Another day, another favorite, Another Kind Café: Cool “cross-culture” cuisine is close by in the Canyon

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

As a huge lover of Asian Cuisine I was delighted to be invited to sample Laguna Beach’s new and only “cross-culture” canteen, Another Kind Café.

Located at 793 Laguna Canyon Road, next to the Sawdust Festival, this canteen looks and feels as eclectic and clean as its food. What was once a “pop up” gallery space has been transformed by Thinh Nguyen and his team into a contemporary cool looking sit-down space with canyon views, ample parking, and a very appealing take out service (a perfect pick-up point for people who come through the Canyon on their way home from work).

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I wasn’t slow to finish the colorful crunchy slaw

Open 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. seven days a week, Another Kind Café offers a breakfast menu, small plate menu and larger dish menu as well as specials, which are changed weekly. Alongside this are a variety of soft drinks and teas. 

At the time of my report the restaurant offered no alcoholic beverage license, but a license is on its way.

Another Kind Café prides itself on being MSG free and offers a wide range of “cross-cultured” pan-Asian dishes, many gluten-free and vegetarian.

My food journey at Another Kind Café

To start I tried the Sai Thanh Slaw, a Vietnamese dish. This was a gluten free option consisting of red and white cabbage, peanuts, onion, fried shallots and herbs. There is an option to add poached chicken. This was so delicious: fresh, colorful, crunchy and light, a great starter or side to a main dish.

We then moved onto the Spicy Pulled Pork French Fries, delicious French fries crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, served with a generous portion of spicy pulled pork and topped with a delicious spicy mayo, green onion and chili. These were naughty but nice! A stark contrast from my healthy-feeling salad, but so delicious – a great option to share on a cold winter’s night when you leave the Sawdust Festival.

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The Vietnamese-style stew, the claypot fish, was my favorite

Next was the claypot fish, which is a Vietnamese style stew, served in the pot in which it is cooked. This dish consists of white fish in a caramelized sauce with cilantro, chili and organic jasmine rice. I have to say, this dish was my favorite of the evening. It was rich tasty and the fish fell apart (in a good way).

We then tried the Beef Pho, absolutely delicious bone broth, served with fresh basil, sprouts, chili, lime and chili sauce. It was a huge bowl, so I took the contents home with me and feasted on the dish for another couple of days.

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The Beef Pho was oh so good

It was then time to try “a special.” The special menu is changed weekly.  We decided to go for No. 4, which was a chicken curry with chickpea, ginger, onion, potato, egg and served with organic jasmine steamed rice. This was delicious also (although at this point I was very full). 

Thinh very kindly gave me a portion of Soi48 Wild wings from the small menu to take home for my children. The kids said they were the best chicken wings ever.

I really enjoyed my time at Another Kind Café. I love the location and hope that this will be the start of many cool little food places to be developed in our beautiful canyon.

The timing of the opening is also genius. This place is great to visit pre- or post-Sawdust Winter Festival. From a price point it is very reasonable, the most expensive dish being the claypot fish at $11.95.

I think I’ve found “Another” favorite take out – and eat-in…

Visit www.anotherkindcafe.com to check out their menu, or call 949-715-9688.

Kya

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

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