Something’s happening to my body lately, and I find myself eating less and less red meat, leaning more towards a pescatarian diet. So it isn’t surprising that I’m cooking more vegetables, and choosing plant-based foods as part of my daily diet. I’ve been hearing a lot about The Water Brewery and the vegetarian menu by Chefs Carli Savedra (formerly at Old Vine Café) and Raya Belna (Seabirds food truck fame) and am so stoked to try it.
I am mesmerized by The Water Brewery, and its philosophy, which owner Wennifer Lin-Haver is best equipped to relay to you during your visit.
We start with A.M.O.R.E Agua Fresca ($3) a refreshing drink of strawberry, watermelon, mint using The Water Brewery’s exceptional filtered water (more on this later).
Coconut Cabbage Salad ($8/$14) is a crisp shaved cabbage salad dotted with seaweed mung bean sprouts, mint, Thai basil, spiced cashews, and citrus, tossed in a coconut lime dressing. It is refreshingly light, and super clean on the palate.
Bodhi Bowl ($15) is a more substantial item which sees slow cooked creamy heirloom beans at the base of the bowl, then topped with a medley of roasted and raw seasonal vegetables, fresh berries, pickled red onions, avocado, hemp seeds, and topped with a soft farmers’ market duck egg.
If you were a customer of Seabirds food truck back in the day, you’ll be familiar with these Banh Mi Tacos ($8/$14 2pcs). Handmade corn and chia tortillas are topped with a spiced jackfruit — reminiscent of carnitas – drizzled with jalapeno cashew crème, pickled carrots, cucumber, and cilantro. I love the texture of the healthy tortillas, and the whole composition of this taco. The flavors pop in my mouth, and you won’t even miss the lack of protein whatsoever.
What better way for sandwich lovers to get their carb on than bread from OC Baking Company. Master Baker Dean Kim has created a special Dutch Crunch roll for the Cali Melt ($13) which sees avocado, melted Jack cheese, pickled red onion, and green goddess aioli dressing served open-face style. House-pickled vegetables accompany, which are perfect, in between bites of the sandwich, to cleanse the palate with.
Chimichurri Potatoes ($6) are smashed potatoes tossed in chimichurri. It’s straightforward, simple, but oh so delicious!
My favorite dish is Spring Pasta ($14) but don’t let the title fool you. The noodles are made from seared daikon, and tossed in a silky garlic confit cashew cream, with seasonal vegetables, and king trumpet “scallops”. It is rich on the palate, creating a luscious mouth-feel, but devoid of the film left over from dairy. It is a stunning dish which I will order over and over again.
While at The Water Brewery, you’ll be delighted to know that the filtered water sold at the front of the store is used in every aspect – beverages, dishes, cakes etc. I brought a two-gallon jug of the A.M.O.R.E water home, then, returned again several days later and purchased a three-gallon with two booster enhancements. It’s been two weeks since we started drinking this water and we have noticed a detoxification process happening. I can’t wait to report back several months from now, on how the effects of this water is working. There are two locations of The Water Brewery, but the kitchen is located at its Victoria St location.
Regardless whether you like the water or not, one thing is certain. The creative genius of Chef Carli and Chef Raya is evident in the dishes they are serving. You’ll be amazed by how thoughtful and talented these two chefs are once you eat their incredible menu.
The Water Brewery
1125 Victoria St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
545 W 18th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627