Plums Cafe + Catering Review

I don’t often have the opportunity to go out to brunch despite how much I adore breakfast fare. So when I am given the chance to enjoy this most glorious incarnation of weekend morning meals, I want a real BRUNCH; not some flat pancake and chewy bacon impostor of a brunch, real brunch. I want unique and memorable dishes that have been created by people who understand how delicious weekend breakfasts can be. Plums Café and Catering in Costa Mesa, CA understand that brunch is a sacred art.

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This past Mother’s Day, I had not only the blessing of being able to celebrate with my own mother, but also my nanny from childhood who was my second mom, Catherine, being in town to celebrate this holiday of moms as well. And so, I wanted to be sure that if we were brunching, we were doing it right. My friend and colleague Mylinh strongly recommended Plums as THE place for brunch, especially on Mother’s Day. She couldn’t have been more right.

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Big and open patio

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Warm and relaxed interior

This breakfast centric café, located on the ever popular 17th Street in eastside Costa Mesa, was packed when we arrived – that’s usually how you know a place is good. Luckily, I had made reservations in advance and we were quickly seated in their light and airy dining room. Plums offers both outdoor and indoor seating; each area offers a very nice bright and airy feel that is perfect for a relaxed morning enjoying good company over a meal. It was warm, comfortable, and inviting.

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My mimosa! Praise!

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Fancy Bellini!

Now to me, it’s not real brunch unless some sort of morning libation is involved, and Plums knows this. They offer several signature morning drinks; I had a classic mimosa while my mom and nanny-second-mom-Catherine had the Peach Bellini. Both drinks were bright, sweet, crisp, and basically perfect. And bonus (!), Plums even offers a bundle deal where you can add on a morning libation and a coffee or tea to your meal for one lump sum. A mimosa and coffee combo are a sure way to my heart, that’s for sure.

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Magical Bagel Bite Appetizers!

As it was Mother’s Day, the kitchens sent out complimentary appetizers for us to enjoy before our main meals came. These bagel bites were surprisingly phenomenal. Light and airy bread with a garlic butter crust and tangy cream cheese oozing in the middle. I’ll take those any time of day!

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Now, Plums menu is extensive in its brunch centric fare, featuring dishes with Northwestern and Southwestern flare. It’s extremely difficult to choose as every menu item title is intriguing and every description is salivation inducing. Bearing in mind that Plums is a bit on the pricier (boogier) side, we decided to order three things from the menu as if we had each gotten our own dish, but share each dish so we got to experience more of this brunch greatness.

We ordered the Dungeness Crab Omelet, Shirred Eggs, and Plums Famous Dutch Baby. OH-M-G TO ALL!

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Dungeness Crab Omelet!!!

The Dungeness Crab Omelet was everything I hoped it would be; fluffy with that luxurious seaside flavor of tender crab and richness from a fresh dill hollandaise (God bless the French for coming up with hollandaise) and all balanced with the crisp earthiness of asparagus spears.

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The Shirred Eggs! Big surprise on how ah-mazing they were!

The Shirred Eggs were the biggest surprise in the best possible ways. I wasn’t entirely sure what Shirred Eggs are, and you probably aren’t either; they are a baked egg dish from France (again, God bless the French). Plums Shirred Eggs have a delightful Mediterranean character to them as they are baked in a Parmesan cream with Garlic Spinach and Dill. Served with a crunchy baguette to help soak up the eggy-creamy goodness, these Shirred Eggs were actually the real winner as far as egg dishes go; rich and pungent, leaving you begging for more.

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Plums Famous Dutch Baby – God is real people.

Lastly, the real star of the show; Plums Famous Dutch Baby. If you go on Plums Yelp, you will see this dish come up the most in the photos. It is an outrageous spin on a pancake that is pure magic. A deep dish pancake that is baked in a skillet until it rises up the sides forming a gigantic bowl of a pancake. This sweet dish is light and airy and perfect; it’s almost somewhere between a pancake and a funnel cake. Plums adds a light touch of bright lemon which really takes this dish to a whole new level. This is an absolute must for any pancake-crepe-waffle lover; something so different and so incredible; it will leave you contemplating whether or not regular pancakes are enough for you anymore.

Sharing all three of these dishes was the perfect choice for our group; and as you can see, we thoroughly enjoyed them. In addition to great food and warm atmosphere, Plums also provided exceptional service. We had several waiters attending to us and they never left us wanting for anything. It was the perfect icing on the Dutch Baby for a real brunch experience.

In closure, I think it is going to be hard for me to find another brunch restaurant that will live up to Plums Café and Catering. A unique and well-executed menu of breakfast delicacies in a welcoming environment with superb service. I would recommend Plums Café and Catering to anyone who is looking for a good and true brunch!

Mom and Me Plums

My mom and I celebrating Mother’s Day!


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