Ante Up at Costa Mesa’s The Guild Club

Restaurateurs Marin and Noah Blom of acclaimed Arc and Restaurant Marin at South Coast Collection unveil The Guild Club, a members-only, reservations-only dining concept the two see as “Winston Churchill’s den.” It’s not totally exclusive: The $5,000 annual ante entitles members to make reservations for others as well. Marin’s design for the diminutive space presents an exaggerated, even theatrical glimpse into late 19th century fine dining, at once refined and whimsical and characterized by rich woodwork, wingback chairs, and butler‑like service. Menu items can be refined and whimsical, too: Consider french fries festooned with pink peppercorn, cardamom, and Italian osetra caviar ($20). Fish and chips ($40), using beer-battered wild Alaskan halibut, and a burger ($24) share the menu with extravagant throwback dishes such as lobster thermador ($49) and steak Diane ($48). Ace barman Koire Rogers offers some rare and upmarket wines and spirits (cocktails $17 to $40), and membership presumably gets you the restaurant’s phone number. 3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, theguildclub.com

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