Courtesy of Memphis Cafe That was then...
Twice a month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau pops by Stick A Fork In It to chime in about a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!
"Time just gets away from us" -Charles Portis, True Grit
The OC food scene 20 years ago was a much different creature. It was both stuffy and trashy at the same time, which seems impossible, but it was. That was when it was still okay to eat at Black Angus and if you were feeling like stepping it up a bit from there it was time for Hoff's Hut. Birraporreti's at South Coast was all the rage along with HB's epic Mazzotti's which, at the time, was THE spot to score some blow and a random bathroom/alley/backseat hookup. What is now considered the old-guard shops were more like the sort-of-old-guard and what would have been considered the old guard then are mostly the long gone now.
Sid's on Old Newport was charging headlong into its golden age, soon to implode. The former Cuckoo's Nest, now Zubie's Gilded Cage, was readying to shutter and the overall tone here in the OC food-wise was fairly bland, surely stagnant, and it didn't seem like there was much coming down the pike to change any of that. However, there were three events that occurred almost simultaneously 20 years ago that symbolize the cultural mindset that would influence the scene for the next two decades.More »