The latest endeavor by chef Michael and Kwini Reed, Poppy & Seed will offer bright and light small plates inspired by local, seasonal ingredients in an idyllic garden and greenhouse setting.
“It’s a lot about seasonality,” says chef Reed. “For this restaurant, the goal is to be changing a couple of dishes every week so it’s never a stagnant menu.”
The La Habra residents also own Poppy + Rose, a restaurant in downtown L.A.’s Flower District renowned for its stellar brunch menu. Poppy & Seed is an opportunity for chef Reed to showcase more of his classic training and culinary creativity.
“As a chef that’s owning this restaurant with no real investors, you’re talking about the luxury and freedom to play as far as the cocktails, the wine list, and the food style,” says chef Reed.
Stand-out dishes on the menu include crab salad with coconut panna cotta, Hawaiian kampachi crudo with pickled beets, three cheese tortellini in brodo, and smoked duck breast with rye crepes. The menu of American small plates is meant to be enjoyed family-style with chefs presenting dishes tableside. You can also expect live music and a cocktail and beverage program.
“We’re trying to get you to socialize with the person you’re coming in with and to try multiple (small) dishes,” says chef Reed. “We want you to get excited about trying new things.”
Outdoor dining will be available on the spacious patio. The restaurant is partnering with Santa Ana-based culinary garden designer Heirloom Potager to cultivate an edible garden, where chef Reed and his team can source ingredients. There are plans later on to plant a community garden at the district’s Farmers Park, where the neighboring eateries can also source their greens.
Last month, the Reeds were featured on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” for their philanthropy—donating almost 3,000 meals to frontline workers and those in need during the pandemic.
“The time to reset was the treasure,” says Kwini Reed. “It allowed us to do things that we were really passionate about. The time that we got to spend together. The creativity that (Michael) was able to tap back into. The time with our child and being able to help other people. That sums up the pandemic for me. I’m not going to focus on the negatives. I’m going to focus on the positives.”
As the Reeds put down roots in O.C. with Poppy & Seed, they plan to continue to give back to the local community and partner with organizations here.
The restaurant will be offering a “pre-opening” takeout and delivery menu from March 3 through 6 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Look out for more details at instagram.com/poppyandseedoc.
Poppy & Seed
350 S. Anaheim Blvd.