Cauldron Ice Cream, Another Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Shop, To Open in Santa Ana

Honey Melon ice cream
Cauldron Ice Cream is, of course, another liquid nitrogen-made ice cream shop. (There are very few new ice cream shops that aren't making their ice cream with liquid nitrogen these days). This one will open any day now, next to Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking in Santa Ana in the South Coast area of town. A few days ago it posted this want ad for team members on Craigslist.

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Sunday Jazz Brunch Kicks Off This Weekend At Scott's Restaurant

Photo courtesy Scott's Restaurant
Don't even THINK about cancelling on brunch

Brunch is already an event in itself, with champagne flowing and decadent entrees to choose from. Throw in another element, and things get even more fabulous. And that's exactly what the fine folks at Scott's opted to do for the next four weekends.

We can't explain what it is about jazz that makes it so brunch-worthy. Maybe it's because you can still have a conversation without raising your voice, or because it's not a controversial genre of music. Does it really matter? Nah.

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Kona Grill To Open First California Location at Irvine Spectrum

Kona Grill's El Paso branch
Kona Grill, which is a Hawaiian-themed restaurant chain based in Arizona, is planning to open its first California location at the Irvine Spectrum next year. Expect dishes such as Macadamia Nut Chicken with a pineapple-papaya marmalade, Miso-Sake Sea Bass and a passion fruit creme brulee for dessert. They will also serve sushi rolls.

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The Melt To Open in Tustin

The Irvine Spectrum outpost of The Melt--a San Francisco-based grilled cheese chain founded by Silicon Valley types and James Beard recipient Michael Mina--was the first in OC. Now another one is planned for the Tustin side of The Marketplace.

As I described in a review of the Irvine Spectrum spot: "The Melt operates in a fast-food-minded assembly line. Three industrial-sized panini presses that resemble repurposed Wall-E robots do most of the hard work. They automatically flip open, beeping, when the sandwiches are done. The sandwiches are then halved, placed into a basket with a fistful of potato chips that taste suspiciously like an off-brand knock-off of Lays, then served in a white room with metal stools. A single spigot dispenses three flavors of cane sugar-sweetened soda."

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ETCetera Sushi & Izakaya coming to Costa Mesa

ETCetera Facebook page
One way or another, you're gonna find it

The stretch of Bristol where it turns into a one-way street Southbound is dominated by fast food. That's about to change, if Owner/Chef Dale Thawornjaroen has any say in it. His sushi and izakaya concept is slowly coming together.

As their Facebook page shows, permits, furniture, even electricity are being handled and completed, one by one.

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Here's Your OC Weekly Artopia Update!

Artopia FB page
California Grill Truck will be there!

It's been a whole month since we announced our upcoming spring event known as Artopia. What happens now? We offer a few more bites of what to expect on May 2.

Before we continue, let's just recap why we'll be partying down. First and foremost, our primary reason is to celebrate the 20 winners of The Creatives project. They'll be presenting interactive displays for your viewing pleasure. Our recent People Issue will also be front and center, with all the featured subjects available for lively conversation. Now that we've got that squared away, let's keep chatting about food and drink!

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KISS's Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons To Open Restaurant in Buena Park

Rock & Brew artist rendering
Hey Buena Park, do you wanna rock and roll all night and party every day? And um, have some hot wings and pizza? Because The Starchild and The Demon, a.k.a. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS, are going to open a branch of their Rock & Brews restaurant right across from Medieval Times and their sword-clanging knights.

The groundbreaking is going to happen next Monday, March 30th, with Buena Park Mayor Art Brown and probably select members of The KISS Army. The restaurant is slated to open this summer at 7777 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, which for now--at least from the Google Street View I checked (no, I've not been around there lately)--is just an empty lot.

If you haven't heard of it, the first Rock & Brews opened in El Segundo in 2012 and has since expanded to more locations including Redondo Beach, LAX, Maui, Albuquerque, and Orlando. The word is they're planning about 100 more restaurants in the coming years. Hard Rock Cafe, I think they're gunning for you.

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Ivy Lounge & Grill, A Persian Restaurant, To Open Soon In Tustin

Ivy Lounge & Grill Facebook Page
When Le Yogourt closed in Old Town Tustin at the corner of Newport and El Camino Real, it seemed to prove that the city didn't need another froyo joint. The space has laid fallow for a while since it shuttered, but now a new place seems about ready to open there.

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More Nitrogen Ice Cream Shops To Open in OC

Edwin Goei
Frozen Fun!
These days, it seems that if you're not a former luxe lonchera turning into a brick-and-mortar, you're a liquid nitrogen-based ice cream shop. At the corner of Walnut and Culver in Irvine, there's both. Next to the newly opened Burntzilla, Scoops N Scoops is close to opening. The ice cream parlor, like Creamistry and others before it, will use mixers and liquid nitrogen to freeze the cream, sugar, and milk.

If you happened to be at the Irvine Global Fest last year, they were there. The opening has been pushed back from February, and then to March.

But speaking of Creamistry, the chain that arguably is doing gangbusters in this style of ice cream, is planning to open three more stores in OC, in addition to the handful of stores it has already expanded to in LA County.

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FirkFest Brings Weird Cask Ales to OC...Again

Photo by Brian Feinzimer
Pour away!

Drinking cask beer is different than drinking any other craft beer. Instead of the conventional brewing process, which typically ends in filtration, carbon dioxide treatment and kegs, casking gets very specific and very spontaneous very quickly.

Cask beer--a British-born style--undergoes a second fermentation in the vessel from which it is served, and during this process, brewers add additional ingredients to create a beer neither they nor their customers have ever tasted. Things get weird with cask beer, so it's no wonder why Greg Nagel of OC Beer Blog decided to put together an entire festival dedicated to these romantic one-offs.

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