The Gypsy Den
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Being a food blogger, you have to roll with the punches. You have to be prepared for anything. Have your camera at the ready. Be prepared that one of your dining companions will take your first choice for dinner, so you have to go with your second or third choice. A food blogger should also be ready to sit in lighting that is less than optimal for pictures. These are just minor annoyances. My biggest pet peeve is when I am all geared up to go to a restaurant and there is some weird reason they are not open, or are closed for a private party. This is how we ended up at Gypsy Den. We were all set to go to Taco Asylum, but The Camp shopping center had no electricity. I suggested trying the Gypsy Den in the Lab Anti-mall, and my dining partners agreed.
I have been to Gypsy Den for cookies a few times, but have never eaten here. The atmosphere of Gypsy Den fits in perfect with the vibe of the Lab. Kind of hipster, with a touch of alternative. The tables and chairs are all wood, like something you would find in a cabin. The walls are adorned with rugs and portraits, some of which are pretty creepy. Waitress's are young and exude a trendy aura. The menu is littered with items geared toward healthiness. After checking out the menu this is what we came up with.
Jen will start things off for us with her Pesto Portabello Sandwich. This sandwich was composed of portabello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and zucchini in a balsamic marinade, which is then grilled and topped with mozzarella and pesto mayo. There were things she liked about this sandwich and other parts she was not too excited about. She liked the pesto here, and felt the flavors all blended well together. She would have enjoyed this sandwich more if it was not on a wheat bun. Maybe a little something not as sturdy, like a croissant would have made this better in her opinion. For her side item she went with the interesting sounding Orzo Pasta Salad, which she enjoyed with its citrusy taste.
After a very long, detailed look at the menu, Clay decided on the Chipotle and Avocado Vegan Chicken Wrap. Are you sure you do not need more time to make your decision Clay? This whole wheat tortilla included soy chicken, avocado, chipotle cream, salsa, and a whole lot of spinach. Clay not surprisingly, was no fan of this wrap. He called it, "awful, with a horrible flavor". Since he only ate a quarter of this, I did get the chance to try it. I would not say it was awful, but definitely not good. The "chicken" texture was off, and the chipotle flavor was like no other chipotle I have had before. More like a curry taste to it. This would not have even crossed my mind to order this for lunch. Not my thing.
Something that is a little closer to my thing is this Waldorf Chicken Sandwich. Their version of this famous salad contains apples, celery, walnuts, grapes, mayo, lettuce, and chunks of chicken on a croissant. This sandwich had a very mild flavor. I loved the textures here. I would have liked the chicken to be chopped into smaller pieces though. The croissant was a little over cooked. It was not as light as I think croissants should be. The sandwich was good, but missed by not having a big pop of flavor included. The Sweet Potato Salad was another interesting side item here. As I have written on this blog before I am not much of a sweet potato fan, but this salad was pretty good, and held my interest. Would have liked it even better if they added some brown sugar to it, but it was still good the way it was.
I could not leave here without trying one of their Chocolate Chip Cookies. By looking at the picture above, I am sure you can tell my biggest complaint about this cookie. Where are the chocolate chips? Oh yeah, there is one! Besides the lack of chocolate, this cookie had a good crunch to it, but the taste was just average.
I think I can safely say that Gypsy Den is not my kind of place. I can always find something on a menu to eat, and this place was no exception. The food here is way more on the healthy side than I usually go for. The ingredients were fresh, but lacked big flavor. The prices were decent. My sandwich was $8, and the most expensive thing on the menu is $13 for a pasta dish. All sandwiches are under $10. The service when we were here was a bit on the slow side. Glasses were not refilled, and we felt forgotten most of the time we were here. The Gypsy Den has its clientele, but I am not a member of that customer base. Glad I was flexible enough to at least try the Gypsy Den.
Out of five scarves, (because most woman gypsies wear scarves on their heads), five being best to zero being worst, Gypsy Den get 2 scarves.
For more information on Gypsy Den, click here: http://www.gypsyden.com/