243 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, CA 92672
As the new year turned from 2014 to 2015, we had a lot of things on our plate. We are planning a wedding, I'm trying to get over the holiday season, and we are trying to find time to be a lot more active. Last year we found one of our favorite walks in all of OC, the San Clemente Beach Trail. Not only do you have gorgeous views of the ocean, but you also have the occasional passing of trains mere yards away from the walking path.
Since this is one of our favorite places to walk, we have tried to incorporate getting breakfast in this area after we are done with our morning jaunt. We have been to some pretty decent places, but when I checked out Yelp, Cafe Mimosa looked real promising, and it would allow us to eat in the middle of our three mile walk. This would give Katie a little time to rest up for the walk back to the car, and it would also throw in a little elevation into our normally flat walk along the beach.
Cafe Mimosa is located about a half mile up from the San Clemente pier, right across the street from the San Clemente Library. We were lucky enough to be here on a Sunday, and there's a farmer's market hosted at the library that we had the pleasure of checking out before we headed down the hill so Katie could take a nap for the rest of the day.
This restaurant has been here since 2008, and there's almost always a line on the weekends for breakfast, as was the case when we arrived at 10am on a recent Sunday. Cafe Mimosa is not a huge restaurant. About six tables inside, and another eight or so on the covered patio out front. They play up the French vibe here, without making a mockery of it. A simple French flag out front and french inspired foods on the menu. It kind of reminds me of what they probably envisioned Mimi's Cafe to be back in the day.
After our twenty minute wait to get a seat, we were seated at a small table in the dining room. Tables are pretty close to each other, but we struck up a great conversation with the people to our right, who happened to have been visiting from Chicago. The menu at Cafe Mimosa is not overly huge, but there's enough variety to satisfy most people. This is not a traditional breakfast place. No Grand Slam plates, like at Denny's are served here. This is breakfast with a French twist. After our mile and a half walk to get here, I was ready to eat. Let's see how everything turned out for us.
Katie and I started things off by splitting two of their breakfast breads, the first of which is this Banana Bread ($7). When we ordered this I thought it was going to be a couple of slices of banana bread, and that was all. I was wrong. Two slices of well made bread are sandwiched between sliced bananas and a cream that resembled Bavarian, but it was less sweet, and then sprinkled with sliced almonds. The bread had a very subtle banana flavor, but was still moist. A very well done starter, and definitely worth trying here when coming for brunch.
A lot of people have the wrong idea about croissants. When you bring up this pastry to most people, they probably think about the ones in the grocery store, ones that more resemble a crescent roll than a croissant. What we were served at Cafe Mimosa was definitely not like anything you can get in the supermarket. This was a real croissant. I ordered this Chocolate Croissant ($3) and enjoyed it very much. The glossy top is what caught my eye first. It was not overly stuffed with chocolate ganache, but enough to allow the croissant portion of this to share the lead roll in the pastry. Another winner.
With the excitement that the first part of our meal brought us, we were stoked when our entrees came out. Up first is Katie's selection, the Mexican Omelette ($15). Joining the light and fluffy eggs in this was an Oaxaca cheese, roasted red peppers, scallions, a green tomatillo salsa, sliced avocados, and two corn tortillas. Katie loved the spicy flavor of this, but she does have a low tolerance to spice, because I did not think it was spicy enough. I did like the bite I had though, but wished it had some meat in it. This kept Katie full all day. This gave her more than enough energy for the remainder of our walk.
I was really torn between this Pork Belly ($17) and the chorizo scramble, but my love of pork belly won out. Glad it did, because this was a really good breakfast. Scrambled eggs are mixed with ham, bacon, and chives, then placed on top of their tender house potatoes. Then as if that was not enough, a big cube of crisped pork belly was placed on top of that. Even though it has been a few weeks since I've had this, I still think about it often. The pork belly was cooked perfectly, the eggs were light, and the potatoes added just the right amount of starch to break up the meatiness here. One of the better breakfasts we have had in some time.
Both Katie and I left Cafe Mimosa very full and satisfied. Because of the prices here, and the high quality ingredients used, I'd classify this as a special occasion breakfast restaurant, although I totally could eat here every week if my waistline and wallet could handle it. After having their breakfast, I'd love to come back for dinner and try their duck or short rib, both of which sound like they would be winners. The service that we had from Brooke on this morning was nice and pleasant. Glad we could work this restaurant in on one of our walks. Now we'll have to walk an extra few miles to work off all of this great food.
Out of five elephant vacuum cleaners, (because former San Clemente resident, Jane Vander Pyl voiced Wilma Flintstone, who used this to clean her house in Bedrock), five being best to zero being worst, Cafe Mimosa gets 3.5 elephant vacuum cleaners.
For more information about Cafe Mimosa, go to their website here: http://cafemimosasc.com/