Beloved Habana Opens at New Irvine Location

Habana, mainstay at the Lab in Costa Mesa, opens a second location at Irvine Spectrum Center that’s triple the size of the original with double the seating. At the entry is a Euro-vintage-inspired chandelier, and there’s a handsome bar inside with a beautifully tiled bar outside. The place serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, and offers breakfast and a tea time. Morning specialties include French toast—cornflake-crusted, rum-custard brioche with guava jam and coconut syrup—and a ropa vieja hash bowl. Lunch and dinner include Guajiro skirt steak with chimichurri with chili-lime-butter corn on the cob and plaintain; and a platter of shrimp and scallops with rum-pepper sauce and mango-jicama slaw. An ale, by century-old Cuban maker Hatuey, finds a place on the beer list, and most wines are from Spain or Argentina. The star cocktail is Al Centro, ’Pa Dentro, with rum and coconut water, served in a coconut. A bakery-cafe with its own entrance offers breads, pastries, specialty coffee drinks, and the don’t-miss Café Cubano dessert: a cup made of chocolate with a tiramisu-inspired filling. 708 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, 949-419-0100,

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