Thunderking Coffee Bar at Social, in Costa Mesa has been open for several months now, and after many visits, I’ve pretty much tried almost every single item on their breakfast/brunch menu.
Coffee lovers will undoubtedly find it difficult to choose a beverage because, quite frankly, there are just SO many, that it’ll make your head spin. There are coffee-infused beverages, both alcoholic, and non, as well as nitro cold brew on tap. I’m certain you’ll enjoy more than one of these drinks during the course of a meal.
For purists, stick with either the Thunderking Nitro Cold Brew ($5) or any of the regular coffee drinks such as Latte ($5). They also have a wide range of ‘milks’ to choose from, like soy or almond, besides the traditional — just ask!
Those looking for an adventure should try one of the Craft Coffees made with Thunderking’s iced nitro cold brew coffee. The Way Chai Like It ($6) is cold brew paired with house chai syrup, and orgeat. It is a little sweet for me, but otherwise, a really tasty beverage with all the hints of spices one would expect from chai.
Looking for something chocolate-y? Mi Vida Mocha ($6) might just be the one to tantalize your taste-buds. It is cold brew mixed with chocolate, and turbinado sugar, finished with whipped cream.
Orange Is The New Black ($6) is an interesting mix of organic chocolate, OJ, house orgeat, and cold brew. I really like the orange juice and chocolate together. Or, if you’re in the mood for something alcoholic, check out Cuban Mint Crisis ($12) which is a coconut water-based drink with cold brew, lime cordial, mint, and RUM! Alternatively, if you prefer sans alcohol, the Mojito Go Go ($6) is a similar variation, just without the rum.
The breakfast/brunch menu has expanded since the launch, and now, you’ll find double the amount of items from the original menu. There is something to suit everyone, including vegetarians, who may usually be overlooked.
Avocado Toast ($12) is a straightforward item, but kicked up with crème fraiche, confit cherry tomatoes, golden pea shoots, radish, and tarragon. Beautiful on the eyes, and your palate will thank you as well.
Another variation of the avocado toast comes in the form of Strawberry Avo Toast ($12). This version sees avocado topped with strawberries, pulverized coffee sprinkles, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Elote AF Scramble ($12) is another vegetarian delight. It is an egg scramble with roasted corn, portobello mushroom, bell peppers, and onion. I am sure you can add sausage or bacon to it. I prefer this scramble over the other one on the menu.
Which brings me to Gents Scramble ($12) the dish I don’t care for at all. The sweet potatoes lent a sweetness to the eggs, which my savory palate did not enjoy. Even after adding turkey sausage, I find it bordering on the bland side. Even the fabulous Nam Prik green hot sauce isn’t able to save this one.
Like Mexican-inspired selections? Well, all the offerings we tried are pretty damn good. Chilaquiles ($12) is a hefty portion of tortilla chips enveloped in a guajillo chile sauce, bathed with guacamole and lime crema, topped with cilantro, cotija cheese, and a sunny side up egg. Add chorizo, smoked pork or steak for an additional $6.
Chorizo Burrito ($12) is one of my favorites on the menu. Stuffed with chorizo from 4505 Meats, scrambled eggs, Oaxaca cheese, hash browns, lime crema, and served with a delicious house green sauce, this dish is the epitome of a hearty Californian breakfast.
There is also a Breakfast Burrito on the menu for the same price, with bacon, fingerling potatoes, and avocado, which is equally good if you’re looking for something not spicy. The dish comes with a green salsa, but if you like heat, ask for the Nam Prik green hot sauce in the bottle! I like to mix the two green sauces together and then slather the mixture on my burrito!
Sandwich lovers will love any of the options available. Breakfast Sandwich ($12) is packed with thick cut bacon (or 4505 breakfast sausage), American cheese, garlic aioli, sunny side up egg, between a potato bun. The runny egg adds a level of richness to the already decadent item.
Breakfast Burger ($14) comprises Wagyu beef, American cheese, bacon jam, fried egg, and house pickles. I’m not a huge burger fan, but the combination of flavors work rather well here.
If you’re considering one of the fried chicken dishes, I’d choose the Fried Chicken Sandwich ($14) with bacon, house-made pickles, American cheese, Andouille sausage gravy, and fried egg, on a potato bun.
The Chicken & Waffles ($16) continues to disappoint. I didn’t care for the syrup and hot sauce already drizzled over the chicken and waffles, when Thunderking first opened. Now, the syrup and hot sauce are served on the side, but the chicken still needs some work. It isn’t crispy enough, and chicken is flavorless. It needs to stand up on its own in both flavor and texture, without the help of syrup or hot sauce, for this to stand out.
Got a sweet tooth? Order the Fluffernutter Toast ($12) and have your sweet tooth blown away. Brioche toast is topped with fluff, peanut butter, honey, banana, and bacon. Sweet debauchery at its best.
Thunderking Coffee Bar operates out of SOCIAL Costa Mesa, Mondays to Sundays from 8am to 3pm.
Thunderking Coffee Bar/SOCIAL
512 W 19th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627