Orange County: Tackle Box

Okay, you guys: normally I don’t get this excited about beach food, but trust me, this beach food is about ten times better than your average beach food. Tackle Box is a small grub shack on the beach at Corona Del Mar, and as soon as you walk by and get a taste of the delicious scents flowing from the windows, you’ll be hooked.

Brian Huskey, the chef that started and runs Tackle Box, was in the top five on season 11 of Top Chef, and has years of experience working at the best restaurants in LA and around the world. He is very good at what he does and even though I was just there, I already want to go back again and again.

The menu is extensive and includes everything from small bites to sandwiches to breakfast. It was so hard to decide what to order, but luckily, I was with a large group of people so I could taste a little bit of everything. To start off, we got the buffalo cauliflower with blue cheese and celery. I could barely believe it wasn’t wings and I probably ate a little more than my fair share. As a lover of all things with buffalo sauce, I can confidently say this was one of the best dishes of its kind I’ve ever had.

For myself, I ordered the fried catfish sandwich – when on the coast, right? It was crispy in all the right ways and perfectly flavored and matched with lettuce, tomato, and a divine remoulade. This was one time where I definitely did not regret ordering the fish.

Several members of my family got the Cali cheesesteak with fried peppers, crispy onions, and white American cheese. It was interestingly kind of like eating stroganoff on a sandwich, but that being said, it was delicious and one of the best cheesesteaks I’ve had in a long time.

What really stole the show, though, was what my husband ordered: the pork belly bahn mi. Stuffed with ginger, pickled carrots, a spicy aioli, and pork belly cooked to perfection, it had me almost wishing I’d ordered it. I have such a weakness for good pork belly. Combine that with a bahn mi, and I’m sold.

So what are you waiting for? Stop what you’re doing, get in your car, and head straight to Corona Del Mar. And say hi when you see me there chowing down on every other item on the menu that I haven’t tried.

Tackle Box (3029 E. Shore Ave. Corona Del Mar, CA // 949.723.0502)

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