Restaurants at this location have not had much luck when it comes to staying in business. I doubt it has anything to do with the food since I really liked the Chinese vegetarian restaurant which was here before. However, it is indeed a lousy location, situated next door to a Travelodge, easily missed if you’re zipping along Bristol and not looking for it.
We stopped by last week for lunch moreso because I was curious. Apart from pulling up the carpeting, the current owners have not done anything else to the place — even the furniture is the same.
We arrived famished and proceeded to order a table full of food. Everyone wanted hummus and so we ordered Pita & Hummus ($5) but then decided to get the Combo ($8) which includes both regular and spicy hummus — extremely generous portion if you ask me. We all agree the spicy version is the way to go — nicely flavored and the kick at the end really makes a difference.
I wanted to try Dolmades ($6) and these grape leaves are stuffed with ground sirloin as well as rice, split chickpeas, herbs and spices. usually served at room temprature or chilled, these arrived warm and has a hint of sweetness to it. The accompanying tatziki (or tzatziki) is definitely required to level out the sweetness with tartness.
We asked the server if the Meatballs ($6) are Mediterranean or Italian. She replies Mediterranean. She is wrong. These are definitely Italian-style meatballs made with ground sirloin, oregano, parsley, egg and breadcrumbs in a fresh tomato sauce. Although we enjoyed them, it was such a random dish to see at a Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern restaurant.
There is a Falafel ($6.50) sandwich on the menu, but none listed as an appetizer. Our server is able to get us the falafel as an appetizer, but when it arrived, it was actually on pita, so I’m assuming it’s the sandwich after all. It was absolutely delicious with chunks of fried eggplant with two types of pickled vegetables served alongside — I prefer the cabbage.
Stuffed Olives ($5) is a misnomer as none of the olive are stuffed, but rather, mixed with a pomegranate and walnut mixture. Yes, some of the sauce has found its way into the crevice of some of the olives, but otherwise, they are not stuffed. Tasty, but misleading to say the least.
Moving on to entrees, Rotisserie Chicken (quarter $7/half $9/whole $16) is disappointing with the meat being extremely dry. It is served with hummus and pita, but since we started with a ginormous order of hummus, we ask if they would substitute with the babaghanoush. Sadly, we didn’t care for it at all. There isn’t much flavor at all which is such a shame because I love babaghanoush.
Koobideh Kabab ($11) is good — two well-seasoned charbroiled ground sirloin skewers possessing good flavor. It could have stayed on the grill slightly longer, but it sufficed. A good-sized portion — you’ll definitely not leave hungry.
My friends wanted Baklava ($2) but I do not recommend it. The filling is made from a paste instead of real chopped nuts, giving it an almost synthetic taste. Definitely stick with the savory items if you come here.
The menu is 70% Meditteranean with a bunch of random items such as burger, spaghetti and meatballs, panna cotta which is mind-boggling. I suggest sticking with the Mediterranean offerings. Service is extremely discombobulated with not much cohesion going on. There is potential for this place and I hope they get their act together soon.
Pom & Olive
1400 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626