Orange County, CA Restaurant News
NEW RESTAURANTS IN ORANGE COUNTY
Chef Pascal Lorange is opening CRUDO by Pascal Lorange in the summer of 2017. The new venue will be located in Costa Mesa’s The Westin South Coast Plaza in the space formerly occupied by Pinot Provence. Crudo adds to Lorange’s lengthy résumé that includes helping to launch Fig & Olive’s collection of restaurants and serving as private chef for luminaries like Princess Stephanie of Monaco and President Barack Obama. Simply prepared Mediterranean fare with a focus on seafood will be the highlight. CRUDO by Pascal Lorange, The Westin South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, No phone.
The popular kicked-up diner concept Eat Chow has opened a third location. The restaurant’s new outpost is in downtown Santa Ana. Like its siblings in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, this venue serves modern, eclectic breakfast, lunch and dinner options inspired by various parts of the globe. Unlike the other locales, the new spot features an array of craft cocktails to go along with the wine and beer list. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Eat Chow, 313 N. Bush St., Santa Ana, CA 92701, 657-266-0500.
Huntington Beach’s latest dining destination, Bluegold, is now open. Located within the seaside retail center Pacific City, the sprawling spot is the brainchild of the restaurant group behind South Bay standouts Little Sister, Steak & Whiskey and Abigaile. The new venue’s menu focuses on a farm-to-table New American concept that uses traditional and modern techniques to create classic and progressive bites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The eatery is also home to LSXO, a cozy, hidden restaurant-within-a-restaurant that serves refined French-Vietnamese cuisine and afternoon tea. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Bluegold, Pacific City, 21016 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. D200, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-374-0038.
Longtime Orange County chef Tim Goodell returns to the scene with the opening of Royal Hen. Located on Newport Beach’s compact Balboa Island at the address formerly occupied by Amelia’s, the chic, cozy venue is rolling out a contemporary menu that draws inspiration from all corners of the globe. This place adds another chapter to Goodell’s body of work, which includes stints at past and present OC eateries like Aubergine, Troquet and A Restaurant. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Royal Hen, 311 Marine Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92662, 949-873-5603.
The iconic tiki-themed Laguna Beach restaurant Royal Hawaiian has reopened. Old-school patrons can reacquaint themselves with the eatery’s beloved tiki cocktails and memorabilia, along with a more contemporary menu designed by chef Jonathan Pflueger. Royal Hawaiian, 331 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, 949-715-1470.
Indian restaurant ADYA has opened a second outlet in Orange County at Irvine’s University Center retail and shopping complex. The eatery features executive chef/owner Shachi Mehra’s interpretations on classic and contemporary Indian cuisine, including street food, rich curries, and tandoori specialties. ADYA, University Center, 4213 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612, no phone.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band KISS, along with business partners restaurateur Michael Zislis, Jon Mesko and Dave and Dell Furano, present a Corona location of Rock & Brews, the growing chain of rock-themed restaurants. Rock & Brews, 3550 Grand Oaks, Corona, CA 92881, 951-432-7640.
The Los Angeles-based seafood restaurant Water Grill has arrived in Orange County. Like its sister restaurants in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and San Diego’s Gaslamp District, the restaurant presents a rotating menu of upscale seafood dishes, emphasizing sustainable ingredients. Water Grill, 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 949-208-7060.
Chef/restaurateur Alessandro Pirozzi is growing his Italian-focused culinary empire with the launch of his latest concept Salerno by Chef Pirozzi. The restaurant is slated to open by the end of October. Based in downtown Laguna Beach, Salerno is the third restaurant in the coastal city run by Pirozzi, joining Alessa Laguna and Mare Culinary Lounge. The chef’s other OC restaurant is Pirozzi Corona Del Mar. Dinner nightly. Salerno by Chef Pirozzi, 220 Beach St., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, 949-497-2600.
The group behind Laguna Beach’s Driftwood Kitchen and The Deck has announced the launch of new neighborhood restaurant concept Hendrix. The venue will be in Laguna Niguel and is projected to open in winter 2017. A contemporary menu is in the works and will feature variations on today's New American culinary trends, from bites like fried Brussels sprout chips to roti-spit porcetta with roasted potatoes. There will also be a full beverage program with wine, craft beer, and cocktails.
South Coast Plaza’s Marché Moderne to Relocate
Marché Moderne, the French restaurant in South Coast Plaza, has announced plans to relocate. Owner/chefs Florent and Amelia Marneau will be moving their venue to Newport Coast’s Crystal Cove Shopping Center, in the space formerly occupied by Tamarind of London. The restaurant’s current location, which opened in 2007 in the upscale Costa Mesa shopping center, will shutter in January 2017. The new locale is slated to open in spring 2017, when it will rub shoulders with such luxe dining venues as Bluefin and Maestro’s Ocean Club. Marché Moderne, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-434-7900.
Donald Harris has parted ways with Tangata, Joachim Splichal’s chic lunch venue at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. He has departed to join forces with another former Splichal restaurant chef, as he is now working with Ross Pangilinan at the latter’s new downtown Santa Ana restaurant Mix Mix. No replacement chef for Harris has been named. Tangata, Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706, 714-550-0906.
Chef Justin Miller has parted ways with Pizzeria Ortica to pursue a new adventure. Miller, who had been with the popular Costa Mesa eatery since 2010, is putting his toque aside to launch Orange County’s newest brewery, Gunwhale Ales. Based in Costa Mesa, the brewery represents a passion project for Miller, who has kept busy as a homebrewer when he wasn’t in Ortica’s kitchen. The brewery is slated to open right before Thanksgiving 2016. Pizzeria Ortica, 650 Anton Blvd., Ste. J, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-445-4900.
Executive chef Cody Storts is no longer with Grits Fullerton. No reason was given for the departure. The downtown Fullerton restaurant has yet to announce a replacement chef. Grits Fullerton, 133 W. Chapman Ave., Ste. 102, Fullerton, CA 92832, 714-449-0939.
Ross Pangilinan has parted ways with Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge. He had helmed the Costa Mesa restaurant’s kitchen as executive chef since 2010 and has left to open his own chef-driven concept in downtown Santa Ana, tentatively called Mix Mix. Pangilinan’s position has been filled by Greg Stillman, whose culinary credits include working with famed chef Thomas Keller in addition to stints at the popular Downtown Disney restaurant Catal. Leatherby's Cafe Rouge, Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-429-7640.
Local celebrity chef Chris Tzorin has parted ways with Brea’s Tempo Urban Kitchen. Tzorin, who has added numerous appearances on various Food Network programs to his resume in recent years, has moved on to helm the kitchen at Cafe Tu Tu Tango, the contemporary tapas venue located within The Outlets at Orange. A replacement chef for Tempo has not been announced. Tempo Urban Kitchen, 1060 Imperial Hwy., Brea, CA 92821, 714-529-2900.
Marc Johnson has moved on from his post as executive chef at Newport Beach’s Oak Grill at the Island Hotel. He has not moved far, as he has taken the reins as corporate chef for Red O, Rick Bayless’ regional Mexican eatery located in Fashion Island. Johnson departs Oak Grill after opening the eatery in 2014. Oak Grill, Island Hotel Newport Beach, 690 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949-760-4920.
ORANGE COUNTY RESTAURANT CLOSINGS
Holsteins Shakes and Buns in Costa Mesa has closed its doors. The eatery, which was known for its combination of upscale burgers and booze-infused adult milkshakes, gave no reason for the shuttering. The restaurant opened in South Coast Plaza in 2015, in the space formerly occupied by Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza. No replacement restaurant has been named. Holsteins Shakes and Buns, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, no phone.
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