Even though the situation is only temporary, things are a little rough around brunchtime since eternal Orange County favorite Break of Dawn in Laguna Hills closed last month. Where are we to get our tempura eggs, house-cured pork belly, and crème brulée French toast with soy caramel? Well, we won’t have to go far, as it turns out—the restaurant is relocating to a bigger space in Oakbrook Village, where it’s always been.
The center is getting a complete renovation, and chef-owner Dee Nguyen is taking the opportunity to construct a whole new Break of Dawn. I always loved the cool, airiness of the original, and anticipate additional coolness in the new one. Nguyen says, “I design and build everything, even down to furniture, with the help of Carlos Lopez, my cook. It’s an urban-upcycled theme.” Is he also revamping the menu? “I’ve been so busy with the build every day, I haven’t thought about menu changes.”
The exact opening date is still unknown, which is how it goes with restaurants, but not too far off—“Pushing early May,” Nguyen says. Let’s hope that’s very early. I need my tempura egg.