California Native is the kind of place I wish I had come across when I was travelling up the West Coast in the US. Perhaps it was my addiction to Joe’s Crab Shack which made me blind to any ‘hip’ venues, or maybe I, myself was not hip enough to sniff out such a place.
Thankfully I’m like, at least three times hipper these days so I managed to just suddenly find myself in the midst of California Native nestled amongst the residential area of Coorparoo. Lol jks my friend told me about it and then we were forced to book a table for 5:30pm on a Friday because it was like sahhh busy but we were fanging for tacos.
If Cali Native (that’s what the locals call it, right?) was a human, it would be embodied by our waiter. He sounded like he was straight out of the O.C. He also looked after us like he was working for his tips. I don’t think anyone has told him that’s not how we do it here but I was not complaining!
Like any self respecting gal on a Friday arvo we hit the cocktails first up. It wasn’t long before we were no longer self respecting. Those badboys were fire powered. I think free poured drinks is a US delicacy I can get behind. Also we got free salsa and chips which is another US ‘thing’ that is really up my alley.
Next up were some jalapeno poppers and beef taquitos – both of which I can pronounce properly which is something i’m proud of. The jalapeno poppers were so great! perfectly crispy, extra spicy and full of cream cheese. The taquitos were like little beef cigars smothered in salsa and cheese. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth good and the salsa gave them a nice freshness. So far, so good.
For mains, my friend and I opted to share 4 tacos to prevent ‘meal envy’. We had prawn, beef, pork and chicken tacos. Prawn = awesome, Beef = pretty good but similar to the taquitos, pork = tasted like wet porky chicken, chicken = tasted like wet chickeny pork.
Confused? So was I. I thought chicken and pork tacos sounded like a real safe bet but when they arrived they were kinda soggy and I’m pretty sure they were exactly the same as each other. The only problem was that I couldn’t actually figure out if they were both accidentally pork, both accidentally chicken or both just coincidentally very similar in taste. Or perhaps I’m just an idiot like Jessica Simpson. Totally possible. Either way they tasted like some kind of tinned mystery meat and I gave up on them pretty quick.
To move on from my taco heartbreak, I ordered the soda shop banana split which consisted of a frozen banana dipped in dark chocolate, topped with vanilla icecream, cinnamon whipped cream and peanut salted caramel sauce. It came to us looking like a really yummy volcano. It was pretty great. It would have been even better if I was eating it on a beach in California but I guess you can’t have it all… 🙁
California Native is a solid spot for an American feed with a Mexican twist and some rad decor to boot. If you’re a fan of restaurants that are committed to a theme, then you’ll love Cali Native – they nail the theme but also manage to remain unique.
If you want to want to grab your self a slice of California, you’ll want to book a table as they seem to be pumpin’ lately. For less info, check out their website http://www.californianative.com.au/ seriously, their website doesn’t say much. Their Facebook, however says a little more.
SPECIAL MENTION: The napkins at this place are on a whole other level of luxury. Not quite material, not quite paper – an uncharted fabric. One day I would like my wedding dress made of this stuff.