go explore // the Camp

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to get out more and go explore.... even if that exploration takes place pretty much in my own backyard. Southern California (and Orange County, in particular) has so much to offer, and even though I've lived here all my life I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of it all. So I promised myself to try something new at least twice a month... whether that means driving around finding new locations to use for my portrait sessions or just heading out to try a new place for lunch. Hopefully, this means you'll be seeing a lot more images from my "travels," and might just be inspired to try a new place or two, yourself. So, here we go.

First stop: The Camp in Costa Mesa.

I suggested trying a new lunch location to Tony today, and he was totally game. I remembered hearing something about "amazing tacos" at The Camp, and figured we could give those a try. (And as I had only been to The Camp once before, and Tony had never been before, we get bonus points for newness.)

We drove there with tacos in mind, but once we got to The Camp we were seriously torn. There were SOOOOO many amazing food places to choose from. So we did the easy thing and decided to try a couple of them.

First up: Taco Asylum. (The name of the "amazing taco" place.) Their menu was making us drool a bit, but having never been there before we decided to play it safe and order something simple: the short rib taco. A-MAZ-ING. We will definitely be coming back for more. VERY soon.

Next up: Umami Burger. There was a bit of a wait (sidenote: how COOL is it when the hosts are using iPads to add you to their wait-list, and then just send you a text message when your table is ready?!!!), so we decided to explore the area a bit more. We wandered through The Camp, taking note of all the awesomeness around us. (Sidenote #2: if anyone wants a portrait session here I am DEFINITELY adding this place to my "locations" list. I have the contact person's name for The Camp and will be able to secure a photo permit here with no problem.)

Aluminum paneling, mini trailers, a hammock and lots of greenery... this place is simply BEGGING for a photo shoot.

Even their parking lot is adorable. Check out these inspirational parking spaces.

And then... on to the food. Umami Burger. I'd been to one in Las Vegas before, but hadn't been to this location. So it totally counts as new.

Tony and I decided to share a "Manly Burger" (beer-cheddar cheese, smoked-salt onion strings, bacon lardon), an "Umami Burger" (shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp, umami ketchup), some fries and a beer.

YUM. Definitely YUM. And how could you NOT love a place where their branding extends clear to the actual food (the "U" stamped on the top of each bun)?

Unfortunately, we didn't leave room for dessert, but will definitely be returning to The Camp to test out another place soon.