This past weekend was exciting for many reasons: 1.) It rained, which is my most favorite form of weather despite having grown up in sunny Southern California, a place devoid of said weather 2.) I finally got to try Boathouse Collective, nevermind the fact it's been open for a year.
Boathouse Collective is located in Costa Mesa's industrial area, which is very fitting considering founder Clayton Peterson's vision. He wanted to create an artistic space true to its roots, built from rustic reclaimed woods and vintage nautical decor.
From the outside, you'd never suspect a restaurant was there, as it looks like a hybrid between a gingerbread shack and a hangar. Walk inside and the herb garden patio with communal picnic tables and string lights is to the right, while the bar and center stage is straight ahead. Boathouse Collective features everything from live bands to local business speaking engagements and art shows.
Depending on the type of event, there may be a cover charge, which is why it's best to arrive at Happy Hour, like the hand model and I did. The farm to table cuisine is fresh, layered, and includes a running theme of Housemade pickles throughout almost each dish.
Here's what to order off of their new Fall Happy Hour Menu, Tuesday thru Saturdays from 5:00pm to 6:30pm.
- so many flavors from sweet apple cinnamon to dirty Cajun peanut, Chicken & Waffles with Apple Cinnamon Compote, spicy Cajun Peanut Sauce, Pickled Cucumber & Onion $8
- overflowing with earthy umami and sizable portions of Burrata, Enoki & Shiitake Mushrooms, Mixed Greens & Housemade Pickles on toasted Whole Grain Bread $6
- ridiculously greasy good Boathouse Burger with just the right sharpness of White Cheddar, and acidic Tomato, atop a Char-grilled Bun $8
- surprisingly spicy and a mixed bag of things, Poke with Sticky Rice, Sesame Seeds, Seaweed, chopped Romaine, Creme Fraiche, spicy Red Pepper Aioli & Blueberries $6
- dichotomy of blandness meets spice, Cannellini Bean Dip with Sriracha Salsa & Housemade Tortilla Chips (complimentary)
Between the two of us and the four Moscow Mules ($8 Happy Hour price) we ordered, we could barely finish the more than generous portions of farm quality ingredients laced with Housemade Pickles, of course.
I definitely want to return to try the Grilled Swordfish Coconut Curry entree and Crispy Rice side.
1640 Pomona Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, 949-646-3176.