Uroko Cafe Opens in Costa Mesa; Chaya Closes

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http://www.urokocafe.com
Poke proliferation.
Chaya, the Costa Mesa Japanese cafe that we've written about and awarded for its salad dressing some three years ago, is now shuttered and has become Uroko Cafe. Care to guess what Uroko Cafe sells? Yes. Uroko continues the proliferation of poke. It is the umpteenth poke shop to open within this past year and it won't be the last, not even in the same block. Another poke store is slated to open soon down the street at Bristol and Baker any day now.


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45. Tijuana-Style Carne Asada Tacos at Tio Flaco's

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Dave Lieberman
¡ÓRALE!

Real carne asada, long the dominion of tíos armed with barbecue grills in their yards on Sunday after Mass, is finally starting to make its way into restaurants north of the border. San Diego has a branch of Tijuana's Tacos el Poblano; there's a taco stand at a llantera in South L.A. that even gets nervous Westsiders to venture south of MLK; even Vegas has TJ-style tacos at Tacos el Gordo. But Orange County has been slow to adopt; we love our lonchera flat-top carne asada too much.

But after we published the Only Taco Guide to Orange County You'll Ever Need last week, reader Jim Flores chimed in with Tío Flaco's, a brand-new taco shop in on Magnolia Avenue that grills their meat over wood fire.


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Poki Yaki Opens in Buena Park

Categories: Now Open

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http://pokiyaki.wix.com/pokiyaki
The Medium Poke Bowl


The poke proliferation continues. Yet another poke shop has opened. This time it's in Buena Park in what used to be, you guessed it, a generic teriyaki and California roll joint. It's called Poki Yaki and if you're judging just by its operating model, it can be argued that it's copying Pokinometry, OC's poke pioneer, nearly down to the letter.


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Slapfish Opens at University Town Center across the Street from UC Irvine Today

Categories: Now Open

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Kristine Hoang

Slapfish's fifth Southern California location opens today at University Center next to UC Irvine, replacing Berkeley Dog. To celebrate, the first 100 visitors will receive one free lobster roll each--so be there early!

The seafood restaurant joins Mendocino Farms, Eureka!, Snow Monster, and several other businesses in the shopping center's changing look and feel (and spoiling those college students).

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Leaf n Cream, Boba and Ice Cream Shop, Opens In Tustin

Categories: Now Open

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Leaf n Cream Facebook
Suck on these.
I admit I was wrong. In more than a couple of posts here and on my personal blog, when I noticed the boba milk scene stagnating in the aughts, I prematurely pronounced that the boba milk tea craze was finally dead or dying. Even as the old standbys of Tapioca Express, Tea Station, and Cha for Tea held strong, I didn't see many new entrants for a very long time.


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Kiki Bakery Closes in Irvine; Chan Chan Food House Moves In

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Edwin Goei
So long, Kiki Bakery; Hello Chan Chan Food House
Kiki Bakery, which opened in Irvine's Heritage Plaza three years ago as part of a chain that hails from SGV, has closed. As others of its ilk are known to do, Kiki offered bread products from what seems like the same batch of sweet dough, with almost all of its products derived from it, molded into shiny egg-washed domes; injected with custard cream; wrapped into little danishes filled with ham and cheese.


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Sunmerry, New Taiwanese Bakery, Opens In Irvine

Categories: Now Open

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Edwin Goei
Taiwanese template.
85°C Bakery Cafe regulars: Stop me if what I'm about to describe sounds familiar. You start with tray in one hand, tongs in the other, and then weave your way through Plexiglas-shielded display shelves where breads, Danishes, and rolls in every conceivable shape are topped with pork floss, cheese and shiny hot dogs.

Then the cashier transfers what you've managed to pile onto your tray into individual plastic sleeves. For drinks, there's coffee beverages, fruity beverages, and, of course milk teas where boba is almost a requirement.


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Coneizza in Laguna Hills Serves Pizza In A Cone

Categories: Now Open

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http://www.coneizza.com
The cone pizza has landed.
Hot dogs are pretending to be crusts at Pizza Hut. Pizzas are infiltrating fried chicken on KFC's Chizza. So why not pizza in a cone? Yes, there's a pizza shop that specializes in cooking and serving its pizza in a hand-holdable cone.


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Scoops Ice Cream Is Coming to Santa Ana, Popping Up Contra Coffee With Them

Categories: Now Open

Scoops, the cult ice cream favorite out of LA, is making its way into Orange County later this week, with their Santa Ana location a few blocks from the East End opening Friday. The shop at 605 E Santa Ana Blvd will be their first outside of that horrible city up north and will bring some of hundreds and hundreds of flavors the shop known for down south where the freeway lanes aren't claustrophobic.

And, even more excitingly, the shop will be host to Contra Coffee, my local food and drink darling of 2015, in the form of a pop-up.

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Famous Dave's Opens at Irvine Marketplace

Categories: Now Open

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Famous Dave's Irvine Facebook
Fingers, prepare for lickin'.
Famous Dave's has opened in Irvine Marketplace at the old Opah location. It's the second in OC for the BBQ chain and about the biggest debut for the mall since TAPS Fish House opened a month ago. The Marketplace has also recently welcomed Miguel's Jr., Mizu Sushi Bar & Grill, California Gogi Grill and Piadina Italian Market Sandwich.


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