Westside Costa Mesa, among many other things, is ground zero for the surf industry. Hurley, RVCA, Volcom, and dozens of other surfwear and board manufacturers reside here. It is also home to some of the most authentic culinary experiences in Southern California. We will start at the zenith: El Toro Bravo Tortilleria. Forget East LA or Boyle Heights, this is the best Mexican food around. Bask in the tastiest handmade tortillas, chips, salsa, and carne asada, along with every other Mexican culinary incantation imaginable.
A short walk down the street on the same side at the corner of 19th and Placentia is a mall center with a handful of other delights. Alejandro's is another excellent Mexican food place; drive or walk up 24 hours a day, and try the three rolled tacos with guacamole for just a couple bucks. Right next door is Captain Mike's Fish Fry, which serves richter fried fish and chips and grilled chicken that blows away El Pollo Loco.
The Wayfarer, where the storied Detroit Bar used to be, brings a little Newport bougie-ness (in a good way) to the Westside, along with great live music. While you are in the area, stop by Someone Cares Soup Kitchen and give back to the homeless, showing gratitude to be able experience all the good things the Westside offers.