38. Fig & Burrata Tart At Driftwood Kitchen

Anne Marie Panoringan

Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Location, location, location. That is what initially draws us to a pair of eateries within the Pacific Edge Hotel. Focus on The Deck for an informal setting under a sea of umbrellas. A short walk away, guests are treated to a chic atmosphere and equally stunning menu.

While Chef Rainer Schwarz oversees both kitchens, we prefer his seasonal updates from Driftwood. With an eye for detail and ability to balance tastes, this dining room is one of the tougher destinations to book at dinner. Our word of advice-- squeeze in for lunch.

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Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong Coming to Irvine

Categories: Local Eats

Photo by T. Tseng
Can it open sooner?

Drive down Culver towards Heritage Plaza and you'll notice national chains being replaced by specialty restaurants. When Elephant Bar closed, EMC Seafood claimed its place. When Denny's closed, the building was left vacant for a while--until recently. According to a sign in front of it, Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong--a Korean barbecue/barfood joint--will be opening up for business.

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There's Now A Poke Food Truck

A photo posted by The Poke Hut (@thepokehut) on

Another week, another post reporting another new poke shop. But this week, I've got something a little different. This one's a poke food truck. Remember food trucks, kids? Yep, the latest food trend has finally circled back to catch up with the last one.

The Poke Hut, despite the static-sounding name, is an honest-to-goodness food truck that drives around serving poke bowls similar to what you've probably had, well, at all the other new poke shops I've written about in the past few months. We're talking white or brown rice topped with salmon or tuna dressed in either ponzu, shoyu, or spicy mayo, then garnished with green onion, onion, fruitcake furikake (damn you, AutoCorrect!), masago, and seaweed.

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39. Lemon Steam Cake From SideDoor

Anne Marie Panoringan

Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Our taste in food has changed over the years. There was a time when dessert had to happen at the end of dinner. It was usually something sweet, and we always shared. Then we were obsessed with salty and creamy cheese plates. Actually, we still love 'em.

Nowadays we're more open-minded to items we wouldn't normally order. Call it expanding our horizons, we consider it research and development of our taste buds. Although at SideDoor, it's near impossible not to eat our favorites every time.

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On the Line: Tauseef Razaque Of Scoops N Scoops, Part Two

Photo by LP Hastings
Next generation entrepreneurs

Yesterday was all about the business, according to Scoops N Scoops co-owner Tauseef Razaque. Today we shift our focus to learn what makes him tick.

Don't get left behind! You can catch up on part one right over here.
Our conversation with Tauseef continues below.

How did you all meet?
Abdullah and I are actually related; he is my brother-in-law, and Adam has been Abdullah's best friend since childhood.

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Food, Wine And Jazz Festival At St. Regis This Weekend

Categories: Food Festivals

Photo courtesy Stonehill Tavern
Chef Raj Dixit's spicy yellow tomato gazpacho

While most culinary festivals spotlight local talent, St. Regis Monarch Beach expands the reach for its first event celebrating our favorite things. Confirming over 40 chefs, 30 vintners and classy entertainment, the meals commence Thursday and continue all weekend.

Representing the diversity that is Orange County, favorites include Helene An, Ron Lee and Tony Nguyen from AnQi; Stephane Treand from ST Patisserie Chocolat and Chef Raj Dixit of Stonehill Tavern. We checked in with Slapfish spokesman Andrew Gruel, recent On the Line subject Brent Omeste and Chef Dixit to see what they had in store for guests.

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40. Frog Legs From Cafe Beau Soleil

Anne Marie Panoringan
Finger food

Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Our expectations of shopping center cuisine aren't normally high. Yet we manage to find a few gems wherever we go (often with the help of a friend). One example is inside a clothing and housewares spot at Fashion Island.

Cafe Beau Soleil feels like a "ladies who lunch" establishment. A people-watching patio, delectable pastry case and trusty espressos make them the reliable stop for Newporters and their four-legged companions. Crepes, sandwiches and Parisienne salads are their mainstays, but we prefer another delicacy.

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Jason's By The Circle Opens in Orange

Categories: Now Open

Jason's By The Circle's Facebook
Ways and Means, we hardly knew you.
As I wrote a few weeks ago here, the space near the Orange Circle that used to be Spiros, which turned into the high-falutin' seafood restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef called Ways and Means, has been taken over by Jason Kordas, who used to own Jason's Downtown in Santa Ana.

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On the Line: Tauseef Razaque Of Scoops N Scoops, Part One

Photo by LP Hastings
Tauseef, Abdullah and Adam keeping their cool

The sweltering days of summer may finally be showing signs of cooling down, but our readership is always in the mood for something sweet. So I stopped by one of the newest dessert spots for a little refreshment. The Scoops N Scoops management team consists of Adam Houri, Abdullah Jafey and Tauseef Razaque, but Tauseef took the lead in participating in our interview.

How much fun (or not?) did you have coming up with all those iconic creations?
It's a blast coming up with the creations! We're like mad scientists with all of our flavorings: pouring different things, cutting up different things and pouring them into bowls. Just using our imagination, and then there's vapor from the nitrogen everywhere as we anticipate what it's going to turn out like when it's frozen! It's a lot of fun, and we get to be very creative with it.

Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
The best variety and collection of food from all over the world.

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Long Beach's Afters Ice Cream Opens Labor Day Weekend

Photo by Willie T
You know it

Hey all of you in the part of Orange County near Long Beach (and those of you in Long Beach proper): An Afters Ice Cream is going to be opening near you very soon. Like, within a few weeks soon. Check after the jump for the details.

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