Charlie Palmer’s new small plates and cocktails

Charlie Palmer’s has always been known for its sexy cocktails and the flow of OC’s beautiful people through its doors. I’ve been to lunch and dinner several times, but I like the lounge area the best. The restaurant has recently introduced some new small plates and cocktails on the lounge menu, perfect to share with your friends after work or for a light dinner.


Special cocktails include Blood Orange Mojito ($14) with Barcardi rum, lime, blood orange, mint, soda, or Vino Fresco ($14) with 42 Below Vodka, basil, grapes, lime. If you’re a fan of gin, Little Gypsy ($14) may just be for you! Bombay gin, rhubarb bitters, sage and grapefruit juice complete this drink.


My favorite was Valentino ($14) a El Jimador tequila-based cocktail with beet juice and lemon juice. Deep red and slightly sweet, it was so delicious, but pretty strong as well.

Valentino (640x425)

While sipping on cocktails, order up some small plates to nibbe on. Some of my favorites included Seaweed Salad ($12), a generous portion of briny seaweed tossed in an apple miso vinaigrette and topped with nori chips. A beautifully balanced bowl of salty, tart, sweet together with the textural combination of the crispy nori and the crunchy seaweed.

seaweed salad (640x425)

Steamed Clams ($14) flavored with chorizo and roasted garlic aioli with a pinch of glass noodles on the bottom soaking up the broth is a must. This umami-filled item was my favorite.

steamed clams (640x425)

Roasted Bone Marrow ($14) is so rich and decadent you’d have to share this with someone. Topped with black garlic prune pesto and panko, then finished off under the salamander, the textures are soft, gooey, crunchy. Served with slices of grilled bread, I scooped the marrow and slathered it over the toasted bread and enjoyed!!

bone marrow (640x425)

Lamb Belly Steam Buns ($9) had awesome flavors of Korean gojuchang and tamarind. The sweet, spicy tart lamb was tender and deeply infused with the rich marinade. Cucumber and sesame finished the filling. The only thing I didn’t care for too much was the thickness of the buns.

lamb belly baos (640x425)

I was teetering on my decision regarding the Chicken Liver Pate Tea Sandwiches ($10) because although I enjoyed the pate filling tremendously, the bread was not the best accompaniment for this dish. As I bit into the sandwich, the pate would ooze out of the sides and end of the finger sandwich. Perhaps toast points would be a better vehicle choice for the pate? I did love the red onion fig marmalade and the freshness of the arugula accoutrements.

chicken liver sandwiches (640x425)

Grab some friends and check out these new items and have a drink or two on me! I’m giving away a $50 giftcard to Charlie Palmer’s this week for one of my readers to win. Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorites are at Charlie Palmer’s… or, if you’ve never been, what item(s) would entice you to go. Don’t forget to leave your FULL name! Entries close on Sunday April 7th, winner announced Monday, April 8th! Good Luck!

Charlie Palmer’s at South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tel: 714-352-2525

Charlie Palmer at South Coast Plaza on Urbanspoon


  1. says

    I’ve been there once for dinner and had a great experience–beautiful decor, good food and service. I remember really liking that bone marrow–yum! I think the small plates idea is great for a more casual experience there, as a full dinner can set you back quite a bit. Heck yes I’d love to go back!
    -Stephanie Han

  2. Michelle Terry says

    I’ve never been to Charlie Palmer’s but I’ve always wanted to go! The Seaweed Salad sounds interesting as does the Blood Orange Mojito.

  3. Trina Diep says

    I love the wine selection they have and that you can just stop in for a drink and bites or have a full dinner. The burgers are pretty good.

  4. angie kim says

    Haven’t gone to Charlie Palmer’s in years. The small plate idea is great though. Hope to try the bone marrow and chicken liver (I’ll deconstruct it myself if i have to). thanks

  5. says

    Hold up. Hold up. Wait just a darn minute. Did I just read ROASTED BONE MARROW… Dear lord in heaven why am I not eating this now! I’ve been to Charlie Palmers I think, honestly if I went it was with friends in college and it left no lasting memories in my head, but this… This sound like something I will not soon forget. I’m that guy who cracks into the bones of his sweet delicious meaty meals. My wife, my friends, my family they don’t get it, they don’t know about the delicious treasures inside the bones, it sounds to me like Charlie Palmer’s understands. Then on top of the inner bone goodness is black garlic prune pesto and panko, I’m not even sure I really know what that is, I just know I want it. If that’s not enough to get me in the door, you say they serve it with garlic bread, one of the reasons bread was invented (Along with Bread pudding and French Toast!!) Come Freakin’ On, How could you not want to try it! I’d love a chance to check out a great sounding restaurant, possibly again, possibly for the first time, but no matter what definitely crack into some great food. ( You see what I did there? I said “crack into” after talking about bone marrow, yeah I don’t care what anyone says that’s funny! LOL)

  6. EileenT says

    I have never been to Charlie Palmers. A coworker told me they have a great 3 course lunch prix fixe menu. Would love to try that one day!

  7. Jon Tang says

    I’ve never been to Charlie Palmers but by looking at the menu, the Bloody Mary Brunch looks really interesting. I love myself a goood bloody mary!

  8. reptyle05 says

    I have only been for their AMAZING Sunday Brunch for their even more AMAZING Bloody Mary Bar. Must try small plates!!

  9. Gilbert Mercado says

    I’ve always wanted to go to Charlie Palmer’s but the closest I’ve gotten to eating his food is DG Burger (darn good burger!). However, the roasted bone marrow, chorizo clams, and Valentino cocktail on the updated lounge menu look quite enticing!

  10. jihan assi says

    I never tried Charlie Plamer’s but I did try their DG burgers that are absolutly delicious. I’d like to have the opportunity to try what you posted. Everything looks great and it’s something i will definitly enjoy. I hope I win :)

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