Orange County, CA Restaurant News
NEW RESTAURANTS IN ORANGE COUNTY
The high-end Japanese eatery Nobu has made its way to Orange County. The restaurant, which has outposts dotted all over the globe, opened as part of the radical redesign of Newport Beach's Lido Marina Village. Like the other locations, it features sushi, izakaya fare and signature dishes inspired by chef and restaurant namesake Nobu Matsuhisa. Nobu, Lido Marina Village, Newport Beach, CA 92663, 949-429-4440.
High-end Sichuan dining concept Meizhou Dongpo has opened in Irvine. The debut marks the second foray into the Southern California area for the restaurant, which is a popular chain based in Beijing. Much like its Century City cousin, this locale serves an array of Chinese fare, including pan-fried pork dumplings, dan dan noodles and Peking duck. Dinner nightly. Meizhou Dongpo, 15363 Culver Dr., Irvine, CA 92604, 949-433-5686.
San Juan Capistrano’s newest foray into sustainably-minded dining is Trevor’s At The Tracks. Located at the city’s iconic train depot, the venue features a contemporary menu built on a foundation of locally sourced fruits and vegetables and proteins, prepared by veteran Orange County chef Joseph Tripi. Patrons can expect starters such as ahi poke nachos, mains like miso honey-glazed salmon and chimichurri skirt steak, as well as burgers and sandwiches. The spot also has a California-centric wine list, local craft beer selections and craft cocktails made with ingredients grown on site. For more information, visit the restaurant’s website. Trevor's At The Tracks, 26701 Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, 949-493-9593.
Upscale taqueria concept Puesto has made its Orange County debut Known for creating classic Mexico City-style street tacos with locally sourced ingredients and from-scratch salsas, the venue is located in Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace, a stone’s throw away from the Irvine Spectrum’s massive sprawl. This marks the third locale for the eatery, which also has outposts in San Diego and La Jolla. Puesto, Los Olivos Marketplace, 8577 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618, 949-608-9990.
Disneyland has unveiled an exclusive new dining experience within the park. At 21 Royal, located in New Orleans Square (upstairs from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction), guests will enjoy a customized tasting menu in an elegant private dining room, as well as a cocktail reception and other VIP treatment. The all-inclusive price rings in at $15,000 for a party of up to 12 people. 21 Royal, Disneyland, 1313 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, CA 92802, 714-300-7749.
The popular food truck Falasophy has opened its first brick-and-mortar location within the confines of Downtown Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market. Fans of the mobile kitchen can expect an expanded take on its Mediterranean concept, as shawarmas and Lebanese specialties like kanafeh have been added to its list of gourmet falafel sandwiches and hummus bar offerings.
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 on a few occasions cooked at private dinners attended by luminaries like Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and 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 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.
New Location for Il Barone Ristorante
Il Barone Ristorante has announced it will be relocating. The Newport Beach eatery, known for its old-school American Italian fare and propensity to host power lunches, will be moving about one mile up the road at the end of May, when it will take over a space formerly occupied by a Coco’s. The restaurant will continue operations in its current location until the relocation is complete. Il Barone Ristorante, 4251 Martingale Wy., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949-955-2755.
Steve Kling has moved on from his position as executive chef of Five Crowns and SideDoor. Kling leaves his post at the Corona Del Mar eatery to helm the kitchen at the seafood-centric restaurant Waterman’s Harbor in Dana Point. Taking over for Kling at both venues will be Anthony Endy, whose résumé includes stints as chef-partner for Paul Martin’s American Grill and executive chef at the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe in Santa Barbara. Five Crowns & SideDoor, 3801 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, 949-760-0331.
Yves Fournier has parted ways with Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails. Fournier had been with the multi-level Irvine eatery since it opened in 2009. An announcement for a replacement chef has not been made. Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, 2607 Main St., Irvine, CA 92614, 949-387-8887.
ORANGE COUNTY RESTAURANT CLOSINGS
Anchor Hitch, the seafood-centric restaurant in Mission Viejo’s sprawling Kaleidoscope Shopping Center, has closed its doors. No reason was given for the eatery’s shuttering. No plans for a replacement have been announced. Anchor Hitch, Union Market Mission Viejo, 27741 Crown Valley Pkwy., Mission Viejo, CA 92691, no phone.
Lucca Cafe in Irvine has closed. Known for its finely curated wine list, it had been in operation since 2006. Owner-chef Cathy Pavlos shuttered the restaurant so she could devote her time to operating her other dining venue, Provenance in Newport Beach. The abdicated space is slated to be filled by the Playa del Rey-based Italian restaurant Caffe Pinguini, which will open a second location in spring 2017. Lucca Cafe, Quail Hill Village Center, 6507 Quail Hill Pkwy., Irvine, CA 92603, 949-725-1773.
The Ritz Prime Seafood has closed its doors. The shuttering was triggered by the eatery’s sale to an undisclosed buyer. The Newport Beach bayside spot launched in October 2015 to much fanfare, as it was touted as a re-emergence of the venerable Fashion Island venue The Ritz, which closed in 2014 after a 37-year run. Plans for a replacement restaurant have not been made official. The Ritz Prime Seafood, 2801 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, CA 92663, no phone.
Shinkou Sushi & Poke in Laguna Hills has closed its doors after nearly six years in business. The reason for the shuttering was partially due to an inability to negotiate new lease terms with the building. No replacement venue for the now-abdicated space has been announced. Shinkou Sushi & Poke, 24881 Alicia Pkwy., Laguna Hills, CA 92653, no phone.
Chef/owner Bruno Serato's restaurant, Anaheim White House, suffered a fire on Saturday, February 4, 2017. Read more on GAYOT. Anaheim White House, 887 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805, 714-772-1381.
Marché Moderne, the French restaurant from owner/chefs Florent and Amelia Marneauin, will relocate to Newport Coast’s Crystal Cove Shopping Center, in the space formerly occupied by Tamarind of London. The restaurant’s former location opened in 2007 in the upscale Costa Mesa shopping center. 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, Crystal Cove Shopping Center, 7862 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, CA 92651, No phone.
View GAYOT's calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Orange County