Food News: Famed Chef Opens New Spot, And Chicken from a Fusion Favorite

Salmon with Brussels sprouts salad at Ocean at Main.

Ocean at Main
Situated in a historic Spanish stunner, Ocean at Main marks former Montage chef Craig Strong’s first venture outside a luxury hotel or resort. The cooking skews toward seasonal, coastal Californian. That means a focus on seafood, such as prawn potato soup or charred Spanish octopus with amaranth and parsley. But also consider the heartier seared pork chops or oxtail risotto. 222 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, 949-715-3870

Higo Chicken
Cast from the same mold as many of SoCal’s Peruvian chicken restaurants, Higo Chicken built its menu almost entirely around the rotisserie. Chicken here is richly seasoned and juicy, its skin rendered a deep brown. Cool, spicy aji verde sauce is great on anything, even a twirl of the tallarín verde (spaghetti in a pesto-like basil sauce). 722 E. Whittier Blvd., La Habra, 562-524-2026

Mr. Taco Nice
Mr. Taco Nice could be your next game-day favorite: a full-on Mexican restaurant that also churns out fusion-style pizzas. The birria and shrimp gobernador tacos are great, but the pizzas are unique. After all, pineapple on a pie has never made more sense than here on the al pastor pizza that’s finished with a drizzle of crema, radishes, onions, and lime. 1867 Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714-603-7564

Bento-Geko is the bare-bones sister restaurant of Cerritos’ Geko-Tei. The place specializes in bento boxes, satisfying combination plates built around roasted mackerel, fried pork cutlets, and the like. Sides usually include a vegetable-studded potato salad, marinated and pickled vegetables, and a block of rolled omelet, or tamagoyaki. Lunch is the focus, but bentos make for great takeout dinners, too. 10488 Valley View St., Buena Park, 714-333-6453

Drink of the Month
Omomo Tea Shoppe in Irvine
The Uji Green Milk Tea is a vibrant, fresh sip for the new year: floral jasmine green tea, earthy matcha green tea, and milk. You can adjust the sweetness to whatever level you like, and you can opt for the salted cheese foam topping—like airy, whipped cream cheese.

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