The 140-seat dining area shares space with Whole Food’s Hangar Bar, named for the blimp hangars of Tustin, which has a beer-and-wine-friendly menu including jackfruit “crab” cakes, cauliflower nachos, maple-glazed pork belly and “forest ‘shroom” toast with almond ricotta, sautéed baby kale, roasted garlic and Fresno chile.
Mendocino Farms has outside signage as a restaurant within the store. The menu includes the chain’s signature sandwiches and salads, including the Pork Belly Banh Mi, the Not So Fried Chicken, and an Avocado & Quinoa Superfood Ensalada.
The location is the 14th for the Los Angeles-based sandwich chain. Though the dining room is shared, the layout of the space allows for some separation to create different dining experiences.
Though a chain, Mendocino Farms restaurants each have a unique design to fit the local community. All restaurants, however, feature the blue cow mascot somewhere in the design.
To celebrate the opening, Mendocino Farms partnered with Tustin chef Yvon Goetz of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar to create a sandwich featuring that restaurant’s famed zinfandel-braised short ribs. Available only through Dec. 4, proceeds from the sandwich will be donated to the Tustin Public Schools Foundation.
Though Mendocino Farms has long focused on using local and seasonal ingredients, co-founder Mario Del Pero said one challenge of working with Whole Foods has been meeting the grocery chain’s strict procurement requirements. “It’s been a fascinating, challenging process,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot!”