmati rice $1.5 -

The chicken was highly seasoned with herbs, but the minty sensation prevails. Olives has a texture similar to grapes, which can burst in your mouth when biting into it. Unfortunately for the salad, the beet wasn't cooked long enough for my taste, didn't really care for the inconsistent texture and taste inside and out. 

The watermelon radish was so pretty that I just had to grab some to my plate -

They even added black sesame seeds, I'm sure partly for the flavor; partly for the look of real watermelon. Asian style vinaigrette dressing. 

Quinoa, tuna, and avocado wrap -

Kale salad, carrot salad, fish -

Mac'n cheese $3.75 -

The mac'n cheese here is more leaning towards a soft texture instead of al dente. Very cheesy, creamy - gooey goodness. 

Food was decent, and the service was great too. The server was explaining to first comers about how the restaurant works and how to order their food. Always smiling, the whole staff has a friendly vibe which can be felt especially when talking to customers. There are also other servers cleaning the tables constantly, keeping the dining area tidy at all times.

If only all grab and go can be this good.

Cindy's rating: 7

Lemonade - Orange County Newport Beach
987 Newport Center Drive (inside Fashion Island Mall)
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 717-7525

Operating hours: Daily 11 a.m. - 9:05 p.m.

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