Kingchops, Taiwanese Pork Chop Specialist, To Open in Irvine

Photo by thatguy
Chop chop!
I think I've dubbed Irvine O.C.'s unofficial Taiwan Town before. But I'll say it again now, because along with the recent Taiwanese additions such as the second Class 302 at the Irvine Marketplace, Meet Fresh at Diamond Jamboree, and so many others I don't feel like listing because I'm actually under the weather as I write this, there's now a Kingchops planned for the city, next to Clay Oven at the corner of Irvine Center and Jeffrey.

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Surge, Legendary Cult Soda from the 90s, is BACK!

Coca-Cola Company

From 1920 to 1933, America experienced the dark days of Prohibition. Apparently forgetting the lessons taught by those 13 grueling years, America endured a similar dry spell of the nation's lifeblood from 2001 until today, this most historic and glorious of days.

Surge is back, you guys.

The legendary super-soda with a cult following reigned supreme in the late 90s with it's "fully loaded" citrus taste that came with a buzz fit for a rabid monkey, much to the chagrin of parents everywhere.

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Bingo for Charity! 320 Main Fifth Anniversary and Bike MS Fundraiser Monday, Sept. 15

320 Main
Come give us money to fight multiple sclerosis!
What are you doing Monday night?

320 Main in Seal Beach is celebrating its fifth anniversary of being rescued from a dank shot-and-beer hole in the wall, and owners Jason and Rebecca Schiffer are celebrating with $5 appetizers and $5 cocktails.

Matt "Rumdood" Robold and I are riding our bicycles from Irvine to San Diego in October to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the anniversary party is also a fundraiser. Come and play bingo for $5 and win prizes; all the money raised from bingo will go to the NMSS.

Of course, if you'd like to just give us money, you can do that too--online, even (Here's my page and here's Rumdood's).

All proceeds from the bingo game will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Pacific South Coast Chapter.

The party is from 7-11 p.m. on Monday, September 15 at 320 Main St. in Seal Beach.

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Check Out Geeta Bansal's James Beard House Preview Dinner Next Monday!

Photo by Kenneth M. Ruggiano

Clay Oven's chef/owner Geeta Bansal was invited to host a dinner at the James Beard House in New York earlier this year, and will be staging the dinner at the end of this month -- Sept. 27 to be exact.

She's one of the first female chefs from Orange County to make the trip, and will be doing a menu called "The Art of Spice," perfect for her brand of wonderfully spiced contemporary Indian food, but if you can't make the trip to New York, well, it's okay, because the Clay Oven in Irvine will be doing a special preview dinner this Monday.

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Wursthaus, New Sausage Joint, Coming To Downtown Santa Ana

Edwin Goei
Future frankfurters.
Coming soon to Downtown SanTana: a new sausage joint called Wursthaus. Construction is still going on when I drove by. But when it opens sometime in October, there will be sausages (reportedly 24 different kinds), there will be sauces (reportedly 8 different kinds), there will be fries (reportedly with bacon dust), and of course, there will be beer (reportedly German and Belgian).

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California Gogi Korean Grill Planning Second Irvine Restaurant

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Edwin Goei
California Gogi Korean Grill bento.
California Gogi Korean Grill, the Chipotle-style Korean concept that opened in 2013 at University Center across from UCI, is now expanding to the parts of Irvine with fewer college students.

The restaurant will go in between Panda Express and Yogurtland at the Irvine Marketplace. It will follow G Burger and recently, Class 302 Tea Cafe, as the new kids on the block among the old guard of Thai Spice and Natraj Tandoori.

What is California Gogi Korean Grill?

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Photo by Christopher Victorio
It's that time of year again..

Get your beer bellies ready because the fifth installment of the annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha will be taking place this Saturday in Oak Canyon Park in Irvine. If you've been to a brewery over the last few weeks, you may have noticed Cameron Collins or other Brew Ha Ha minions selling discounted event tickets and festival swag. If you were smart, you took advantage.

This festival will have over 80 -- yes 80 -- breweries from around the world pouring unlimited tasters for your drinking pleasure. Of course some of our Orange County favorites including Bottle Logic Brewing, Noble Ale Works, Beach City Brewery, Bootleggers Brewing and others will be serving up their classic brews for the end-of-summer beer bash. Aside from flagship beers and easy-drinking beer for the heat, you can always plan on the beer community to put out something funky and original.

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Costa Mesa To Join the Craft Brewing Scene With Barley Forge Brewery

Dave Lieberman
Orange County's going through its sophomore run of brewery openings lately, but most of the breweries opening are in the city of Anaheim. Of course, it's hard to compete when the mayor of Anaheim is actively recruiting breweries, to the point of personally driving brewers around and pointing out properties that can be built out cheaply and with no residential neighbors to cause conditional-use permit issues.

Well, Costa Mesa, your time is coming. Barley Forge Brewing will be opening next month on Randolph Avenue in Costa Mesa, down the street from Rooster PM and the Tin Lizzie.

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Sunday Is National Waffle Day, Celebrate in South County With BOGO Waffle Sandwiches


So, apparently this Sunday, Aug. 24 is national waffle day. Woo.

For those of you who get excited about that sort of thing, there's a little waffle shop in Lake Forest called Wafflette Café that's doing a buy-one-get-one-free promo for its waffle sandwiches both Saturday AND Sunday.

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Capital Noodle Bar Opening This Month

Photo courtesy of Capital Noodle Bar
Who wants take-out?

Edwin reported earlier this year that the family behind Capital Seafood was expanding their empire to include a noodle bar. Their location couldn't be more strategic, as they now share a parking lot with a number of well-received concepts in the last year like Creamistry, Urban Plates (that never-ending queue!) and DonerG. With existing restaurants in both Irvine Spectrum and Diamond Jamboree, they continue to bank on the ethnic mix that is Irvine.

We caught up with managing partner James Tea last week to take a peek at the new space and discuss their progress. The news he provided couldn't be better.

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