Mussels are a delicious little item that can be made even better with the right sauce and accompaniment. While the mussels themselves are small, you can easily get your fill with a serving of them whether they are served in a cast-iron skillet or on a platter. If you’re looking for some great seafood that’s not sushi or crab, try these places for mussels in Orange County.
725 Baker St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Located in “The Camp” in Costa Mesa, finding the place feels like uncovering a secret. You’ll find two kinds of mussels here, and both are great. The standard recipe includes butter, salt, pepper, lemon and extra-virgin olive oil, while the other variety are steamed with paprika, Bilbao chorizo, chili flakes and green onions, then deglazed with white wine. This variety just might become your favorite way to eat mussels. With either, you can ask your waiter or waitress to warm some beer in the cast-iron skillet, then use bread to sop up the beer and the remnants on the skillet.
Anaheim Packing District
440 S. Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805
With the mussels at Kettlebar, you see just how good simplicity can be.Steamed with Chardonnay and shallots, the Chardonnay gives a nice fruit note to the dish, and in general the sauce is delicious without being overpowering. At Kettlebar, you can order the mussels either as an appetizer before other delicious dishes, or as a light meal. Try pairing these mussels with a witbier. A cioppino with mussels is also available.
210 W. Birch St.
Brea, CA 92821
When it comes to mussels, it’s really the preparation that sets them apart. At Bruno’s, the mussels are prepared with garlic, white wine, fennel and fresh herbs. The fennel provides a flavor that you won’t find in other mussels dishes. The fennel – along with the fresh herbs – also helps to keep the dish light so you can save room for some of the amazing entrees you’ll find here.
222 Forest Ave.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
If you’re of the opinion that any reason is a good reason to go to Laguna Beach, then Brussels Bistro is a good place to visit for mussels. Here you’ll find the classic mussels mariniere – made with white wine, butter, garlic and herbs. They are steamed to perfection and wonderfully tasty. To make it even better, you’ll find a great selection of Belgian beers to accompany your mussels.
Juliette Kitchen and Bar
1000 Bristol St. N., Suite 11
Newport Beach, CA 92660
If you’re looking for mussels that are a little different than the traditional recipes, Juliette offers terrific mussels. Prepared with sweet onion, chorizo, herbs and harissa butter, the mussels here are a little spicier than the traditional mussels mariniere, and they are not only delicious, but also available as a share plate. Pair these mussels with a wine from the impressive list.