Fermentation Farm in Costa Mesa is fast becoming one of my favorite spots for both its innovative and creative menu, as well as its well-stocked market filled with an array of fermented goods, stocks and broths, and other healthful, ready-made items for home use.
What this past year has taught me is that taking care of your health means much more than the physical aspect, but mental and emotional as well. What you put into your body is essential to promoting your overall health. The importance of real, whole ingredients that nourishes your body from the inside is vital, especially as we age.
(*photo courtesy of Fermentation Farm)
I love Fermentation Farm because of what Chef Amy Lebrun is doing. Chef Amy, formerly of Lido Bottle Works, is creating an excellent program which includes a menu of fermented goods, as well as sprouted, whole ingredients, and other healthful foods to nourish your body.
My favorites are the Curtido, Turmeric Kimchi, and whatever krauts du jour Chef Amy is making. I am a huge fan of fermented foods as it helps with my digestion, and gut health. I try to eat a little every single day. The jars are in the grab n go cold cases for you to take home. We go through the turmeric kimchi very quickly, and I wish these were offered in larger jars.
If you don’t want to bother with cooking, then order something to enjoy on site. Chef Amy has just launched a weekend brunch menu that is not only exciting, but so delicious and flavorful, with ingredients that are lovingly created in-house with care.
We loved Brekkie Sando ($16) a breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg, curtido (Salvadorean slaw), scallions and bread toasted with ghee. Eggs are from La Bahn Ranch, which to me, are some of the best eggs you can purchase in OC. I’ve been using La Bahn Ranch eggs for years now. I first came across them at the Irvine Farmers Market and we love how rich and beautifully orange the yolks are. I also buy my chicken from La Bahn Ranch.
Morning Taco ($7) is another stellar offering served on a handmade white corn tortilla (you can purchase these as well), topped with salsa verde, sambal tallow potatoes, pasture egg, raw cheddar, blended salt, scallion, cilantro, and garnished with yellow flowers. The runny egg yolk oozes over the taco, creating a rich creaminess all around.
I was already sold when I saw Shakshuka ($17) on the menu, as it is always a favorite of mine. But here, it is taken up several notches with fermented harissa, black garlic sauce, tomato and pepper sauce, raw cheese, pasture eggs, squash blossoms, scallions, and served with ghee toast. I love the slight kick from the tomato and pepper sauce. Absolutely fantastic!
For those with a sweet tooth, may I suggest Jammed French Toast ($17). Thick brioche slices are stuffed with a concoction of strawberry jam, and almond butter. It is served with more almond butter, fresh cut strawberries, micro basil, and crushed sprouted almonds, maple syrup on the side.
This is a perfect presentation of what a sweet dish should be — not cloying, with each ingredient shining on its own without being masked by unnecessary additions.
Should you happen to visit on a weekday, I highly suggest the Roasted Brassicas & Red Curry ($14). This has to be my favorite of all time. Beautiful brassicas such as cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, radish, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, are cooked with Chef Amy’s fermented red curry (which you can find in the cold case) and finished with coconut cashew. The layers of flavors in this dish are outstanding. If this is what being vegetarian is all about, then please sign me up!
On Tuesdays, you will find a Taco Tuesday menu with some fabulous offerings! My favorites are:
Sweet Potato Taco ($7) using the delicious house-made corn tortilla, and topped with sweet potato, Napa cabbage kimchi, ramen sauce, scallion, and cilantro. Tasty, healthy, and you’ll leave feeling oh so satisfied.
The Squash Blossom Mulita ($8) is a must. Chef Amy presses beautiful squash blossom flowers into blue corn house-made corn tortillas, and fills them with raw cheese, avocado, summer squash, charred onions, and ancho chile. I can’t stress how happy eating this makes me feel.
So whichever day of the week should you find yourself at Fermentation Farm, know that there is something on the menu that is absolutely worth trying. It will take you many visits to get through all the wonderful things available — I haven’t even talked about the array of kombuchas and juns on tap — but it is all well worth it.
Taking care of your health doesn’t just mean on the outside, but also, on the inside. By being mindful of what you consistently put INto your body, will undoubtedly make you feel an overall wellness down the road. Yes, top notch quality products may cost a little more, but isn’t your health worth it? You don’t have to believe me, but you’ll believe your own body once you commit to taking good care of it!
1125 Victoria St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627