Best New Restaurants 2016

No. 4 MRK Public

Find a ragged but well-sited burger stand,IMG_5683 add three local chefs with fine-dining chops, spiff up the joint to a casual sheen, and beach-town diners appear—repeatedly. The lure is polished New American cooking that complements rotating kegs of craft beer sold for $6 a glass. The tight menu changes often, but expect appealing options such as smoked miso mushroom soup with crispy pork belly, grilled swordfish over tapenade risotto, and the irresistible Tuscan Toast with charred tomato, goat cheese, and roasted garlic confit that you see on our cover. Also try the near-perfect fried chicken sandwich. Yes, there’s a kids menu, so expect some family traffic at this friendly, hospitable spot that also welcomes Fido on the patio.

FIELD NOTES The initials MRK represent the first names of chef‑owners Moriah and Kai Robison, and Rayne Frey.

1402 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente