Gin Pairing Dinner At CUCINA Enoteca Newport Beach!

Photo by Mary Pastrana/OC Weekly
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While CUCINA Enoteca is well-known for their wine program, they want to flex their spirits muscle the best way they know how. Pairing a handful of gins with a menu prepared by Chef Brent Omeste showcases both the kitchen's expertise as well as their bar program. Fortunately for you, this meal is less than a week away.

Guests will spend the evening out on the patio with lead bartender Tucky Dias going over each of your five courses. For more on the menu, prepare to jump.

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Cafe Gratitude To Open Restaurant in Newport Beach

Yes, this is a vegan pizza.
If you're a card-carrying vegan, you're no doubt aware of Cafe Gratitude, the vegan restaurant that started nearly a dozen years ago in the Bay Area. Since then, they've expanded to three locations in Los Angeles (Downtown Arts District, Larchmont Village and Venice Beach), as well as restaurants in Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and Kansas City, Missouri.

Now they're going into OC for the first time at Castaways Commons, located near the intersection of 17th Street/Westcliff Drive and Dover Drive in Newport Beach. The planned restaurant will be huge--bigger than any existing Cafe Gratitudes. In fact, this one will just be called "Gratitude" and have 4,300 square feet of space, outfitted with a separate 1,200 square-foot patio.

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Habana To Open Second Restaurant in Irvine Spectrum

Cuban revolution.
Habana, the twenty-year-old Cuban staple in Costa Mesa, is making strides to open restaurant number two inside the Land of Bren, where no Cuban eateries currently exist.

It's set to open this winter at the Irvine Spectrum in a huge space by itself next to Sports Authority.

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Get Free Ice Cream Sandwiches at CREAM's Aliso Viejo Opening TOMORROW


CREAM, a famous Bay Area ice cream sandwich shop started by Jimmy and Gus Shamieh in Berkeley, CA, will be opening a new location in Aliso Viejo TOMORROW. For the occasion, they're giving out free ice cream sandwiches (plus vegan cookies for the non-gluten consumers) starting at noon. I agree--halt your weekend plans and get on THIS!

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EMC Seafood and Raw Bar to Open in Irvine

EMC Seafood Website
Uno uni.
Eater LA broke the news last week that EMC Seafood and Raw Bar, the popular Koreatown seafood restaurant and oyster bar that's currently offering bivalves for $30 a dozen, is planning to open in Irvine by summer. There's also another being built in Canoga Park as we speak. When the Irvine store opens, it will be EMC's third restaurant. The space it will occupy is the building vacated by Elephant Bar on Culver near the 5 freeway.

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Farm Lot 59 Brunch This Sunday

Anne Marie Panoringan
Your view at brunch

If you haven't had your fill of brunch lately, we found something worth checking out. Located in Long Beach, Farm Lot 59 harvests organic produce, pastured eggs, training and education for local citizen farmers. They also hold various fundraising events throughout the year to cover maintenance and upkeep. For example, the previous meal helped fund construction on a new greenhouse.

Their current lineup includes a final brunch for the season on May 17. Teaming up with Chef Erick Simmons of Restauration, you'll spend the afternoon on the farm, multi-course dining on picnic benches beneath a shady tent. The menu is almost confirmed, but Farm Lot owner Sasha Kanno can promise you, "squash, squash blossoms, herbs, edible flowers and our delicious and fresh eggs."

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Kaya Street Kitchen, the "Asian Chipotle", Opening Soon in Aliso Viejo

Kaya Street Kitchen's Facebook
Open! Open! Open!
In an article reviewing the original Kaya Street Kitchen in LA, LA Times labeled Kaya Street Kitchen as the "Asian Chipotle." But really, what doesn't follow the Chipotle model these days? Kaya Street Kitchen definitely does. It's a build-your-own taco and bowl restaurant just like Chipotle, except the "tacos" are made with fresh-baked rotis, and instead of salsa and guac, there's sambal and kecap manis (the sticky sweet soy sauce indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore).

Now this "Asian Chipotle" is actually beating Chipotle's actual Asian concept, Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, in opening in OC.

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Sabroso Craft Beer and Taco Fest Brings Lucha Libre to Silverado Saturday

Courtesy OC Brew Ha Ha
How else would you want to spend a Saturday?

Cinco de Mayo celebrations are coming early this year and what better way to commemorate Mexico's victory over France than with the Sabroso Craft Beer and Taco Festval this weekend. Some of Orange County's favorite craft breweries and chefs will be there slinging beers and serving $3 tacos from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, May 2 at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado. Oh, and did I mention there will be lucha libre? Hold on to your butts.

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Blood, Sweat, and Beer Playing TONIGHT At Newport Beach Film Festival

Blood, Sweat, and Beer Facebook page
Root for the underdog!

The word documentary normally gets us yawning-- except when it has to do with food. Or in the case of one particular film, craft beer. While most film festivals heavily promote celebrities and their indie roles, we are here to push the efforts of two filmmakers.

Directed by Chip Hiden and Alexis Irvin, Blood, Sweat, and Beer follows two breweries. Both are struggling to promote their individual businesses due to various legal and/or economic issues. We watch their stories unfold, along with pertinent industry trivia mixed in for good measure.

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OC Weekly Summer Fest Pre-Sale Starts TODAY!

It's about that time

Celebrating our Summer Guide and all things beach and music in Orange County, Summer Fest is a Saturday afternoon filled with performances, a beer garden, luxe loncheras , vendors, water sports and other treats. Stock up on sunscreen and break out your selfie stick, because tickets are about to become available for this Newport Dunes party.

A portion of this year's proceeds will benefit the Ben Carlson Foundation and honor Ben, a Newport Beach lifeguard who passed away last fourth of July weekend while saving a distressed swimmer. We've got a partial list of bites and drinks being offered, plus early access to purchase. Just follow us after the jump.

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