Our annual Best New Restaurants issue has been sliced and diced a little differently this year (as has everything). In the most difficult era for restaurants that any of us have seen, we wanted to honor our favorite new places, and to congratulate longtime establishments and others for figuring out how best to thrive in upside-down circumstances. In the process, I think we’ve given you a mouthwatering guide to where to make your reservations, this year even more than previous ones.
In addition to the five courageous ventures that opened just prior to or in the midst of a pandemic and still wowed us, we’re also highlighting five restaurants that created new strategies, five we can’t wait to return to for meals the way they were meant to be enjoyed, and five places to try for each trend we’ve spotted. Math isn’t my strong suit, but that’s a lot of dining for you to take advantage of. If you’re like me, you’ll be pleased to see
that most of the spots we feature have fantastic outdoor space. There aren’t many things that sound as appetizing as an excellent meal on a pretty patio as we head into marvelous spring weather. (Be sure to include the peach-infused bourbon cocktail at Porch & Swing in Irvine.)
Congratulations to our five Best New Restaurants (Page 68) as well as all the places we love in O.C. for managing to survive this year. We hope the coming months are filled with diners getting back to the tables, the patios, and the terraces to raise a toast and indulge in a scrumptious meal.