As we wrote on these pages a few months ago, Canyon, Rich Mead's follow up to Sage, his shuttered Newport Beach institution, was closed to make way for a new concept called Reunion Kitchen + Drink.
Reunion opens this week.
Starbucks will most likely hold its monopolistic hold on coffee retail, but tea seems to remains to be unclaimed. A shop called Lily Chai has opened its first store at the Irvine Spectrum near the theater and it embraces the drink with offerings of custom-blended loose leaf tea sold by the pound, tea-scented soap and tea-flavored sea salt, not to mention a bar where they pour tea drinks, both hot and cold.
There were previously just two Empanada-centered eateries in Orange County--Empanada Man and Empanada Place. Now there are three. The Empanada Maker has opened in Mission Viejo and it serves the half-moon shaped, way-better South American precursors of the Hot Pocket, with fillings of chicken with potatoes and peas, and beef with hard boiled eggs and olives.
Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ needs to be thanked. The dude who didn't invent but popularized the idea of melding Mexican tortillas and cheese with Korean bulgogi and kimchi has inspired not just the boys of Dos Chinos, Urban Seoul, but now also Seoulmate in Long Beach, whose name is as inevitable as the bulgogi burritos it serves.
It used to be that if you were a homesick Filipino living in the Irvine/Tustin area, you could go to Manila Groove to get some silogs in the morning and turo turo in the afternoon. That all ended last year when Tustin's only Filipino joint closed after six years in business.
Edwin Goei Bye Manila Groove; Hello Rasoi Curry
Now the space has been taken up by an Indian restaurant called Rasoi Curry Point, which in turn should give a lot of homesick Indians (who already have at least a handful of restaurants in the area) even more options in Tustin.More »
Coveting a scoop of gianduia from our preferred gelato spot was the only reason we used to frequent Corona del Mar Plaza (Until it was replaced by Sprinkles Ice Cream. Boo!). If we happened to be shopping down the street, even better-- since they also scooped inside Fashion Island's Atrium Court. They closed the mall location a year ago this month, but we never knew why. Now, it all makes sense.
Recently we spotted them while wandering Barnes and Noble. Instead of their previous freestanding spot, Gelato Paradiso is now connected to the perimeter of eateries downstairs.More »
While already open for three weeks, Michelle Haut Chocolat threw their debut bash last Thursday in the great hall we know and love as The OC Mix. Their quaint storefront is stocked by an ambitious kitchen based in Laguna Beach. It was envisioned by Michelle Pontius, member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Fine Chocolate Industry Association and Master Chocolatier.
Associated with celebrities from Teri Hatcher to Suge Knight, her sweet arsenal includes espresso caramels and tea smoked salt "M" bars consisting of 73% cacao. Our favorites include a petit dome of rose salted caramel turtle with pecans and her rose petal signature chocolate. While you may think these treats are too girly, we dare you to take a bite from a chile cardamom bar, or their truffle infused with Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whisky before drawing a conclusion.More »
If there was one thing Laguna Beach's newest business confirmed over the weekend, it was that we are a carnivore at heart. Hungry to find out what it was all about, date night was at Selanne's steakhouse. While we await a formal restaurant review, here's a small taste of what you can expect to find.More »
One day after closing its Rancho Santa Margarita location permanently due to "noxious odors," Bruxie, the Chapman-founded waffle giant to-be, announced the opening date of its new Costa Mesa location today through their Facebook page. Bruxie Costa Mesa will open bright and early (at 8 a.m.) on Nov. 19 on 17th and Santa Ana, in the location formerly held by Greek Town Grill (279 E. 17th Street).
Talk about following bad news with good.More »