If breakfast is a time to gather energy, and dinner is a time to relish in comfort, than lunch can be a moment for both. At the Mendocino Farms in Marina del Rey, an outdoor patio is dotted with tables and chairs under the shade of windswept trees. Indoors, calming blue hues enclose an laidback space: a wall of distressed wooden panels is the backdrop to eclectic frames, black-and-white paintings of nature swirl next to tables, and industrial light fixtures hang artfully above a full-length menu. If the restaurant’s name and surroundings don’t already hint at its homespun appeal, than the food will make such coziness undeniable.
In keeping with the restaurant’s namesake Northern California county that’s best known for its sustainable practices, Mendocino Farms creates colorful, layered sandwiches from a seasonal menu. Stick to the classics – like slow-roasted barbecue pulled pork with house made pickles, the farm turkey club with smashed avocado, and the modern tuna melt with fresh herbs – or bite into the limited-time selections that the chefs are constantly trying to perfect. There are also vegan and “foodie favorite” options, including the popular Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi, that will fare just as well with a side of spicy potato salad and a bag of chips.
When good spirits have returned, check out the drink menu. If you’re lucky, lunch hour could easily become happy hour.