Costa Mesa is the Santa Monica of Orange County — seaside, semi-upscale and offering some of the best food worth filling up on in the region. So it makes sense to us that the O.C.'s masterfully addictive doughnut shop, Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee, is breaking out of its Costa Mesa walls to build a second location in Santa Monica, which will open in a few months.
The sweet-and-carby brainchild of Sumter and Chi-Lin Pendergrast and chef Brooke Desprez, Sidecar’s humble home in an O.C. strip mall became a doughnut mecca in 2013 when it started churning out versions of the breakfast treat from the sublime to the out-there.
We're talking a Green Eggs & Ham doughnut (that’s a savory doughnut with an egg and fresh basil), the shop's staple huckleberry (a brilliantly colored concoction that puts most blueberry doughnuts to shame), the sugary awesomeness that is its Pear Charlotte doughnut (made of Bosc pear compote, pear cream and pomegranates), and holiday gold such as this past season's offering, the Bûche de Noël doughnut, a chocolatey assemblage of Callebaut chocolate glaze, crumbled pistachios and a meringue mushroom (for added coolness).
Sidecar first earned attention on social media, after food-porn images of the artisanal doughnuts from a series of pre-opening tasting sessions found their way onto Instagram. The company's trio of founders quickly found throngs of foodies standing in line at the actual store for one of the joint’s fried delectables, and the shop’s Instagram account skyrocketed to 33,000 followers (and counting).
Then, Sidecar became part of Costa Mesa’s 17th Street renaissance, an introduction to anything beyond the basic Orange County chains.
“It all started with Sumter’s relative obsession with great coffee,” says Melinda Wood of Sidecar. “He had the idea to open a special, cutting-edge coffee shop, and started roasting beans in his home garage. But once he discovered the amazing Stumptown Coffee Roasters, he stopped home roasting and, along with his wife, Chi-Lin, refocused efforts on the idea of a new type of gathering place for their community.”
According to Wood, Sidecar always had an eye beyond the Orange Curtain — in particular L.A.’s spectacular expanse of farmers markets, from which chef Desprez could source fresh ingredients.
“Brooke loves fresh fruits and herbs,” Wood said, “and loves finding amazing local products she can incorporate into her ever-evolving menu. Many of the flavors she does are seasonal and are dependent on what types of ingredients are available — and the best — during the given time of year. While she hasn’t nailed down anything specific for the Santa Monica location just yet, she is working on some delicious flavors that will showcase local and organic producers, and that will be ready in time for the store’s spring opening.”
Located at Wilshire and Seventh Street in Santa Monica, the new Sidecar will be in an art deco building that is currently being renovated, and will share space with other local businesses.
Welcome to the dark side, Sidecar.