Meat Up BBQ Opens in Placentia

Categories: Now Open

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https://www.facebook.com/meatUpBBQ
This is where you'll meet up at Meat Up.
Is it just me, or does North County have, like, a lot of BBQ restaurants now. There's Leadbelly's, JP23, Big B's, Blake's Place and I haven't even started counting the chains.

Now there's one more called Meat Up BBQ, which opened in Placentia last weekend, taking up the space of Sue Ann's American Kitchen. Meat Up BBQ is a joint effort from the people behind The Viking Truck and GarlicScapes Truck.


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Restauration: Where There's Smoke . . .

Categories: Now Open

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Photo by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Pretty!

The closer you get to Restauration, the more you smell the sweet wood smoke that snakes out of its tall chimney stack. It's a wonderful scent, a scent that says something rustic, something special is being made, even if the oven the chimney is attached to is used mostly for pizzas. More than anything, the smell promises a back-to-basics neighborhood restaurant and diner of the kind before the Chili's and Denny's of the world commoditized the experience with picture menus and reheated food.

It reminded me, strangely, of my childhood in Indonesia, where the same smell emanating from the wood-fueled stoves of street vendors permeated the evening air with the promise of something imbued with that flavor. But Restauration's food and space could only happen on Retro Row, which keeps solidifying its reputation as Portland-by-the-Sea.


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Pho Saigon Pearl Opens at Irvine Spectrum

Categories: Now Open

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https://www.facebook.com/PHOSAIGONPEARL
Slurp away!
As we wrote yesterday, LYFE Kitchen opened at Irvine Spectrum, right behind the new Sports Authority building and in a new building of its own. Pho Saigon Pearl also opened there this past weekend, just two doors down from LYFE.

This is Pho Saigon Pearl's second location. The first was at Irvine's Diamond Jamboree, where it remains the Asian plaza's sole Vietnamese food purveyor since it debuted there in 2011 and just recently won our award for Best Vietnamese Iced Coffee.

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LYFE Kitchen Opens at Irvine Spectrum

Categories: Now Open

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Edwin Goei
LYFE Kitchen in Henderson, NV.
LYFE Kitchen opened at the Irvine Spectrum this weekend. This is the fast-casual concept by a team that includes two former McDonald's execs, featuring a menu designed by Food Network's Jeremy Bringardner, Tal Ronnen, and Art Smith, Oprah's former personal chef. Everything offered is less than 600 calories, contains less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium, and uses every recent food buzzword in existence. It's first of its kind to land in OC. There are already 12 locations scattered through the country, and the company has plans to open about 250 more over the next five years.

I've been to other LYFE Kitchens and there's a consistency and uniformity I'd expect from a corporate outfit. Next to the entrance, there are menus in leaflets customized to whatever your dietary requirements happen to be, whether you're a vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, or if you can eat "Everything". Above this, there's the Mark Bittman quote: "The food policy that matters most is yours".

Also in every restaurant: a wall of potted herbs, a defining feature more important to the place than Playlands are to McDonald's. Butter and high fructose corn syrup aren't used, but quinoa and kale is, and prodigiously.

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Weekend Openings: Honda Center Eateries And Stax Cookie Bar Fundraiser

Categories: Now Open

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Stax Cookie Bar
Can't. Resist.

Halloween may be a couple of weeks away, but there are no tricks in this blog post. Only treats. For hockey fans and concert-goers, your preferred Anaheim venue is launching not one, but FIVE outlets today. Everybody else can go get dessert and support some schools in the process.

We start our roundup inside the Honda Center, where Wahoo's gets all official with a party out on their patio. The first 50 fish taco die-hards to visit the Ducks Red Carpet before the team's home opener today will receive a wristband, granting them access to giveaways, a DJ and of course, dinner. For the rest of us, there are other places to try.

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Civic in Santa Ana Re-Opens After Fire!

Categories: Now Open

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Photo from http://eatcivic.com/
Hot dog! They're open again!
Civic--the SanTana restaurant that Gustavo Arellano described as Primo-Mex ("the kind of mashups Mexican cousins do every carne asada Sunday to show off")--had a fire in July and had been closed ever since.

Now it seems everything is finally in order for a grand re-opening.


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Crazy Chi-Mac: Finger-Lickin' Great

Categories: Now Open

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Photos by Dustin Ames
Yum!

Crazy Chi-Mac has a lot going for it--a doting Korean mother-type who'll ladle the soup into bowls for you until its 2 a.m. closing time on weekends--but there are only two things that should convince you to go, like, right now: the beer and the fried chicken.

As with Zoomak Asian Bistro in Buena Park and the Past Memories in Garden Grove, Crazy Chi-Mac is a Korean tavern where Hite, OB and Cass come out in big pitchers and the customers don't get loud until about 9 or 10 p.m. But it may be the first Korean pub around these parts to specialize in fried chicken. You only need to have been paying attention to the miracles Korean purveyors such as Kyochon and Pizza & Chicken Love Letter have done with fried chicken over the past decade to know this natural progression of things is very, very good.


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Dosa Place in Tustin Closes; Moves To Its Original Location In...Tustin

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Photo by Kimberly Valenzuela
Is that all you got?

There was once only one Dosa Place in Tustin, the one on Redhill. Then there were two, when the 17th Street restaurant opened in 2010. Then, somewhere along the way, the Dosa Place on Redhill became Dosa Express. And so, there was technically only one Dosa Place in Tustin, the one on 17th Street.


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Eureka! Opens in Irvine

Categories: Now Open

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http://www.eurekarestaurantgroup.com/
Burger!
The mouthful of a restaurant calling itself "Eureka! Discover American Craft"--the Hawthorne-based chain that has an outlet at Huntington Beach's Bella Terra (read the review here)--has opened its second OC location in Irvine at the space formerly occupied by Chakra at University Center, across from UC Irvine.

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Free Fluff Ice at Fluff Ice Grand Opening in Irvine Tomorrow

Categories: Bargains, Now Open

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https://www.facebook.com/fluffice
It's so fluffffyy!
What's a Fluff Ice? It's the same as a shaved snow. What's a shaved snow? Shaved snow, for those uninitiated, isn't shaved ice. It starts as a block of flavored frozen milk, which is planed by blade into long, ribbon-like sheets that are fluffy, airy and absent ice's granular crunch. This becomes the base for toppings of sugary beans, peanuts, fudge or fruit. If you've not had it, Class 302 and dozens of other vendors have popped up all over OC to offer it.

Fluff Ice is one of those. It already has a store in Costa Mesa.

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