Zov’s Mixes It Up in Anaheim’s Platinum Triangle

Orange County’s venerable mini-chain takes its modern Mediterranean to the busy stadium- and theme park-adjacent district

In what is a bit of a departure for Zov’s Bistro, its newest location is in the heart of a bustling, even trendy, neighborhood. The latest addition to the Orange County mini-chain opened earlier this week in a prime space on the corner of Katella and State College in Anaheim’s developing Platinum Triangle. It’s a given that it’ll be filled with pre- and post-game, entertainment event, and Disneyland diners. A big, comfortable bar dominates the front half of the space, and reflects an emphasis on cocktails, wine, and beer. Expect Zov classics among the mezze choices, like walnut caviar—muhummara, a Middle Eastern dip the original Tustin restaurant introduced 27 years ago. Shareable appetizers include versions of today’s inescapably ubiquitous deviled eggs and Brussels sprouts with bacon ( each $10), and deck-oven “pitza” pies with pan-Mediterranean, plus more trad toppings ($12-16). Three different peppers—Aleppo, urfa, and red—add a little zing to the deviled eggs, and the deep flavor of Nueske’s bacon is a welcome richness in otherwise fairly standard sprouts. I was tickled to see kashkaval name-checked as the melty cheese on the tender lamb meatballs in a seriously spicy sauce—I like to use this Bulgarian sheep’s milk cheese when I make lamb burgers at home. Zov’s lamb burger ($14) is topped with another great sheep’s-milk cheese, feta—as well as sun-dried tomato and the red-pepper aioli that’s also served with the fried cauliflower starter. Entrées include sea bass and steaks—the filet with green peppercorn sauce and olive-oil mashed potatoes is a standout. I was glad to see the angel hair pasta with tomatoes, pine nuts, and feta ($16), a dish familiar from the earliest Zov’s days, alongside new soujook rigatone in a spicy tomato sauce with mushrooms ($17). You might remember chef Louie Jocson was recently hired as director of culinary operations. I love the story of how he was a dishwasher at the Tustin flagship before attending culinary school and progressing to chefdom. This week, at a media preview, Kamaradian and Jocson seemed in sync, coordinating the many moving parts of a new restaurant. What next, after the new Anaheim location finds its legs? I have a feeling we won’t have to wait long to find out.

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