For dinner, I choose Lemonade. Lemonade is a Los Angeles chain, serving American style cafeteria food. The only reason I ever heard of Lemonade in the first place is because I was sent a copy of their new cookbook earlier this year.
Browsing through the cookbook was intriguing since there were a lot of fresh sounding and different recipes in the book. It made me want to visit the associated restaurant to see what made Lemonade so popular.
Lemonade is situated on an upper level at the Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach. Upon entering, it gives a sort of overview of the pricing which is a little confusing. The “Marketplace” items are priced by the number of portions you get. Going further down the line, hot items, sandwiches, soups and sides all have different prices. It can be a little overwhelming for a first timer since there are so many options and different price points.
Above were some of the different Marketplace side items. Anything that was set out like this (in a community way) you were able to sample to see if you really wanted a whole portion of it.
They had samples of various sandwiches set out on display.
As well as flatbreads, soups, and braises. I didn’t get a photo of the soups/braises section but everything was in large, different colored dutch oven pots.
There’s also a dessert station for your sweet tooth. Since I had macarons already I didn’t partake, but they do have their own giant sized macarons. I almost got one just to compare. I kind of wish I had!
And, naturally, they have various flavored lemonades which you can also sample.
Jake and I each gave the kids $13 to spend on their meals. Jake’s daughter, A, decided to go with the salmon and the mushroom soup with a side of bread. I got a little sample of each and they were both quite good. Mushroom soup is not a pretty thing to look at it, but it had a really good, earthy flavor.
S got the chicken chili and a side of macaroni and cheese (and a dessert that I didn’t photo or get the name of). I honestly don’t remember what this tasted like, or if I even had a sample…
Jake and I didn’t give ourselves budgets on our meal but we did share a portion of this macaroni and cheese. They had regular macaroni and cheese as well as white truffle macaroni and cheese. I sampled both and the truffle mac was quite rich and earthy and I didn’t think Jake would like it as much, so I went with the regular mac. I didn’t regret that decision though since the regular mac was super creamy and very good. It’s a hefty portion so I was glad Jake wanted to share it.
Jake ended up getting two different items that both had jerk seasoning on them. On the left is a salad with pineapple chicken, green beans, coconut, jalapeno, and jerk dressing. He sampled this and it seemed quite spicy to him – but he still wanted to get it because he really liked the flavor and mix of ingredients. On the right is a Jerk Chicken braise, kind of like a soup. I didn’t try either of these since I’m not a fan of Jerk seasoning but Jake loved them. He thought they had the right amount of spiciness and flavor for both dishes.
I tried a bunch of different sides and items and after one bite of this salad on the left, I knew I had to get it. It is snow pea “spaghetti” with corn, cotija, creamy lemon and black pepper. The flavors of this salad were so BRIGHT and refreshing and I loved the crunch from the corn and snow peas. The lemon dressing made it so flavorful and yummy. On the right is my lemon herbed chicken. I didn’t get to sample this beforehand, but it looked so good that I just trusted it would good… and luckily my hunch was correct! It was a thigh/leg piece and it was very juicy and chock full of fresh flavors from the lemon and herbs. I loved every bite!
Jake and I also decided on sharing a Watermelon Rosemary lemonade after sampling a few and this was our favorite.
The Watermelon Rosemary is one of the many recipes in the cookbook, so I look forward to trying it out this summer! I know the rosemary probably sounds hella freakin’ weird, but you must trust! The rosemary flavor is quite subtle, merely just a hint in the drink that just gives it a little extra “something something” to make it special.
All four of us really enjoyed our dinner out at Lemonade. I think the kids enjoyed it since they got to see and choose just what they wanted to eat and Jake and I enjoyed it since it was delicious. On their website I spy that a location is coming to San Diego soon, but no word on when or where just yet!
987 Newport Center Drive
At Fashion Island Mall
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the Lemonade cookbook for review. I was not encouraged or required to visit Lemonade and I did so on my own. I was not paid or compensated for this post.