Now Open: The Winery in Newport Beach

Categories: Now Open

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Reminding us that beach cities are all about location, location, location

Just over a week ago, our leading men at The Winery unveiled their newest locale off Pacific Coast Highway. I stopped by a few days before to view the former Villa Nova space. Extreme makeover is an understatement-- between a wall of wine lockers requiring use of a library ladder and imported countertops adorning a duo of bars, it rivals fine dining establishments at local resorts. We caught JC Clow downstairs, overseeing the stocking of their massive, two story wine cellar. Chef Yvon Goetz was on the second floor, coordinating pre-opening dinners for investors and select guests. Here in a proverbial nutshell is a rundown of what to expect.

How do you plan to cater to Newport clientele?
The Winery Newport Beach is set to be the newest, most luxurious, classy and cutting edge culinary experience in Orange County. The restaurant sits on a landmark location on Pacific Coast Highway that has incredible views of the Newport Marina. We know that our guests from Newport Beach and beyond will be impressed with our team of eight certified Sommeliers, including a Level 3 Sommelier.


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Pier 76 Fish Grill Moves; Still Great!

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Christina Bryson
Fresh seafood from Pier 76
Pier 76 Fish Grill, Chris Krajacic's wonderful seafood fast-casual that I reviewed last September and then listed as one of Long Beach's 10 Essential Restaurants (not to mention the winner of Best Mussels on our Best Of Issue), has moved out of the ground floor of the historic Cooper Arms building on Ocean Boulevard and into a new spot a few blocks away on Pine and 1st.


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Now Open: El Amerikano In Downtown Fullerton

Categories: Now Open

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Photo courtesy of Fullerton Foundry
Did you REALLY think you would go unnoticed?

A few months back, I saw a nondescript storefront over at Fullerton's transportation depot had gone out of business. It was Seafood Grill, but construction was already underway on another concept. On Monday I drove by and noticed signage, but didn't have time to check it out. Thank goodness for tipsters!

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Dami Sushi & Izakaya Opens in Buena Park; Offers Free Giveaways & $20 Gift Certificates

Categories: Now Open

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Dami Sushi & Izakaya
Sushi and izakaya inside.
The new Asian-focused mall called Village Circle on Beach (think Irvine's Diamond Jamboree) already has a lot of of its core tenants in place (85 Degrees is already open and H-Mart is opening soon if it's not already). There will be at least a dozen more tenants there. One of them is a Dami Sushi & Izakaya, which opens this weekend.

The restaurant has put out a press release announcing that it will give out $20 gift certificates for use on a future visit to the first 50 customers on each day (starting today until Sunday) and for all customers after, a $10 gift certificate.

Here's a few more words on the goings on there and more details about other giveaways:

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Free Donuts at Donut Bar Grand Opening Saturday in Fountain Valley

Categories: Now Open

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http://donutbar.tumblr.com/
Donut Bar, which is officially titled "Orange County's Donut Bar" since the original in San Diego is called "San Diego's Donut Bar", has been in soft opening mode in Fountain Valley.

They offer the same, constantly updated donut menu that changes daily. Some of the flavors offered: Samoa, which is inspired by the Girl Scout Cookie; Strawberry Split; Nutella; Boston Creme; and Cake Batter. And of course they have their version of the cronut, which are called CroBars and exist in its own assortment of flavors.


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Reminder: Santa Ana Farmers Market Begins TODAY

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As we announced last month, after years going without, Santa Ana finally regains its farmers market beginning today. The market--I'm apparently not allowed to call it a tianguis--runs from 2 p.m.-8 p.m. today and every Thursday on the promenade in front of the Yost Theatre, near the Playground.

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Koko's Cafe in Irvine Closes

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Edwin Goei
Koko's pork chop
For a while there, Irvine had two Hong Kong-style cafes. First Koko's Cafe came in, opening back in 2011 to serve Asian interpretations of Western diner food. Then came, Tasty Garden. The latter seemed to suck all the oxygen out of the Hong Kong-style cafe space. And Koko's was barely breathing as it is.

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Now Open: Fireside In Costa Mesa

Categories: Now Open

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Anne Marie Panoringan
As L.L. would say, don't call it a comeback.

While options are aplenty for meeting or eating in Costa Mesa, finding a space to call your own is tough. The popularity of happy hour specials has a direct correlation to your chances of scoring a spot to rest your drink (or your ass, for that matter). Generally, the dining scene within hotels surrounding South Coast and Avenue of the Arts cater to business travelers, theater goers and folks on holiday. Except these same properties have to compete with recognizable brands and hipster hangouts a short distance away.

What drew me to Crowne Plaza wasn't a brand I thought I knew. It was finally learning about Scott Brandon's whereabouts. Maybe you recognize him from the defunct Oysters in Corona del Mar, or the man who helped launch Crow Bar + Kitchen a few doors down. I met him shortly before he launched LinX in Old Towne Orange. When both Brandon and Jared Cook left the scene last year, we wondered where they would land next. Jared returned to Vine in San Clemente, yet Scott was MIA . . .until now.

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Creations Pizzeria Opens in Tustin

Categories: Now Open

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What is Creations Pizzeria? Why, it's yet another create-your-own pizza joint, wherein you pick your toppings on a pizza, have it applied on raw dough, have said dough baked into your pie in minutes as you wait.

This is the kind of model you might have seen before in, well, just about every new pizza place that has opened within the past three years.

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Fusion Bites, New Restaurant in Fountain Valley, Serves Pho Sliders!

Categories: Now Open

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http://www.fusion-bites.com/
No bowl needed.
So you've no doubt heard of the ramen burgers. Now check this out: pho sliders.

Yes, a new restaurant in Fountain Valley at the Ayres Hotel called Fusion Bites is serving pho sliders, which doesn't use pan-fried noodle as bread like the ramen burger does, but isn't shy in stuffing a steamed bun with pho ingredients such as bean sprouts, basil, and what I presume is anise-scented beef.

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