A couple of years ago I was at an event that was catered by Mendocino Farms. I’d never tried it before but as soon as I bit into my sandwich I was hooked. It was so tasty and delicious that I started to visit the restaurants regularly. So when I heard they were partnering with Whole Foods to bring a location to the Tustin store I was super excited. So much so that I attended the grand opening this past weekend and enjoyed a delicious (complimentary) lunch.
Whole Foods Tustin is located at The District shopping center and I’ve long been a shopper there. It’s a gigantic location that over the past year has undergone several upgrades concluding with the addition of the Mendocino Farms and the adjacent Hangar Bar. On Saturday, to celebrate the grand opening the folks behind the two companies got together and had a bread breaking ceremony.
Afterwards we all headed inside for a delicious lunch. My mom was with me and we both were in the mood for a banh mi so I opted for the Spicy Lemongrass Steak and my mom went for the Kurobuta Pork Belly.
The sandwiches come topped with the traditional carrots, daikon, jalapenos and cilantro but also include cucumbers and chili aioli. The pork belly (on the left) is sweet and caramelized while the lemongrass (on the right) has a bit of a kick to it. They’re equally delicious and I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite. It seriously would depend on what mood I’m in.
Next door is the Hangar Bar which features an extensive beer and wine list, a wide variety of handcrafted cocktails and a full service menu. After our meal I was too full to sample the menu but with items like Maple Glazed Pork Belly and Cauliflower Nachos I know I’ll be back. Plus, they have a focus on local libations and have partnered with Greenbar for their cocktail menu.
It’s one of my favorite distilleries and I’m excited to sample the concoctions they serve. And if you’re wonder why it’s called the Hangar Bar you simply need to step outside the store.
The District sits on the former Tustin Marine Base and its iconic blimp hangars dot the landscape. I’ve known these hangars all my life and am so happy they still exist and now serve as the inspiration for the Hangar Bar.
I know I’ll be back to try it out and, of course, return to Mendocino Farms. I’m actually craving a banh mi right now.