Eating with John Chow – Seabirds Kitchen

Hard to believe this is the 14th episode of Eating with John Chow. You may recall that we’ve been on a veggie/vegan kick lately. Well, that hasn’t changed.

Seabirds Kitchen started out as a food truck. The brainchild of Stephanie Morgan, the strategy was simple: Fruits and vegetables should be grown locally and organically, picked when ripe and enjoyed at the peak of their season.

With a $29,000 loan, Stephanie created the Seabirds Truck and started hitting the road to bring great-tasting plant-based food to the masses. You can see the Seabirds Truck in action by checking out season two of The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network.


With the success of the food truck, Stephanie followed it up with the opening of the first Seabirds Kitchen location on July 3, 2013. As she secures more investors, she plans to expand Seabirds all over Southern California.

Seabirds Kitchen is located in the city of Costa Mesa at The Lab Anti Mall. Don’t ask me why it’s call an anti mall. I have no idea. It’s looks like a normal open air mall to me, only a lot smaller. I guess calling it an anti mall is better than small mall, or tiny mall.


The room at Seabirds is tall, long and narrow, with an open kitchen. It is quite noisy during lunch because the tall walls are very reflective. Good thing I had my Sennheiser mic with me, or you’ll have problems hearing the audio.

The Seabirds menu changes with the season. It’s dictated by what the local organic farmers are growing. Seabirds gets their produce everyday at the farm, brings them to the restaurant and prepares it for you. The aim is to limit the time from farm to plate. You won’t find an OC restaurant with fresher ingredients.


Shredded kale salad made with shredded black kale, shaved brussels sprouts, local apples, smoked almonds, pomegranate seeds, and a lemon vinaigrette. Forget spinach. All hale kale! It’s the new superfood, and Seabirds knows how to make it tasty.


Purple Taquitos made with purple potatoes, chipotle sour cream fermented curtido, almond feta and cilantro. Think of it as a potato taco. It was full of goodness.


Speaking of tacos, Seabirds makes some of the best in the business. My favorite was the beer battered avo taco made with fried avocado, Seabirds sauce, cabbage, red onion, and lime. The other taco I tried was the Jack Asada taco made with marinated and grilled jackfruit, Seabirds cabbage slaw, and pickled red onion.


Roasted beets with garlic almond foam, walnut-date compote, scallions and wild rocket arugula. Extremely refreshing, and very sweet.


Burnt brussels sprouts roasted to a crisp and tossed with fried garlic, lime and dijon mustard. This was one of the best brussels sprouts dishes I ever had. Full of flavor, and the garlic added a nice kick.


The Holy Smokes Bowl made of brown rice, BBQ jackfruit, sautéed greens, cauliflower, pickled red onion, coconut bacon, Seabirds sauce and kentucky BBQ sauce. I didn’t taste any smoke in it, but holy smokes! It was good.

Seabirds Kitchen is so far the best vegetarian/vegan restaurant we’ve dined at. Thanks to its quick farm to plate cooking, it’s also the healthiest. All the dishes tasted amazing, and the prices are quite reasonable. The small plate dishes range from $4.95 for the soup of the day, to $7.75 for the BBQ Jack Sliders. The entrees range from $9.95 to $13.95. The tacos are the best deal at only $3.95 each.

We were too full to sample any dessert, but I’m told the Chaffle (a churro waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and chopped pecans) is amazing. Next time.

Seabirds Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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