Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong Coming to Irvine

Categories: Local Eats

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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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UPDATE: Next Taco Maria/Little Sparrow Collaboration Dinner Date Set

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Photo by Laila Derakhshanian/OC Weekly
This time it's on his home turf.

UPDATE: Wednesday, August 12, 2015: Despite the departure of Eric from Little Sparrow, Samaniego will be joining Carlos in the kitchen of Taco Maria as guest chef. The first in a series of featured chef dinners, the new date is set for August 25, and you can reserve a space here. All we need now is a nickname for this dinner to hashtag.

ORIGINAL POST: June 13, 2015: Barely a month ago, there was a collaboration between Little Sparrow's Eric Samaniego and Taco Maria's Carlos Salgado. It was a one-night-only affair, assuming you were lucky enough to snag a reservation.

We heard "Little Maria" was rather epic. Somewhere between veal sweetbreads with green tomato chutney and a coq au vin taco, the expectations of diners were exceeded. When would the sequel occur? We questioned Eric the next time we found ourselves in Sparrow's bar. His answer:

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The Only Taco Guide to Orange County You'll Ever Need

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Micah Wright/OC Weekly
Wood-Grilled Tacos at Solita

By Gustavo Arellano, Edwin Goei, Charles Lam, and Dave Lieberman

You really want us to pontificate on the glories of tacos in Orange County as an intro? Fuck that: our Mexican in Chief wrote a whole book on the subject--find it! In the meanwhile, make this your bible for the rest of the year, starting . . . now.

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Updates From Tustin's Union Market!

Categories: Local Eats

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Cookies 'n milk in one hand? Hell yes!

Slowly but surely, Tustin's growing dining and retail space within The District continues to open with its newest tenants. Besides the eateries about to open, we've got news on three additional players on this evolving property.

Up and running this week, Crepe Coop's daily operating hours are from noon to 10 p.m. These sweet handhelds are enough for two to share, but you'll end up ordering your own. Get your fruit fix, your ice cream fix and your crepe fix in every bite.

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Costa Mesa's Legendary La Cave to Start Last Sunday Service This Month

Categories: Local Eats

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La Cave in Costa Mesa has been open for over half a century now, but the legendary steak house / music venue has never really operated on Sundays.. until this month. Starting June 28, the restaurant will begin service on the final Sunday of each month, complete with musical accompaniment by Virginia-born singer/songwriter Matt Commerce.

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Interview with Guy Who's Drinking Boba for an Entire Year!

Categories: Local Eats

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Justin Salamanca

This is a story of boy meets boba. The boy, Justin Salamanca of Cerritos, grew up not knowing that he'd be truly happy until he sipped his first boba drink (which, in case you were wondering, was a caramel green slush at Upper House Boba in Walnut). Justin met boba in the third grade, and he knew immediately it was what he didn't know he needed.

This week, UCI student Justin Salamanca is on day 90-something in his quest to drink boba every day for a year for (500) Days of Summer, his passion project inspired by Steven Cong's boba database. Though Salamanca isn't really drinking boba for 500 days (more like 365 -- he thought 500 sounded better), 365 days is still a lot of, well, whatever boba's made of. Props, man.

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Downtown Santa Ana Farmers' Market Anniversary Dinner THIS THURSDAY!

Categories: Local Eats

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Photo by Amanda DeFrancis/OC Weekly
Time flies when you're having fun

In the summer of 2013, Kerri Annick Cacciata participated in our On the Line series. Her big news: plans to start a farmers' market in Downtown Santa Ana. Today, the market she dreamed of is about to turn one.

To celebrate, she's teamed up with some local supporters for a benefit dinner. While it may be of no cost to visit the Thursday market (save for those parking meters), operating one takes time, resources and a certain amount of money. With your participation, the DTSA market can grow and continue to provide a backdrop for local outreach and events. So let's talk about this dinner.

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The North Left Launches Updated Lunch Menu

Categories: Local Eats

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Say cheesy!

It's common knowledge that The North Left is a solid place to grab dinner. More often than not, our friends head there for drinks. What we didn't realize was that they're also open for lunch. Nobody ever talks about it, so we assumed it wasn't. Wrong.

They've been serving lunch for so long, in fact, that a brand new menu came out this past Friday. While we only ordered a tuna melt and chips ($12) with our Chester Copperpot cocktail, our bartender was kind enough to explain some of the updated comfort food.

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Check Out the Observatory's Awesome New Menu

Categories: Local Eats

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Anne Marie Panoringan
S'mores ston'dnuts

While at the bar during the Bleachers concert over the weekend, we noticed menus. They looked better than what we normally find in small venues. Hand-cut fries smothered in short rib gravy and aged provolone ($7), edamame with togarashi ($4) and a 'killer' grilled cheese with white cheddar, gruyere, apple wood bacon and grilled onions ($10), just to name a few. Then it clicked.

A few months ago, Scott Brandon departed Fireside Tavern. The chef who opened Crow Bar and LinX posted his newest digs on Instagram, but only now did we find ourselves there.

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Urban Cactus: Delicious Sorpresa Near Angel Stadium

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Dave Lieberman
¡Ay, qué fresa!
A menu from Urban Cactus showed up in my office shortly before Christmas. I didn't look at it--I was busy replenishing the water in the coffee machine, like a good corporate citizen--but I happened to drive past it last week, pulled in, judged it by its cover, and nearly pulled right back out onto the road.

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