Over the past few years, the Orange County dining scene has experienced an invasion of sorts. A growing number of non-mega-chain restaurants originating in Los Angeles and other major cities have made their way down to OC, bringing with them the promise of innovative food and big city know-how. Yet there’s been one constant amid all the hoopla: While many of these places are good, they often fall short in terms of sheer culinary excitement when compared to homegrown offerings.
What follows is a list of places you may have missed while checking out the OC version of a major metropolitan joint. Some venues still carry that new restaurant smell, while others have been open long enough to leave you out of excuses if you have yet to visit. Check these Orange County restaurants off your “must-visit” list pronto.
For those of you who want to learn more about the chefs who are the recipients of the 2013 GAYOT.com U.S. Restaurant Awards, watch the video above. It was filmed during Chef Jamie Gwen’s radio show Food & Wine, which airs every Sunday morning in the Los Angeles area on KFWB News Talk 980.
Chef/owner Bruno Serato of the Anaheim White House restaurant and I are joining forces for the next event in the GAYOT Dinner Series on April 26th to benefit Caterina’s Club.
Caterina’s Club is a non-profit organization, founded by Bruno Serato in 2005, that focuses on feeding the youth of America. Serato’s mission has expanded to feeding nearly 300 kids, 7 nights a week, 365 days a year. More than a quarter of a million meals have been served to date in Orange County. His dedication earned Serato the honor of being named one of the CNN Heroes 2011. Each year only ten people, selected from more than 4,000 candidates, are awarded this prestigious recognition.
Some thirty years ago, chef Bruno Serato arrived from Italy with $200 in his pocket. In 1987, he purchased the 1909 National Historical Landmark building in Orange County, California, that housed the Anaheim White House restaurant since 1981. Thus began the latest chapter in Serato’s success story.