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Hopdoddy Burger Bar, the Austin, Texas-based burger and beer restaurant, is opening its first location in Orange County this summer. The eatery will set up shop in Newport Beach’s swanky outdoor shopping center Fashion Island. The menu will be highlighted by a list of burgers featuring all-natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free Black Angus beef, which is grinded in-house. Guests will be able to pair their burgers with a selection from the list of local craft beers. Lunch & Dinner daily. Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Fashion Island, 401 Newport Coast Dr., Ste. 311, Newport Beach, CA 92660, No phone available.
The highly anticipated artisan food complex in Santa Ana’s burgeoning downtown area, 4th Street Market, is now open. The massive center features 30,000 square feet of various culinary-based enterprises, ranging from restaurants and a demo kitchen to a community market. Some of the quick-bite eateries include Wagyu Chuck, a gourmet hamburger concept hatched by Playground chef Jason Quinn; and Ink Waffles, a waffle sandwich shop overseen by Anepalco’s Café chef Danny Godinez. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. 4th Street Market, 201 East 4th St., Santa Ana, CA 92701, 714-486-0700.
The L.A.-based sushi restaurant Sushi Roku is opening up a location at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island in early 2015. This marks the first foray into Orange County for the venue, whose Hollywood locale has developed a strong reputation for star-spotting, along with its contemporary sushi. As is the case with its other five locations, the Newport Beach venue will emphasize a fusion approach to its sushi and entrees --- one that incorporates non-traditional ingredients from Europe and Latin America into its offerings. Dinner nightly. Sushi Roku, Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Drive Ste 327, Newport Beach, CA 92660, No phone available.
Dory Deli has opened its doors next to the Newport Beach pier. The restaurant's name references the area’s historic fish market. It serves up a list of breakfast items and salads, along with a host of traditional and artisanal sandwiches, including several vegetarian offerings. The eatery also features a wine and beer list highlighted by the presence of several local craft brews. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner daily. Dory Deli, 2108 3/4 West Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663, 949-220-7886.
Eats Kitchen & Bar, Orange County’s latest foray into the swelling gastropub genre, has opened in the newly renovated Hotel Irvine, formerly the Hyatt Regency Irvine. Executive chef Jason Montelibano, who previously oversaw the kitchen of Chapter One: The Modern Local in Santa Ana, has cobbled together a small plates menu consisting of updated versions of classic comfort food. The restaurant, which will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, also features a host of craft beers and wine flights. For more information, visit www.hotelirvine.com. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner daily. Eats Kitchen & Bar, Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, CA 92614, 949-230-4452.
Amar Santana, executive chef and owner of Laguna Beach’s Broadway by Amar Santana, has announced plans for a second restaurant. The new venue, Vaca, is slated to open in summer 2015 across the way from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. The restaurant marks a return to Costa Mesa for Santana, who built up a solid following among dining patrons as executive chef at Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza. Vaca, 695 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, no phone.
Cucina Enoteca has rolled out a second Orange County location, in Newport Beach’s famed shopping center Fashion Island. Like the original OC space, the new space features an array of rustic Italian cuisine and an extensive list of wines that may be purchased at retail prices. Cucina Enoteca, Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949-706-1416.
Burgers, Bourbons, & Brews in May
Leatherby’s Café Rouge in Costa Mesa is featuring a special Burgers, Bourbons, & Brews special. For the entire month of May, executive chef Ross Pangilinan will be putting together a most decadent spin on an American classic. The burger itself will feature a Filipino longganisa patty, seared foie gras, pickled mango, fried egg, fried garlic aioli, tomato and green onions. The burger will be served with sweet potato wedges and house-made banana dipping sauce. Guests can also pair this upscale combo with a flight of either Bulleit bourbon or San Miguel Pilsen. The cost is $28 for the burger, $36 for the beer pairing, or $40 for the bourbon pairing. Leatherby's Cafe Rouge, Renee & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-429-7640.
New Brewing Team Members at TAPS Fish House & Brewery
TAPS Fish House & Brewery has announced that David Huls and Kyle Manns have returned to the Brea restaurant and brewpub to helm the brewery program. Huls, who most recently developed Barley Forge in Costa Mesa, will be assuming the role of Director of Brewery Operations. Manns will take on the title of Brewery Operations Manager, after spending time as head brewer at Anaheim’s Bottle Logic Brewing. The duo will be responsible for overseeing and expanding the venue’s offerings of in-house-brewed beers, including special releases throughout the year. TAPS Fish House & Brewery, 101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, CA 92821, 714-257-0101.
Unpretentious Wine Thursdays at Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street hosts Unpretentious Wine Thursdays, a monthly get-together designed to take the perceived starch out of wine tasting. Guests gather in the downtown Fullerton restaurant’s heated outdoor patio to enjoy pairings of wines from a selected vintner with the restaurant’s Cajun-inspired contemporary fare. The cost of the event is $20, and is slated to run from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The event occurs on the third Thursday of the month. Bourbon Street, 110 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832, 714-626-0050.
Scott Brandon is no longer the executive chef at Fireside An American Tavern. No reasons for his departure was announced. The Costa Mesa venue, which is housed inside the Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa hotel, has not named a replacement chef. Fireside An American Tavern, Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa Orange County, 3131 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-913-9061.
Lark Creek Newport Beach at Fashion Island in Newport Beach has shuttered. This was the first foray into Orange County for the San Francisco-based Lark Creek Restaurant Group. Lark Creek Newport Beach, Fashion Island, 957 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, no phone.
Nieuport 17 served its last meal to customers March 31, 2015. The venerable aviation-themed Tustin restaurant, which has been known for its Continental cuisine, closed its doors after 45 years of service, due to a decline in business. No future plans for the restaurant’s building have been announced. Nieuport 17, 13051 Newport Ave., Tustin, CA 92780, no phone.
Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza will be closing its doors after a seven-year run. The restaurant, which has been one of the culinary flagships of the famed Costa Mesa shopping center, has announced that its last day of service will be May 2, 2015. It was also announced that the restaurant will be replaced with gourmet burger concept Holstein’s Shakes & Buns. The new eatery, whose original location is in The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, is slated to open late summer. Charlie Palmer's at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-361-4264.
View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Orange County