Orange Coast Magazine

Santa Ana's 4th Street Market Slated for September

It takes only slight exaggeration to picture a not-too-distant future where every Orange County neighborhood has easy access to a groovy food hall. After all, by this time next year there’ll be five, including 2011’s pioneering OC Mix in Costa Mesa and the just-opened Anaheim Packing House, both of which are already feeding the masses. Read more...

O.C.'s Due for a Second Cucina Enoteca

You’ve probably heard Orange County is getting another Cucina Enoteca. Our first local restaurant from San Diego-based Urban Kitchen Group opened in the Irvine Spectrum in 2011, where its Cal-Ital menu and for-sale boutique furnishings were an instant hit. The second, at Fashion Island, is due to open in August. Read more...

Santa Ana's Closed Crosby is Now North Left

The North Left has quietly opened in downtown Santa Ana, in the space where The Crosby closed in January after the shocking beating death of a patron outside the restaurant during nightclub hours. Ryan Adams, chef-owner of Laguna Beach’s Three Seventy Common, is head of operations for the rechristened restaurant, and he’s completely retooled the place, including an all-new menu. Read more...

Summer Tomato Pasta Sauce―No Cooking Allowed

With tomato season reaching critical mass at farmers markets and maybe in your own garden, one of the best ways to make use of the bounty is with Senior Editor Chris Christensen’s super savory, value-added version of an essential summer pasta. (To find a farmers market near you, consult our online guide.) Read more...

Tortilla Republic Launches in Laguna Beach

Tortilla Republic, the third restaurant in a chainette whose other locations are on Kauai and in West Hollywood, opened in Laguna Beach in the former Javier’s Coast Highway location. This Orange County outpost has its own O.C.-native chef: Chris Tzorin, recently of Laguna Niguel's Savannah Chop House. (Tzorin’s former chef de cuisine at Savannah, Manny Velasco, has taken the helm as executive chef there.) Read more...

Summer is Sweet With 'Beach House Baking'

Pastry chef Lei Shishak, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, worked at Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern for almost four years before opening her own Sugar Blossom Bake Shop in San Clemente. Landing in Orange County’s quintessential beach town was no accident—she felt the pull of the California coastline while still living on the East Coast. Shishak has a new book, “Beach House Baking” (Skyhorse Publishing, $25), that evokes a casual California beach vibe, and offers tropical flavor twists she gives many of the simple recipes for baked goods and frozen treats. Read more...

Break of Dawn is Back!

It was spelled out on the top of the menu at Break of Dawn Sunday: Three months and 15 days. That’s how long it took chef-owner Dee Nguyen to build out his new space, which means it had been that long since fans of the wildly popular Laguna Hills restaurant were able to enjoy Nguyen’s unclassifiable, irresistible breakfast and lunch fare. The new location is just a stone’s throw from the old, which is in a part of Oakbrook Village Shopping Center that’s being razed to make way for multi-family housing. How lucky would it be to live next door to Break of Dawn? Read more...

Lunch in Mediterranean Mind at Fig & Olive

Fashion Island’s Fig & Olive, subject of dining critic Gretchen Kurz’ Main Course review in the current Orange Coast, has added a new summer lunch menu, not straying far from its fresh, light, pan-Mediterranean emphasis. And that’s a good thing. A new option in mix-and-match crostini ($12 for three) is octopus and tomato on carrot purée, and at a media preview the can-be-rubbery cephalopod had just the perfect bite, thanks to proper cooking and thin slicing. A topping of crab and avocado gets the unusual addition of apple—surprising but good. Read more...

Koda Farms Rice Comes to O.C. Farmers Markets

There are already plenty of reasons to visit the Saturday farmers market in Irvine, where manager Trish Harrison stacks in some of my favorite vendors. There are the Cal Poly Pomona students whose stuff tastes so great, salad supplier to restaurant stars Scarborough Farms, and Stehly Organics from Valley Center. Now I’ve got another good one: Koda Farms, whose organic, heirloom Kokuho Rose Japanese-style rice is grown in the Central Valley on the oldest rice farm in California. Read more...

It's Negroni Week―You Know What to Do

Did you know it’s Negroni Week? It couldn’t happen to a nicer cocktail—the bracing mixture of equal parts red vermouth, gin, and Campari is an old-school classic whose popularity has returned with the rise of Craft Cocktail Nation. Starting today and running through Sunday, the Imbibe Magazine- and Campari-sponsored event is where negronis give back—participating bars and restaurants worldwide donate proceeds to a charity of their choice from each negroni sold. Read more...

O.C.'s Best: Dining Guides

  • O.C.’s Best: Shaved Ice

    These aren’t the crunchy snow cones you grew up with, but frozen treats shaved with exacting precision from ice blocks

    These light and downright lush desserts get tricked out with enticing toppings and mix-ins, many taking their cues from Asian favorites such as red beans, mochi balls, and lychee. But they also can be as traditional as orangesicle and strawberry shortcake. Here are six places in Orange County to get your brain-freeze on. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Roast Chicken

    Call it basic, but this staple is the best kind of feel-good food

    Whether it’s cooked slowly over open flames on a spit-roast or stuffed with herbs and roasted in the oven to golden perfection, few dishes are as comforting as a simple roast chicken. While it’s hard to beat a home-cooked version, these seven diverse locales in Orange County do right by this ubiquitous classic. Read More
  • O.C.'s Best: Afternoon Tea

    Britain’s light-meal tradition is experiencing a SoCal revival, with local teahouses offering the classic service

    The ritual dates back to the 1800s as a snacking fix and social gathering for the aristocratic ladies of Britain. Today, afternoon tea has become a fashionable alternative for birthday parties, and bridal and baby showers. Here are five teahouses in Orange County where you can practice traditional etiquette while noshing on dainty pastries and finger sandwiches. Read More
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