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Orange County, CA Restaurant News

Hatch serves up gourmet sliders, craft beers and Tiki drinks in Tustin


NEW RESTAURANTS IN ORANGE COUNTY

 

TRADE Food Hall, Orange County’s latest foray into the local food hall explosion, is now fully operational. Situated near John Wayne Airport in Irvine’s original business district, the sleek center offers patrons the opportunity to explore several independent fast-casual dining spots built around trendy bites and hipster-friendly curated principles. Options range from the Vietnamese-kissed Mexican cuisine served up at Dos Chinos to the pork-centric comfort food of Pig Pen Delicacy. For more information, visit the official website. Lunch & Dinner daily. TRADE Food Hall, 2222 Michelson Dr., Irvine, CA 92612, 949-725-8539.
 
Executive chef JT Walker oversees the menu at Pacific Hideaway Pacific Hideaway has opened at Huntington Beach’s Shorebreak Hotel. The spot features an eclectic modern menu with an emphasis on the flavors of Southeast Asia, Latin America and Japan, as created by executive chef JT Walker. Pacific Hideaway, Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel, 500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-960-5050.
 
Laguna Niguel’s Hendrix marks the third OC restaurant venture from the Sentinel Restaurant & Hospitality Group, the epicurean collective behind the adjacent Laguna Beach dining concepts Driftwood Kitchen and The Deck on Laguna Beach. For this latest venue, executive chef Rainer Schwarz oversees a New American menu that emphasizes seasonally driven regional traditions with a specific nod to fresh seafood and fire-roasted meats. Also featured are signature cocktails, craft beers and an easy-to-navigate wine list. Hendrix, 32431 Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677, 949-248-1912.
 
Longtime Los Angeles County fixture Caffe Pinguini has opened its first Orange County outpost. The new venue is located in Irvine, in the space formerly occupied by Lucca Cafe. Look for pizzas, pastas and other traditional Italian fare, just like what has been offered at the original Playa del Rey address since 1997. Lunch & Dinner daily. Caffe Pinguini, Quail Hill Shopping Center, 6507 Quail Hill Pkwy., Irvine, CA 92603, 949-725-1773.
 
The high-end Japanese eatery Nobu has made its way to 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.
 
Chef Pascal Lorange is opening CRUDO by Pascal Lorange in the summer of 2017 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.
 

Find more recent openings with our list of the
Top 10 New & Notable Restaurants
and round-up of all the NEW Restaurants in Orange County


NOTEWORTHY ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

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.
 


UPDATES ON OC CHEFS

 

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

 

CLOSED FOR GOOD
Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for Orange County to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from yesteryear. Aqua, R.I.P.

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.
 
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.
 


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