OK, so once again, this is NOT a NYC restaurant but this post does have a slight NYC bent. You see, a few weeks ago the wife and I were headed to California for a little pre-Valentine’s Day weekend getaway. We left out of NY and took a 5 hour non-stop flight to LAX. If you calculate from the time we left our apartment at 9AM EST and then got to the OC (an hour drive south of LAX) at 6PM PST (which is really 9PM EST), we had gone about 12 hours with just some breakfast and a little airplane snack for nourishment and that was it.
Not only we were headed to the OC to stay with friends, but I had a band rehearsal there that evening at 7PM PST which would last till about 10PM PST, so if we were going to eat dinner, we had to do it right then and make it quick. One thing I’ve learned about NY so far is that EVERYTHING is expensive. Affordable? Take it out of your vocabulary because you will never use that word as long as you live here. Where you really seem to notice this is in the food realm. Unless you’re eating fast food, off a food cart or at a cheap hole in the wall diner (which we’ve only managed to find one), plan on dropping at least $30 for breakfast or lunch and around $70 on dinner for a table of 2.
When we got to the OC, we wanted some good Cali cooking and I was looking forward to an affordable meal. I remembered an old spot that I hadn’t been to since High School (more on that in a minute). It’s called Haus Of Pizza. I remembered their generous portions but forgot just how affordable they were. Come to find out, they have a different daily special which includes the entrée, salad and garlic bread for no more than 7 bucks.
Tara was a bit skeptical of how much food they’d give us for the price. Her tune changed as soon as the meal was brought out. The salad was fresh and loaded with dressing (a personal pet peeve of mine is when they skimp on the dressing). The garlic bread was soft and tasted like it came right out of the oven. We went with the manicotti and OMG! Sooo good! On any other evening, we would’ve definitely had leftovers. Not this night. We licked the plates clean and the bill was under $20! I was in heaven.
Now there is a back story to this place. My high school is about 2-3 miles from this restaurant. When I attended, they sponsored our varsity sports teams by providing the “pre-game meal” for every home game. I used to love game days because I knew we were going to eat well. We’d eat a meal like this at around 3 o’clock (once school got out), let is settle for the next couple hours and be good to go when game time rolled around about 7:30PM. I tested my middle brother Mark on a text message to see if he knew where I was eating based on the photos. It took 2 hints but he finally remembered.
If you are ever in Costa Mesa, CA looking for a good meal at a great price with quick service – check this place out. It’s awesome.