It’s been a little while since I was last at TOAST, and it is the first time I’m trying out their lunch/dinner menu. Previously, I had only tried their breakfast menu. Some of the menu items have remained, and some have rotated out. You’ll find this a regular occurrence here as seasons change and the produce availability comes and goes.
The menu will be familiar to all, even if some of the components may not be. I especially enjoy the various ethnic touches Chef John Park brings to his dishes.
Steamed Manila Clams ($10) is aesthetically beautiful. The clams lay in a bath of tarragon beurre blanc, dotted with English peas and bits of chorizo. The grilled levain slices are perfect to dip into the sauce. Ask for a spoon so you can enjoy every delicious drop.
I’m a huge fan of chicken wings, and I’ll have to admit, it was the first thing my eyes gravitated towards. There are four choices for the Chicken Wings ($11) — POG Habanero, Garlic Honey BBQ, Nashville Hot, Salt & Pepper — and because you can’t mix and match, we decided on POG Habanero. The wings were extremely salty, not much heat from the habanero, nor much sweetness from the POG (pineapple, orange, guava). I do want to come back and try the Nashville Hot though!
Cajun Shrimp & Grits ($22) was a hearty portion and exceptionally savory. This is a perfect composition because it comprises of everything I love. The Parmesan grits are topped with and slices of fried lap cheong (Chinese sausages). Then, if that wasn’t decadent enough, there is buttered jumbo lump crab meat, and killer Old Bay tater tots. What a genius idea pairing the tots with lap cheong!
One of my favorites was Korean BBQ Eggplant Quesadilla ($12). The tortillas were nice and crispy filled with chunks of bulgogi marinated eggplant, onions, mushrooms, fontina cheese, kimchi pico de gallo, and served with ramekins of avocado aji verde and roasted sesame creme fraiche. It is flavor-packed, and not the least bit heavy. Vegetarians will absolutely love this! I know I did.
I was intrigued by the name, Blue Plate Special ($12) and was delighted that it actually arrived on a blue plate. The strips of piri piri citrus marinated chicken was moist and seasoned well. The smashed potatoes and broccolini are great, but it was the garlic coleslaw that I absolutely fell in love with.
Besides its culturally diverse menu, TOAST also offers a separate breakfast/brunch menu, where you will also find the shrimp and grits, as well as Breakfast Burrito ($12) filled with chorizo, maple glazed bacon, tater tots, cheesy scrambled eggs, and served with salsa rojo.
On the same menu, you will find regular chicken and waffles, as well as Orange Chicken & Black Sesame Waffle ($18) which offers orange-glazed fried chicken with a side of black sesame Belgian waffles instead of the traditional.
On Tuesdays, you can also partake in Chef Park’s Taco Tuesdays where a handful of creative tacos are offered.
Go check them out! All day dining, in the space where The Golden Truffle used to be.
TOAST Kitchen & Bakery
1767 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627