Dining | Orange Coast Magazine
 

Main Course Review: C4 Deli and Provisions Market

Is there anything less faddy than a delicatessen? The form might vary—chockablock ethnic, sandwich emporium, or comfort-food canteen—but all of O.C.’s models are cherished and long-lived. So when two new ones appear within four miles of each other, both in revitalized city centers, they warrant test drives. Read more...

Seasons 52 Fresh Grill Offers Impressive Wine List

I recently dined at Seasons 52 Fresh Grill in South Coast Plaza, and found the wine program to be exceptional, both for the scope of its extensive wine list, and it’s attentive wine service. It’s gratifying to see that the restaurant, which promotes a healthy diet and prides itself in seasonally inspired cooking with every item on the menu less than 475 calories, considers wine an important part of a wholesome lifestyle. Read more...

Rediscovery: Bayside

Bayside may be a teenager, but thanks to a glamorous makeover, the harbor-side venue is skipping over those awkward years with élan to spare. Long-favored by the coastal set for jazzy brunches, exec lunching, and VIP feasts, the 246-seat scene radiates fresh energy that complements the classy update. Read more...

Vine in San Clemente: How'd It Fare in Orange Coast's First-Ever Wine Review?

Editor’s Note: Starting this month, Rusty Gaffney, one half of Orange Coast’s Wine Dudes blog, will critique the wine program of an Orange County restaurant reviewed in print each month by the magazine’s dining critic Gretchen Kurz. He’ll use the same star system as Kurz’s restaurant reviews (using wine bottles in place of stars) to denote whether the program is (1) Good, (2) Very Good, (3) Excellent, or (4) Outstanding on every level. He’ll also denote pricing: $ mostly under $24; $$, under $50; $$$, $50 and over. Following is his wine review of Vine Restaurant in San Clemente. Read more...

Rediscovery: Vine

Vine, always a nice-enough San Clemente spot for cozy eats, is a full-blown foodie find these days, reinvigorated by new ownership and the sweeping talents of chef Jared Cook. “This is the best lamb rack I’ve had in decades,” says my friend between bites of ravishing, tender lamb sauced with mint-rosemary yogurt atop sunchoke puree. Read more...

Rediscovery: The Crosby

Five years into its leading-edge run, the dark-but-welcoming Crosby feels as outré as ever. No amount of mainstream accolades can tame this tiny kitchen-cum-bar in vintage Santa Ana. When its Starving Artist sandwich catapulted to cult status, it was pulled off the menu in 2012 to help launch a sibling restaurant, The Grilled Cheese Spot, around the corner. This 60-seat indie resists repetition. Read more...

Rediscovery: Rosine’s Mediterranean Cafe

Back in the Clinton era, Rosine’s was the sole spot to chow down on authentic Mediterranean eats in the hinterlands of North County. Tiny but mighty, the modest storefront soothed frazzled commuters with golden rotisserie chickens, sold mostly to-go with the then-exotic sides of creamy hummus, vibrant tabbouleh, and savory bulgur pilaf. Read more...

Rediscovery: Raya

Pelicans glide by the picture window as we take our seats at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel’s Raya. This is the ocean view on which five-star resorts hang their crowns. Read more...

Rediscovery: Splashes Restaurant

An in-your-face ocean view, sea spray, and crashing waves are the main reasons Splashes Restaurant at Laguna Beach’s Surf & Sand resort earns raves. Just try to find a review that doesn’t mention the seascape. Read more...

Rediscovery: Cucina Alessá

I'm often asked about Cucina Alessá: “Is it still any good?” First in Newport Beach, then expanded to Huntington Beach, both spots are neighborhood darlings for Italian comfort fare. And both are now without founding chef-partner Alessandro Pirozzi, who pulled out last winter.  Read more...
 
 
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