Orange County Restaurant News
The upscale Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão has launched its first Orange County location, within the confines of the Irvine Spectrum. Like its other branches, the venue presents an all-you-can-eat churrasco dining experience, where gauchos stroll the space offering cuts of roasted meats, including beef, lamb and chicken. Guests can accompany these cuts with seasonal salads and soups from the market table and feijoada bar, as well as a selection from the international wine list. Brunch is served on weekends. Fogo de Chão, Irvine Spectrum, 623 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618, 949-398-1500.
Hockey Hall of Famer-turned-OC-restaurateur Teemu Selanne has unveiled a second dining concept. The venue, named The Penalty Box, is in the shipping container food hall SteelCraft Garden Grove. The restaurant offers a substantially more casual eating experience than his upscale Laguna Beach spot, Selanne Steak Tavern. The menu features burgers, hot dogs, shakes and more. The Penalty Box, SteelCraft Garden Grove, 12900 Euclid St., Garden Grove, CA 92840, 714-462-6353.
Strut BAR & CLUB has brought a new nightlife destination to Costa Mesa. The venue sets out to help “fill the void of queer spaces in Orange County” while also offering an inclusive environment for people of all walks of life. The bar area serves food and cocktails daily from 3 p.m. Accessed through a separate entrance, the club opens on Fridays and Saturdays and features a line-up of DJs and themed nights. Strut BAR & CLUB, 719 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, no phone.
Costa Mesa's SOCIAL opened its second Orange County location in Huntington Beach. Overseeing both kitchens is corporate executive chef Jeffrey Boullt. The new restaurant features a contemporary chef-driven menu and craft cocktails, plus a raw bar and dishes prepared with the site’s wood-fire grill. SOCIAL Huntington Beach, 21214 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-374-7715.
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Chris Tzorin has stepped away from the executive chef position at Oak Laguna Beach. Tzorin had been with the restaurant since its opening in 2017. Chris Mahler, whose previous Orange County work includes stints at Vaca and Marché Moderne, has taken over the executive chef role. Oak Laguna Beach, 1100 S. Coast Hwy., Ste. 202, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, 949-940-3010.
Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Bar & Grill has shuttered after 10 years of operation. The restaurant, known for serving up contemporary seafood fare amid a chill Hawaiian island vibe, decided not to renew its lease on the downtown Laguna Beach property it had called home since 2009. No replacement restaurant has been announced. Tommy Bahama’s sister location in Newport Beach remains open. Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach Bar & Grill, The Heisler Building, 400 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, no phone.
Irenia, the downtown Santa Ana restaurant specializing in modernized takes on Filipino cuisine, has shuttered after a four-year run. The venue announced it will be holding periodic supper club-style pop-ups in the space for the rest of the year. No plans for a future restaurant have been announced for the property. Irenia, 400 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701, no phone.
Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant in Brea has closed its doors. Known for its over-the-top desserts and festive, cacophonous atmosphere, the shuttered venue was the final location of the family-friendly chain, which had over 130 nationwide outlets at the height of its presence. Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant, 215 S. Brea Blvd., Brea, CA 92821, no phone.
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