Whether you’re fueling your body for a strenuous day of shopping or taking a break to relax and recharge, Z Café in South Coast Plaza has what you need, from the pizza that made Z famous (available with gluten free crust, too) to a hefty sandwich or a fresh salad of organic greens, to “Sharables” and warming seasonal soups. All are house-made using only organic and natural ingredients with a number of vegan and gluten free offerings and, overall, a very heart healthy menu, not often found at fast-casual mall eateries.
With free wi-fi and a comfortable outdoor lounge area that invites you to linger, start with a nibble from the “Sharables” side of the menu such as fresh house-made hummus with accoutrements ($5.95) or Quinoa Taboulleh with Chicken ($10.95). Salads, such as the Pear & Gorgonzola ($7.95) are an excellent choice and, if you desire the best of both worlds, you can opt for a Combo of half pizza or sandwich (select varieties) and soup or salad, probably the best deal of your day at $7.95! I highly recommend the Tortilla Soup if it’s featured as the Soup du Jour – appealing textures and deeply flavorful.
Our try my new fave, the Curry Chicken & Yam pizza that I tried during a recent blogger event where Z Pizza owner Sid Fanarof invited us to taste from their menu and filled us in on their Laguna beginnings and how Z Pizza addresses the needs of today’s health conscious consumer with concern for both the individual and the environment by supporting organic agriculture through organic menu items and their eco-friendly approach to operations.
Z Pizza’s signature hand-thrown, fire-baked, organic whole wheat crispy crust is reliably satisfying to my pizza-loving palate and my inner Cal-Italian craves the traditional Margherita pizza with fresh roma tomatoes, roasted garlic, and basil (above), but after tasting the Curry Chicken & Yam pizza – I have a new fave that pulls me across the Garden Bridge like a magnet. For me, their perfectly crisped crust is artfully complemented by the chunks of roasted yams, and fire-roasted curry chicken, with a smattering of mango chutney, mozzarella, and fresh cilantro.Try it and let me know what you think!
Prefer a sandwich on a chewy ciabatta roll? Go for the Grilled Carne Asada ($10.95) with sweet corn salsa and a nice zing from chipotle aioli or the Roasted Veggie ($8.95) chock full of seasonal vegetables, mixed greens, caramelized onions and artichoke hearts with provolone cheese.
Top it all off with a chilled brew or glass of wine from their selection of artisanal beers and boutique wines and you’re good for another run at the stores or maybe a quickie power nap on the comfy chaise tucked in the corner.
South Coast Plaza
Macy’s/Crate & Barrel Home Wing
3333 Bear St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626