Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Mr. J and I had the privilege to indulge in some new eateries being featured here at the Union Market in Mission Viejo. It was a private event held for friends and family. The setup is very similar to the Union Market at the District in Tustin. The beauty of places like this is the fact that there are so many choices to chose from and everyone in your party doesn’t have to settle for one particular place. They can pick what they want and eat happy. I love how spacious this place is and the decor. There are tables all around for big groups. There’s a nice bar right in the center. They have foosball and table tennis.
The first place I got to try was the Diced Bowl which serves poke . I love places like these because it is so customizable. I can choose what I want and how I want it. For the event, we were given a small bowl to try. The base layer I picked was the kale mix. You can either choose from sushi rice, brown rice, lettuce or the kale mix. The small size comes with 3 scoops of fish. I got two scoops of spicy tuna and one scoop of salmon. For the sauce, I got sesame oil and spicy mayo. Finally the toppings. I got white onions, avocados, ginger, and sesame seeds. As for the taste, the spicy tuna and salmon tasted very fresh. The spicy mayo mix wasn’t overpowering the natural taste of the fish but instead complemented it. I also like that the spicy mayo wasn’t ridiculously hot either. It had a kick to it and not the torturing, flame shooting out of your mouth type of heat. I think what they did right at Diced Bowl is the amount of base and fish layer. First bite is as good as the last. Every forkful had the right ratio of kale mix and fish. So what’s the verdict? I would definitely come back. I want to try many more different combinations to my heart’s desire.
What is boba or milk tea? It is tea that is creamy, yet very sugary and often times comes with big black tapioca balls (boba), aloe jelly, or egg pudding. Many places that offers milk tea tastes like it was originally in powder form and water is added to it. Not sure if that is true but some of those places tastes so artificial and has a weird aftertaste in my opinion.
What Milk Box Bar does differently is offer an organic milk tea and coffee menu. They use lactose-free milk from Organic Valley and almond milk from Califia Farms. Milk box uses certified teas from trusted farms and real raw turbinado sugar to sweeten their teas. I love that there is an organic milk tea place right here in orange county. We wanted to try the mustache tea and crack coffee but they were already sold out. Will definitely need to come back for those. Those would be next on our list. I ended up getting earl grey lavender milk tea and Mr. J got matcha milk tea with boba. The Earl grey lavender milk tea has distinct earl grey taste but not so much lavender. I liked it regardless, since I’m a big earl grey fan. Mr. J’s matcha milk tea was really good. The matcha powder was perfectly mixed and there wasn’t any powder residue on the bottom. I am not big on the tapioca pearls because of the fact that my first experience with milk tea, I nearly died on one of those big black balls! These were surprisingly not a choking hazard and were just as chewy. Haha. Both teas were perfectly sweetened. I don’t like overly sweet drinks, so this was perfect for me. Honestly these teas just tasted too pure, which is a good thing. When I am jonesing for some milk teas, this would definitely be my spot.
Hummus Bowl is another eatery being offered here at Union Market. Their menu offers a variety of special hummus bowl creations. For our tasting we chose the Green Bowl hummus and the Red Curried Lentil Hummus. Both of the hummus bowls were presented to us in such an eye pleasing way. It was honestly made with TLC and too pretty to eat. The Red Curried Lentil hummus has a layer of creamy smoothly blended chickpeas topped with red lentils, tomato, onion and cilantro that goes well with the mild curry spices. Green bowl has the same creamy chickpea layer and it topped with spicy tomatillo salsa, avocados, and sliced hard boiled eggs. Both hummus bowls comes with a basket of thick pita bread. Both had good flavors but our favorite would have to be the Green Bowl. The tomatillo and avocadoes were a nice touch to the hummus. I would like to come back to try their other hummus bowl creations and see other things they offer.
The Union Market at the Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo offers a very fun and hip place for friends and family to gather.