Find a Place to Eat
OK, so the central dining space of Irvine’s yearling Eats Kitchen & Bar is rather odd. At first glance, it feels like the awkward spawn of Denny’s and a generic gastropub. A high circular bar crowned with glinting flat screens is up front, and beyond that is a ferociously lighted sea of glossy, sparsely populated tables. Continue to the back patio and you enter a different world.Sunset gives way to twilight, and candles glow on chunky marble dining tables. A fire pit flickers near folks kicking back on cushy, all-weather lounge seating, and the vibe here is chill, even under the heaters. This space crushes the casino-bright indoor setting. It’s still happy hour, and the waiter graciously points out a menu of special drinks and snacks. Craft cocktails for $4? Small bites for $2? In a slickly retooled Hotel Irvine? Get out.
I’ve never had a hamburger I didn’t like at Holsteins, and I’ve sampled 10 of them. OK, that part’s out of the way. I’ll circle back with details. Meanwhile, when people ask about the new spot, which replaces Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza, I invariably tell them about my dinner with Ydali, my […]
Entering Kutsi, I look up to see a constellation of starburst light fixtures and hanging bulbs. The tile work and the dining room’s adjacent Day of the Dead-themed gallery, with its glamorously gowned skeletons, are impressive, and there’s a pretty patio along the Second Street Promenade. Owner Jannett Mendoza designed it all, transforming the Santa […]
Most sushi venues tend to be on the simpler side, allowing the sushi itself to shine. This is hardly the case at Fashion Island’s Sushi Roku. And though the restaurant is spectacular inside and out, it has plenty on the menu to match. A pioneer of Cal-Japanese cuisine when it opened in Los Angeles in […]
It feels so incongruous. Yet it works so well. My wife and I are sitting at the rear counter of MRK Public in San Clemente, looking through picture windows past telephone poles and treetops to the distant ocean. With our backs to the room, we could be in some roadside diner, yet we’re enjoying a […]
Following a walking map for a food-sampling event in downtown Santa Ana, my wife and I find ourselves in front of a red brick building adjacent to Tootsie’s ice cream shop. It looks more bar than restaurant, and the sign out front that reads “Eqeko” seems misspelled. The sidewalk staff offers us ceviche—by far our […]
Bite-Sized News from O.C.
Whiskey is complex, sometimes medicinal, and often an acquired taste. That’s the very reason it does well in cocktail form: It can stand up to any sweetness. Here are five bars in Orange County where you can find your gateway whiskey drink.
We surveyed more than 100 dining insiders in Orange County to come up with this list. Where do our favorite O.C. chefs go on date night? What’s the dive bar of choice for the county’s star bartenders? Where do the hot chefs hang out after hours? Read on.