We're back at the Camp again, that hip foodie enclave in Costa Mesa, this time to sample the fare at Old Vine Café, the joint creation of the brothers McDonald. Chef Mark and sommelier Brandon run this little restaurant virtually by themselves, with one helper. They're cooking, waiting on tables, chatting with customers, making suggestions and apparently having a great old time of it, albeit an exhausting one. Their passion for what they do is contagious and the food is really good, especially when paired with some of their well-chosen wines.
Although the restaurant is quite small, the big glass windows along one wall that open out to the dining patio and the mini-forest beyond make the room feel more expansive. In one small corner is their wine nook, where their carefully crafted collection resides, providing an element of decor in this clean contemporary room. Tasteful jazz playing in the background is conducive to conversation as well as digestion.