I was intrigued by this new cafe which took over the Jackson Barne Classic Grill space in the plaza which houses Fukada and 24 Hour Fitness by the Spectrum. I heard that it has a superhero theme and while I had read here and there of the menu items, I wanted to see for myself what it was really about.
I drag my son with me after his kickboxing class — he had wanted to go to Renzo’s — promising him that we can go to his preference later if he didn’t like what we find here.
It was empty when we arrived and I noticed it was more of a modern cafe rather than the heroes themed place I had envisioned. There are comic heroes on artwork lining the walls, but if you took that out, then out also goes the theme they are aiming for.
Our server explained the menu to us and my son ordered the GI J sinwich ($8) because there is bacon in it. I, on the other hand, wanted to try it because of its interesting combination of ingredients. I asked why it was called a “sinwich” naturally my mind immediately thought “sinful”, but was told it reflected the open faced sandwich served on a single slice of bread. Oh well, I guess I was thinking it would be a lot more interesting than what it turned out to be.
The GI J was essentially a breakfast-style sandwich with bacon, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, red onions and get this, a piece of nori. The eggs are served sunny side up and a little too runny for my taste with the whites more than a little undercooked. It was the nori which piqued my interest and I was surprised it really worked well together. Even my son loved it.
I ordered the Saturday Special: Hero’s Relaxing Snack Set ($19) of four different items which, when the server explained to me, sounded like bento-style, but turned out to be served individually, like a 4-course meal if you will.
Kusmi Tea ($4) is available hot or cold and I opted for hot. I had no idea what it was and had to google it to find that it was a brand of luxury tea which has more than a century’s history. The tea didn’t blow my mind and I’m not sure it is worth $4 on its own, but as part of the set, I was happy to sample it.
Daily Smoothie ($6.50) is made with freshly cut fruit and no sugar is added. I chose the version made with Pom pomegranate juice (that’s the sweetness I guess) and it was refreshing and tasted very healthy — not sweet at all. I only managed three sips before my son downed the entire glass. Must’ve been good!
We both enjoyed the Bruschetta ($6.25 normally served with fresh fruit as a combo) although I would’ve liked a different kind of bread — maybe artisan — instead of the sliced whole wheat toast it was served on. The tomatoes are flavorful and there is a lot of garlic in it as well as fresh basil. Again, my son ate most of this.
The last item in the set was a wild, wild mushroom scramble — name is deceiving — but there are no wild mushrooms, only button so it isn’t exactly a wild mushroom scramble. What you get are eggs scrambled with onions, a side of sauteed mushroom and finely shredded carrots — this combo is normally served on a sinwich ($8). It is definitely healthy and nothing is overly salted but it didn’t blow me away either. This is something I could’ve easily whipped up at home.
They have special discounts for 24 Hour Fitness members every day but since their meals are already geared towards healthy, I’m not sure why they would single out a few items each day instead of just offering gym members an all around discount. It makes for good sense seeing the gym is right next door.
I’ll be back to check them out again soon just to see how they have evolved. In the meantime, I believe this place has great potential to find its rightful niche in the Irvine area.
8691 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618