Tokyo Central Opens in Costa Mesa

Categories: Now Open

Sushi for miles.
The Costa Mesa Marukai has transformed into a new market called Tokyo Central. The old food court has now been replaced by specialty food bars that serve noodles and islands with ready-made sushi. If it weren't for the gigantic cartoon-y signs, it looks like the Japanese version of the Whole Foods food court. The market opened last Thursday.

There are more pictures from their blog as well as info about upcoming events on their website.

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O'Shine Taiwanese Kitchen Opens in Tustin

Categories: Now Open

Do I smell stinky tofu?
As we might have pointed out many times before, Irvine has the densest concentration of Taiwanese eateries in OC. What's more proof of this when the Taiwanese eateries bleed over to its neighboring cities?

This is exactly what has happened. A restaurant called O'Shine Taiwanese Kitchen has now opened in a space that was formerly Pho Hana on Redhill near I-5 in Tustin. While I'm not sure that Tustin doesn't have other Taiwanese eateries, what I'm sure of is that this O'Shine is by the same people that opened the old O'Shine in Irvine nearly twenty years ago. You might remember that it was in the spot that's now Shik Do Rak on Jeffrey and Walnut.

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Pueblo Is Costa Mesa's Tapas Town

Categories: Now Open

Photos by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Mix and match and max and mitch...

OC is haunted by the ghosts of failed Spanish concepts. In the idylls of Ladera Ranch, there was once a short-lived but well-meaning restaurant called Picante whose specialty was paellas baked in pans an acre wide. A few years later, a Spain-based restaurant group actually managed to open a rather decent tapas bar in downtown Fullerton called Lizarran; after it died a slow death, an El Farolito Jr. took over the space. Then there was another tapas restaurant called Boqueria in Costa Mesa. Though it served even better food than Lizarran, no one expected it to last--it was just renting out the kitchen and space at Rooster Cafe in the evenings. These days, save for one or two exceptions, there are few worthy ambassadors of Spanish cuisine left in Orange County.

Enter Pueblo, the newest and perhaps greatest hope for Spanish cuisine in these parts, found in the cauldron of quirky wonderfulness that is the OC Mix in Costa Mesa.

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California Gogi Grill Opens Second Restaurant In Irvine

Categories: Now Open

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Edwin Goei
California Gogi Korean Grill bento.
California Gogi Korean Grill, the Chipotle-style Korean concept that opened in 2013 at University Center across from UCI, has now opened its second store in between Panda Express and Yogurtland at the Irvine Marketplace.

For those unfamiliar with the original, picture the full spectrum of Korean BBQ meats: bulgogi, spicy pork, chicken. Then imagine them as the protein for rice bowls (here called bibimbap), bentos, burritos, sandwiches, and tacos, all for under $8.

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Today, Get Pay-What-You-Want Pizza in La Habra; On Sunday, It's Free

Categories: Now Open


It's been a few years since Pieology made a big splash, and now Chipotle-style, build-your-own-pizza places are everywhere. Today, Orange County's newest chain will open its newest location in La Habra. And you know what that means? You get to donate to charity and get a pizza out of the deal.

Also, there's free* pizza on Sunday. Check after the jump for the details.

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Poke Etc. in Long Beach Offers the Hawaiian Treat for Days!

Photos by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Cubes of glory

It was 3:30 p.m. on a Sunday. The young owner of Poke Etc. had just barely finished his lunch. But his break was short-lived. As new customers came through the door, he chirped, "First time here? Have you tried poke before? Let me give you some samples!"

He then walked behind the counter and proceeded to offer each person in the group--a mom, a dad and two daughters--morsels from the poke trays behind a refrigerated glass case. There was about half a dozen flavors available, and the family tasted all of them, toothpick after toothpick. After that came a twentysomething couple that was also offered samples.

"How did you find out about us?" the young owner asked. Good, old-fashioned word of mouth.

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Working Class Kitchen Now Open In Long Beach

Categories: Now Open

Working Class Kitchen FB
Nice to meat you

Last Thursday was day one for the newest concept from the team that brought you Michael's on Naples, Chianina Steakhouse and Michael's Pizzeria. With a catchy yet cryptic name, Working Class Kitchen's industrial space celebrated in style-- offering foie gras crostini to all patrons.

A sustainable, all-natural deli and butchery, their motto is Sine Labore Nihil. Translated literally it's Without Labor Nothing. We see it as a reminder that hard work pays off. Without a formal website, we poked around to learn about what's in their deli case.

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Kingchops, Taiwanese Pork Chop Specialist, Now Open in Irvine

Categories: Now Open

Photo by thatguy
Chop chop!
O.C.'s unofficial Taiwan Town just got more Taiwaneseier. Kingchops--a Taiwanese fried pork chop specialist that's actually from Taiwan--has opened in Irvine next to Clay Oven at the corner of Irvine Center and Jeffrey.

As mentioned before on this blog, there's also a branch in the City of Industry that serves pork chop rice (Pai Gu Fan)--basically a plank of deep-fried pork served with rice dotted with soy-sauce-seasoned ground pork, veggies and a hard-boiled egg. Also on the menu there and now at this store: pork chop noodles, either served dry or submerged in soup.

There's also fried chicken, if you're more inclined.

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Twenty Eight in Irvine Is Good--Even If You've Never Seen Top Chef

Photos by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Roll 'em up

By the time I heard that Top Chef contestant Shirley Chung was opening a restaurant in Irvine, my interest in the show had long since waned. Maybe I should've stuck around until its 11th season, in which Chung was a finalist, because when I went to Twenty Eight--the modern Chinese eatery she opened in the space vacated by Kimera--I felt as if I were the only one at a rock concert who didn't know any of the words.

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Ninjas With Appetite Food Truck Opens Brick-and-Mortar in Downtown Santa Ana

Categories: Now Open

The Lime Truck. Seabirds. Dos Chinos. All the cool trucks are doing it: setting up brick-and-mortar restaurants. Soon the Burnt Truck and Dogzilla collaboration called Burntzilla will open a restaurant in Irvine.

But before that happens, the Ninjas With Appetite Food Truck have debuted their brick-and-mortar at the location of the former Grilled Cheese Spot, the shuttered sandwich shop by the, North Left folks.

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