Flour Power: Japanese Bakery Opens, Along With KoJa Kitchen and Circle Hook

Okayama Kobo is the first U.S. branch of a Japanese bakery chain.
Okayama Kobo Bakery in Anaheim.

Okayama Kobo Bakery

Attached to the new Japanese beer bar Bizen, Okayama Kobo is the first U.S. branch of a Japanese bakery chain. Curry pan (a savory bread stuffed with Japanese curry) delights here, but some lesser-known specialties are as good. Plus there are strawberry milk cream croissants and iced matcha lattes for a sweet finish. 155 W. Center Street Promenade, Anaheim, 714-603-7332

KoJa Kitchen

KoJa Kitchen began as a food truck but has blossomed into an empire of brick-and-mortars. This is the fast-casual restaurant’s first SoCal location and with it comes the eponymous KoJa, a sandwich made with griddled rice patties in place of bread. Between those, you’ll find galbi, miso-coconut pork, and a host of other Asian-fusion flavors. 2943 El Camino Real, Tustin, 657-859-6475

Circle Hook

Unlike its market-style sibling, Circle Hook goes for a nautical, seafood-shack style. And the menu reflects this, featuring fish and chips, lobster rolls,
and tacos. The seafood is fresh and local, with plenty of sustainable options like cod and snapper. Circle Hook caters to families, too, with a dedicated kids menu. 3432 Via Oporto, Newport Beach, 949-200-9476

Left Coast Brewing

Southern California is tri-tip country, but don’t expect to find it at Left Coast’s expansive new digs. Instead, there’s 75-hour brisket and pulled pork, but what you really want are the Kansas City-style pork ribs slicked with sweet, tangy sauce and maybe a batch of crunchy fried pickles or the smoked garbanzo and kale salad. 6652 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, 949-387-5170

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