Coconut Rabbit, Our Winner For Best Thai 2014, Closes (Hopefully Temporarily)

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Photo by Edwin Goei
Let's hope this dish comes back when the restaurant does.
Coconut Rabbit, the Los Alamitos Thai restaurant that won Best Thai on our Best Of Issue last year along with countless of other accolades we bestowed upon it, has closed after two years. At least temporarily.

Their website has this phrase: "We will be closed as we are going through some exciting changes. Stay tuned!"

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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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Mizuki, The "Biggest" Ramen Restaurant, Closes in Irvine

Kimberly Valenzuela
Gone gone gone.
Mizuki, the 125 seat Japanese restaurant that opened five years ago in Irvine's Park Place claiming to be the "biggest" ramen restaurant in these here United States, has closed.

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Rainbow Bridge, New Northwestern Chinese Restaurant in Irvine, Serves "Chinese Hamburgers"

Rainbow Bridge Irvine's Facebook
Where's Kermit?
Well that was quick. PokiStation, the Irvine restaurant that tried to cash in on the poke craze even though it was really a Chinese restaurant serving xiao long baos, closed after less than six months of its opening.

Now a new poke-less joint has moved in, and Irvine's probably better for it. The new place is called Rainbow Bridge and is a specialist in Ningxia cuisine of Northwest China.

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The Ally Restaurant Closes in Westminster; Project West Moves In

The Lamburgini.
The Ally Restaurant was one of the most interesting restaurants I've ever had the pleasure of reviewing. Not only did they make this strangely good spaghetti with ground beef, bacon and a fried egg, they cooked Asian stir-fried noodles, bánh mì, French bread pizzas, burgers, chicken wings, paninis, rice bowls, burritos, tacos, tater tots with chopped pineapple, bacon-wrapped dates and spaghetti nacho-cheese fries. The Ally closed earlier a few months ago after almost a three year run.

Now a new gastropub called Project West has taken over. Their menu is shorter but not any less ambitious. They're still in soft opening mode as I type this and will be until the end of the month (offering a 25% discount on all menu items until then). I've not tried it yet, but from their Instagram, they seem to be burger-focused.

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Magic Wok In Artesia Re-Opens As Crispy House

Edwin Goei
The room in which great things are eaten.

If you're Pinoy, married to one, or are otherwise enamored with the under-appreciated and under-rated cuisine of this island nation, you are well aware that one of the best places to get a crispy pata (a honking piece of a deep fried pork hock) is a place called Magic Wok in Artesia. You would also be aware that it was closed for the latter part of last year due to some sort of undisclosed problem that required them to regroup.

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El Patio, Legendary Anaheim Mexican Eatery, Closes This Month, Re-Opens in May!

Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Goodbye ol' friend :-(

The day of reckoning is near for El Patio, Anaheim's beloved Mexican restaurant. With plans approved in January to demolish the shopping center where it stands, the hole-in-the-wall has to be out by April 26. But fret not, El Patio faithfuls: The Anaheim staple (since 1977) has found a new location just a half-mile down the street and will be reopening in May!

"It's going to be bittersweet," says Douglas Molina, vice president of El Patio. "We're going to move because we have to move. It's a sad day but we have to go forward regardless."

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Fins Poke Fusion, New Poke Restaurant, Serves Poke and Unagi Sandwiches

More poke! More fun!
Did already we already mention poke is blowing up all over? I think we did. But here's more proof.

Sushi Zone, an all-you-can-eat sushi joint in Mission Viejo, has rebranded itself as Fins, a restaurant specializing in poke bowls where you can choose your flavor (either a house spicy mayo vinaigrette, a ponzu blend, or sesame shoyu), and your fish (salmon or tuna), your base (spring mix, white rice, or brown rice) to make poke bowls of your chosen size (either a regular for $8.95, or a large for $11.95). Extras like avocado, masago, or octopus can be added for a $1.

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Long's Kitchen Opens in Irvine; Replaces Li's Kite

Edwin Goei
Long's Kitchen
About a year ago, Koko's Cafe closed after about three years in business serving what was, at the time, the only Hong Kong-style cafe food in Irvine. It closed because, presumably Tasty Garden opened a few blocks down and ate up all the Hong Kong-style cafe food business. Koko's was soon replaced by a restaurant called Li's Kite. Li's Kite served beef noodles. Now Li's Kite is also gone, replaced by another eatery called Long's Kitchen.

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Oki Doki Closes In Costa Mesa; Ikkousha, Ramen Shop from Japan, Takes Over

The newest Ramentown resident.
Oki Doki--the restaurant that served ramen at the same time it offered Vietnamese bun and Malay fried rice--has shuttered at 3033 Bristol St., the same corner at Paularino that once also housed Orchid Restaurant.

In its place Ikkousha is opening. Ikkousha is short for Hakata Ramen Ikkousha, which has twelve restaurants in Japan and a burgeoning empire in Indonesia, Singapore, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia and Hong Kong.

This Costa Mesa store is its first in the US. The specialty, of course, is the thick milky pork bone broths of the Hakata style.

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