Orange Coast Magazine

Taste of O.C. | Priscilla Mayfield on food


Santa Ana's Closed Crosby Now North Left

A new start for the recovering downtown space

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.

The North Left menu hasn’t kept any Crosby dishes, but there is a familiar face in the kitchen: Adams brought back chef Aron Habiger, who worked at the restaurant from its 2008 start until leaving last August. Andy Markuson, service supervisor and beverage manager at Three Seventy Common, is now manager of The North Left.

“We’ve changed the entire menu concept so it’s a fresh start—a rebirth in a way,” Adams says. “We’re offering small plates—it's a perfect spot for the grazer, or the diner. It seemed to be a niche that had not yet been filled, as you have Playground with their very adventurous dishes; Chapter One, more bar/comfort food; and Lola Gaspar offering their great Mexican food. I know we’ll be a great fit for the community.” It’s early yet to identify a breakout bestseller, but Adams already sees a trend for some of his small plates, including sea bass, scallops, and oxtail.

North Left owners Chris Alfaro, Phil Nisco, and Marc Yamaoka originally explored the idea of Adams purchasing the Crosby, though “that was out of the question due to the cost involved,” Adams says. “However, I really felt that I could help by becoming a consultant and reconfiguring the entire menu. After our discussions, they saw the value in [their] staying involved, and so far things have been working out well.”

Can the restaurant, and its customers, move beyond January’s grim circumstances? “It was an unfortunate and tragic event that occurred outside The Crosby and neighboring businesses,” Adams says. “However, the closure allowed the owners to develop a new concept, which is why we’ve opened The North Left as a new restaurant. The nightclub environment is of the past, and today we are all about the food.”


Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here.

OC Guides


OC Guides
  • O.C.’s Best: Tiki Drinks

    Though some regard them as overly cloying concoctions, tiki cocktails such as mai tais and zombies are enjoying a resurgence in Orange County. Craft bartenders layer the rum-based drinks with multiple spirits and spices to create beguiling and complex potions. Here are five great places to get your tiki on. Read More
  • Neighborhood: Dana Point

    Perched above Pacific Coast Highway, Monarch Bay Plaza reflects the relaxed sophistication of its Dana Point neighborhood. In the Spanish-style mall with red tile roofs, ocean breezes blow through white stucco archways, and upscale-yet-casual boutiques and restaurants attract locals and tourists. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Vegan Breakfasts

    Veg-heads don’t just mow down bowls of granola and slam wheatgrass shots at the break of dawn. Most want to enjoy brunching on Sunday-Funday with everyone else. And because it can be hard to find tofu scrambles and dairy-free waffles, we’ve rounded up five local eateries that provide tasty vegan options to start the morning right. Read More
  • Best of 2014: Nutty Brûlée

    No one can resist breaking into the sugary crust of crème brûlée, and this one packs an extra surprise with its abundance of silky-smooth chocolate-hazelnut custard below—thanks to the addition of Nutella. This sinful dessert is incredibly rich and best shared with a friend. $8
    704 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, 949‑673‑7173,

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Honey Bee Chicken

    You’ll fall in lust with the chicken pieces at BBQ Chicken at Diamond Jamboree in Irvine. Fried in olive oil for a crunchy exterior, they’re tossed in a sweet honey sauce making them all the more delicious. $11 to $21

    Read More

Expert Advice from Orange County's GrapeRadio Hosts
wine blog

stuff we love

Charitable Events Calendar