The Camp

We took a friend out to a birthday lunch at a popular outdoor mall in Costa Mesa last week called The Camp. It’s across the street from one of the first, and only, alternative-style shopping centers in Orange County, called The Lab (aka The Anti-Mall). They both have restaurants and hip stores. It took a while for The Camp to catch on, but the place seemed pretty happening when we were there.
 (Above are names of some of the restaurants.)

In general, I liked the benches, and plantings, and iron sculpture and fixtures all over the place. It was clear the overarching theme was re-use, re-purpose, save water, go green, get creative, eat well, support nature and sustain like mad. Hard to go wrong there.

It’s difficult to make out, but in the middle of this photo is a large, wood burning fire pit made out of iron. There are a couple restaurants on the other side of this patio. Fun place to hang.

The fire pit. Kinda cool. Probably looks great at night. (Not sure what’s with all those machines in the back.)
If you look up, there are some interesting lights that are built to look like tree limbs.
I’m not the biggest fan of this type of iron work, but the raw quality works with this place.
If you keep walking, there are these old tractor seats.

A tractor seat.

This was inside one of many small cabanas that are all over the place. I liked the painted floor.

And the “chandelier.”
If you walked to the very end of this one pathway,
 the restaurants have about 20 of these large planters to grow their organic veggies. (I know you know, but that’s just a photo of those row crops.)
If instead of walking down that pathway, you walk up these inspiring stairs, there’s a cool rooftop space.

Now we are upstairs looking down. 
We ate at that restaurant below called The Old Vine, and the food was very good. (I can also highly recommend the fusion Vietnamese restaurant, East Borough.)
Upstairs is this rooftop space, with artificial grass, party lights and a giant outdoor fireplace. I assume it’s for private parties or receptions,
or just open to the public, and part of the Ecco, the restaurant directly below it.

Maybe we just liked it because there were no people at the moment.
Just one of many succulent planters all over the place.
Now we are in a larger central patio.
Wisteria is bursting out!!
Guess you couldn’t put  these on the front.

 Creative embellishments on the Adirondack chairs. 

I think I like almost anything better with some original artwork on it.
They have some unique stores. This one was full of “green,” sustainable, re-use items. 

This was outside an outdoor gear store. We liked the lashed balcony fence.
If you are in the area, look for this sign off Bristol Avenue, about a couple blocks west/south of the I-405. I don’t get out of my little town much, but this could be one of the best places to eat, shop and hang in OC–especially if you prefer the outdoors to the indoors.
Stay tuned, I will show you my favorite store at The Camp on my next post!

3 thoughts on “The Camp

  1. What a quirky, alternative, and stylish place, love it! Full of inspiring ideas for the garden!!

    Love those chairs and the harmonius use of both natural and modern materials. I'll be picking up plenty of ideas from this post…

  2. WOW. I am SO jealous that I live just a little too far to easily cruise down there. But my son IS going to UCSB, and it's just a 'little' further down the road….hmmm…thinking I must definitely visit this place. Awesome post!!

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