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Orange County Restaurant News

Pickled Monk gastropub in downtown Fullerton is a casual neighborhood venue




Hungry for OC restaurant news? Tap into what's happening with new restaurants, find out what your fave chefs are up to, and learn everything else you need to know on the Orange County food landscape.

Also, check out GAYOT's calendar of food events in Orange County.

NEW RESTAURANTS IN ORANGE COUNTY

Marugame Udon is coming to South Coast Plaza The Japanese noodle house Marugame Udon is coming to South Coast Plaza on August 3, 2019. The menu is built on a build-your-own-bowl concept where guests can select various kinds of broth, proteins and garnishes to pair with noodles made in-house from proprietary cooking equipment imported from Japan. Diners can also order tempura and rice balls (musubi). Marugame Udon, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, no phone.
 
Mess Hall Market is Orange County’s latest food hall concept. Anchoring the new Tustin Legacy Park in Tustin, the venue offers nine separate fast-casual dining options along with a cocktail and wine kiosk. Eating choices include the popular seafood outlet Slapfish, L.A.-based burger joint VaKa Burger, and home-style Vietnamese spot Saigon Kitchen. Mess Hall Market, 1705 Flight Way, Tustin, CA 92782, no phone.
 
Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi and chef Tony Esnault have opened Knife Pleat Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi and chef Tony Esnault (formerly of Los Angeles’ Church & State) have opened a French restaurant named Knife Pleat at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza. It occupies the upscale property’s third-level Penthouse. The restaurant is open for dinner service, with lunch to be added in Fall 2019. Knife Pleat, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-266-3388.
 
Newport Beach’s Lido Marina neighborhood is now home to Fable & Spirit, a whimsically designed restaurant equipped with a décor that riffs on the charms of Irish mythology. The venue is the creation of executive chef/owner David Shofner, a veteran Orange County chef who made his bones in such OC spots as Troquet, Aubergine and French 75 back in the day. Shofner oversees a “progressive modern” menu marked by farm-to-table ingredients and contemporary culinary techniques and concepts. Also featured is a bar program highlighting cult wines, craft cocktails, and an extensive roster of whiskeys and gins. Fable & Spirit, 3441 Via Lido, Ste. A, Newport Beach, CA 92663, 949-409-9913.
 

Find more recent openings with our list of the Best New & Hip Restaurants in Orange County

NOTEWORTHY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Paella & Sangria Wednesdays at AVEO Table + Bar
Monarch Beach Resort’s Mediterranean restaurant AVEO Table + Bar hosts a weekly paella and sangría event. Parties of two or four that arrive at the Dana Point venue will have the chance to sit amid ocean views and indulge in an all-inclusive dinner built around chef Donald Lockhart’s shellfish paella, a dish featuring shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels and chorizo served with Spanish saffron rice. The meal comes with the choice of red or white sangría. Cost is $99 for two people, $198 for four. Visit the restaurant’s website for more information. AVEO Table + Bar, Monarch Beach Resort, 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629, 949-234-3900.
 
Sunday Mariachi Brunch at Playa Mesa
Playa Mesa in Costa Mesa features a mariachi brunch. Guests that show up to the Mexican restaurant from 12 p.m.-2 p.m. can enjoy the sounds of a trio playing traditional mariachi music, augmenting the mood created by dishes like house-made chorizo and fries; blistered ham with scrambled eggs and pico de gallo; and cured beef with soft egg, onions and jalapeño. For more information, please visit the restaurant’s website. Playa Mesa, 428 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, 949-287-5292.
 

UPDATES ON OC CHEFS

Vic Casanova has been tapped as Balboa Bay Resort’s new executive chef. The chef takes the reins from Rachel Haggstrom, who left the Newport Beach property in December. Like his predecessor, Casanova will oversee the kitchens of the resort’s fine dining property Waterline and its more casual gastropub A&O Kitchen + Bar. Casanova comes to Orange County with impressive credentials, making his bones at Gramercy Tavern and Daniel Boulud’s db bistro moderne. Waterline & A&O Kitchen + Bar, Balboa Bay Resort, 1221 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, CA 92663, 949-630-4145.
 
Cody Storts is no longer the executive chef at Wreckless. The well-traveled Orange County chef, who previously displayed his skills at Grits Fullerton, Hopscotch, Tempo Urban Kitchen and Salt & Ash, had held the position for the downtown Fullerton restaurant since its opening in late 2017. Wreckless, 136 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832, 714-519-3179.
 

ORANGE COUNTY RESTAURANT CLOSINGS

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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