Outpost Kitchen in Costa Mesa Shows Us How Australians do Brunch

Photos by Dustin Ames
Werking it

I love, love, love this restaurant. I love that it's different from anything I've seen before. I love that it takes effort to find in an industrial section of town, and that it's located near nothing except auto body shops and anonymous block-shaped warehouses. I love that when I walked in there for the first time, the cashier was in the middle of changing the record player to queue up Oingo Boingo on vinyl. And I love that the staff use tin plates to serve everything, that the silverware is inside buckets, wrapped with napkins, and left distributed along the communal tables where everyone sits. I also love how open the kitchen is, how I can see everything that happens in there, from the guy cutting up limes for the coconut-papaya-and-lime smoothies I ordered to the stove where they're cracking eggs onto sputtering frying pans one-by-one.

Yet none of what I previously mentioned would be at all endearing if it weren't for the food. And yes, I love the food.

More »

Now Open: Grits Fullerton

Categories: Now Open

Anne Marie Panoringan
Kiss their grits

Brunch is a phrase not taken lightly around here. Eggs, pork products and pastries are some of the tastiest things. So to hear that Grits Fullerton is actually opening is news (at least to this Forker).

Promoting themselves as "classic Southern comfort food with California creativity", they kicked things off with a bit of charity work. A different organization was featured daily last week, with 100% of food profits going directly to the lucky non-profit.

More »

Cesar's Bistro in Long Beach Piles on the Plantains for Its Nuevo Latino Menu

Photos by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Tostadas for the eatin'

We're at Cesar's Bistro, sitting on lime-green plastic chairs under a fluttering umbrella as the syncopated rhythms of a Willie Colón song pulse through the air. I'm sipping mint lemonade from a sweaty mason jar, and she's petting our dog, who's yawning on her lap. This is Long Beach, but if I close my eyes, it could be Miami or at least Spanish Harlem. I think the salsa music has something to do with it. It might also be the fried sweet plantains we're nibbling as an appetizer. What is it about the ripe fruit that it only takes a deep fry to turn it into something sweeter and more delicious than the most complicated bananas Foster recipe?

More »

Pom & Olive Mediterranean Opens in Costa Mesa

Categories: Now Open

Hi, I'm Kabob.
A new restaurant has opened in the space that used to be a Chinese vegan restaurant called Happy Family, and before that, May Garden, which was a long-running establishment that peddled sweet-and-sour-kung-pao Chinese food to the masses the same time it offered a secret Taiwanese menu for those who knew to ask for it. I still miss May Garden.

More »

Padre Latin Table & Cocktails Opens in Long Beach

Categories: Now Open

This is the logo.
A new restaurant has opened in the space that formerly held Bliss 525 in Long Beach. In looking at the menu, Padre Latin Table & Cocktail does elote, aguachiles, and chicharrones that's house made and "dusted with cheddar beer powder".

More »

You Can Now Get Fancy Toast at Dough Exchange

Categories: Now Open

Have you ever wanted to see what it was like to live in uber hip cities like San Francisco or Seattle without all of that fog and rain? Did you hear about the artisan toast trend last year and ache for your love of gluten and the Maillard reaction?

Well, now you can solve that last problem in your own backyard. Jason Quinn's Dough Exchange (now located in the Honor Roll grocery in the 4th Street Market) is now serving fancy ass toast.

More »

TODAY: Free Ice Cream Sandwiches at Grand Opening of Cream at Irvine Spectrum

Categories: Freebies, Now Open

CREAM Irvine Spectrum Facebook
Would you stand in line with thousands of people for a free one-of-these?
Judging by the line that stretched from AMC Theater to the bowling alley at The District a few months ago for the Ben & Jerry's free ice cream giveaway, y'all like free ice cream. Well, now here's another chance to get more free ice cream.

Cream, which is the new ice cream purveyor opening up today at the Irvine Spectrum, is giving away free ice cream sandwiches from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

More »

Kaya Street Kitchen In Aliso Viejo Tries to Introduce Indonesian Food to the Masses

Photos by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Beautiful scoops

Whenever I visit a new city, the first thing I do is eat whatever the area is known for. The second thing I do is count how many Indonesian restaurants are around. I do this with the hope that someday I might find myself in a town with as many Indonesian restaurants as there are Thai joints. For the record: New York has about five, Chicago has one, Los Angeles more than a few. But so far, in most of America, the cuisine of the fourth most populous nation on Earth--the country of my birth--is still the unknown garage band that can't get a break.

More »

Baos Hog, Steamed Pork Bun Restaurant, Opens in Garden Grove

Categories: Now Open

Baos Hog Facebook page
Bao down!
In the past year, you've seen ramen burgers and sushi burritos. Now get yourselves acquainted with baos, Chinese-style steamed bun clamshells wrapped around meat that's usually pork. Cafe Hiro serves a version on its appetizer list, but if you're not already familiar with the concept of an entire restaurant dedicated to steamed buns, then you're not from New York. One of the most well-known is Eddie Huang's Baohaus in Union Square. Huang is also the narrator of ABC's Fresh Off The Boat, and the author of the book that inspired the show. But it was Baohaus that put him on the culinary map. And his isn't the only joint in New York to serve baos. There is, of course, Momofuku and its famous pork belly buns.

More »

UTC's Now-Open Mendocino Farms Bring Farm-to-Sandwich to Irvine

Categories: Now Open

Photo by Courtney Hamilton
You call this hot?

Irvine's University Town Center continues to rebrand itself as a hub for upscale, trendy eateries--so upscale, the center now offers valet parking. This past year, the center welcomed gastropub Eureka!, fancy cafeteria Tender Greens and soon-to-be-open seafood stop Slapfish. Joining the center's ilk of bougey restaurants is Mendocino Farms, who classes up everyday lunch fare with a sustainable farming ethos.

If the concept sounds familiar, it's because you can't throw a sandwich in an affluent area without hitting a restaurant that does the same thing. This is not to say Mendocino Farms has done something wrong. If anything, they're the green-sustainable-organic-eco-friendly cum capitalist dream realized. If ethical food production is important to you and you can stomach an $11 price tag on a sandwich, Mendocino Farms will please you.

More »