The Fashion Island Hotel’s dining venue is a relaxed-but-upscale destination for modern American fare of the season. The kitchen, headed by Peter Lai, holds its own with thoughtful treatment of classics that include fried chicken cobb salad, and grilled pork chop with smoked cherries and pork belly risotto. Patio lunching on creative salads under the majestic ficus trees is an Orange County moment. Pastry chef Andy de la Cruz is exceptional.
Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Drive