Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Going Raw: 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa

I'm going raw! Ok well, not quite, but occasionally I love a totally raw meal. There is something to be said for guilt-free, delicious food. A few months ago I had the pleasure of dining at 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa. It's a relatively small bistro in a strip mall right off of Bristol near South Coast Plaza. All of the dishes are living and organic and prepared beautifully.

The food was incredibly delicious. It was pretty crowded so the service was understandably very slow but was excellent when it was received. I had a million silly questions and the server didn't mind answering all them and going into great detail about how things were prepared. Overall: Vibrant, artful, and surprisingly outstanding raw food, unique juices and cocktails, and a great selection of organic wines.

I started with the Thai Spring Rolls: Coconut Sesame Wraps filled with Julienne Squash, Red Bell Pepper, Carrots, Avocado and Enoki Mushrooms with a Spicy Dipping Sauce.

And for my entree, a Trio of Enchiladas served with Green Guacamole and Pine Nut Sour Cream.

My favorite was the wine of course; an 05 organic Pinot Noir from Pedroncelli of the Russian River Valley.

I'm dying to try Brunch!

Spring is in the Air: This Year's Container Gardens

Earlier this winter, Container Gardening by Stephanie Donaldson arrived, a book I wishlisted on It's a huge collection of 150 of really simple but fabulous container gardens.

My parents, apparently growing busier and busier with every year, asked me to start seeds for them this year and provided me with a Jiffy Seed Starter Greenhouse with 72 plugs.
I've never done this before, as I usually start my own seeds directly in containers. I'm an apartment dweller and my space is extremely limited. Furthermore, the one time I planted my parent's entire garden it was a direct sow. So...this is going to be different and interesting.

Although I've decided on three definite container gardens, I'm starting my seeds along with my parents seeds in the Jiffy. Most of my seeds all arrived a few weeks ago, but I just planted this past weekend. Most are from Burpees and some are from

Here's what I've got going:

Salad Bowl Garden: tumbler tomato, chives, little gem lettuce, salad bowl lettuce, cilantro plants (was supposed to be parsley but im not a fan of it)

Fruit and Flowers Garden: Alpine strawberry plants, bright red petunias, helichrysum petiolare (variegatium)

Herb Garden: Sage, rosemary, mint tarragon, lemon thyme, dill, creeping thyme, and basil.

My parents gave me red pepper, dill, and basil. I'm also planting some wild flowers I picked up at a little boutique in the great white north years ago, hoping they've not gone bad.

Alrighty -- that's it for now. I'll post pics once they've sprouted (otherwise we're just looking at soil).