Award-Winning Plant-Based Concept, The Plot, to Grow in Summer 2023

The zero-waste restaurant that’s effectively feeding Southern California’s eco-revolution is set to open in Costa Mesa’s The CAMP.
Award-Winning Plant-Based Concept, The Plot, to Grow in Summer 2023
Photo: Israel Palacio

Davin and Jessica Waite, owners of Oceanside’s award-winning plant-based concept The Plot, will open a second location this summer inside Costa Mesa’s The CAMP, offering a full plant-based lunch and dinner menu, to-go retail, kombucha and craft beer, natural wines by the glass, and a complimentary sake, wine and non-alcoholic cocktail program. 

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The Plot’s expansion marks the next evolution of the Waite’s mission to help bring plant-forward eating to the mainstream, as the couple already owns and operates various other concepts such as the sustainable seafood omakase hideout Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub, Shoots Fish and Beer, and the soon-to-open The Brine Box on the seaward end of the iconic Oceanside Pier.

The CAMP is a unique outdoor shopping and dining destination and home to some of the most sustainable tenants in Southern California. With a commitment to environmental responsibility and community engagement, The CAMP has become a hub for conscious consumers and businesses alike. Tenants range from independent retailers to award-winning restaurants, all of which share a common commitment to sustainability. 

“We’re thrilled to be opening our second location at The CAMP,” said Jessica Waite, owner and co-founder of The Plot. “We’ve always wanted to expand our reach and bring our plant-based cuisine to more people, and The CAMP’s commitment to sustainability and community aligns perfectly with our values. We’re excited to be a part of such a vibrant and innovative space that champions sustainability as not just a trend, but a way of life.” 

The Waites have been at the forefront of San Diego’s culinary scene for over a decade, gaining a loyal following for their inventive and sustainable approach to seafood and plant-based dishes, while simultaneously garnering accolades including San Diego Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant of the Year” in 2020 and one of VegNews’ “San Diego’s Best Vegan Restaurants,” in 2022. 

The Plot Costa Mesa will feature the same dedication to keeping things real and local with a menu that will notably be absent of processed proteins. The culinary team will prepare all of the menu’s plant-based proteins in-house (except for their organic tofu) including Davin’s creation: imitation cräb made from lion’s mane mushrooms sourced from San Diego-based Mindful Mushrooms. 

The Plot’s menu erases preconceived notions and perceptions of what a meatless menu can be and sets the benchmark for taste with popular dishes including the Chickën and Waffles with habanero shallot sauce and served with sides of smokey maple syrup and housemade cashew butter, Okinawan Sweet Potato Gnocchi, and rotating vegan sushi roll specials like the Smoky Summer Surf & Turf made with grilled chayote squash, chorizö & cräb, and topped with a smoked stone fruit sauce. Additional house favorites include the Shepherd’s Pie, a hearty recipe from Davin’s dad in England, made with all plant-based, locally grown ingredients, the Stuffed Yam made with säusage (lentils, wild rice, rainbow carrot) and truffle cheezy sauce made from cashews, and a Grilled Cabbage appetizer with a pink peppercorn cream sauce and lentil “cavier” flavored with kombu and ogo seaweed.

Likewise, The Plot focuses on the whole vegetable, the total utilization of fresh, boundary-pushing ingredients. Often discarded celery root pulp becomes the basis of their Takoyaki, a ball-shaped Japanese snack typically filled with minced octopus. Scraps from the delivery of lion’s mane, trumpet, and oyster mushrooms are smoked over the white oak chips they grow on. The smoked mushroom powder provides a “funk” that flavors the quephaux fresco featured in the Mexifornia roll, the beet demi-glace in the Shepherd’s Pie, and the fishless sauce in The Plot’s Roasted Cauliflower dish. 

The goal of Jessica and Davin with The Plot is to go beyond sustainability in order to become a regenerative business — not just minimizing impact, but helping to repair our environment. This includes restoring green spaces in the surrounding community to sequester carbon in healthy soil, supporting farmers and purveyors that are doing the same, and educating communities about the benefit of localizing our food system. 

“We set out to create a restaurant brand that aligned with everything we believe in; basically, idealistic AF,” says Jessica. “We believe that every time someone has a meal, they should experience something that spurs conversations, builds community, supports and uplifts the local farmers and economy, creates sustainability, and sets their soul on fire.” 

“I built my reputation on fish and I still love all types of food, but I believe the future is moving in a plant-based direction,” adds Davin. 

The Plot at The CAMP will open doors in Summer 2023 and is located at 2937 Bristol Street, Suite E100 in Costa Mesa, CA. Follow along for updates on Instagram on the grand opening: @theplotrestaurant 

Photo: Erik Baldwin

This article came from a press release shared with What Now Orange County.

Drew Pittock

Drew Pittock is an independent contributor covering various markets across What Now's portfolio. He’s an avid record collector, amateur chef, compulsive estate sale shopper, and “Antiques Roadshow” binge watcher. Originally from Los Angeles, Drew now lives in El Paso, TX with his wife and their two cats.
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