This Week’s O.C. Food News (Dec. 7 to 13)

Photograph courtesy of Blinking Owl

From Blinking Owl’s holiday pop-up market to El Mercado Modern Cuisine’s new family-style takeout portions, here is our weekly guide to the latest in O.C.’s dining scene. 

Dec. 12 and 19 from 12 to 4 p.m.
Blinking Owl Distillery
Santa Ana
At the distillery’s “Holiday To Go-Go” pop-up market, shop from local artisans including Dough & Arrow, 61 Hundred Bread, Small Batch Doughnuts, Uprising OC, and Tan’s Dumplings. You can also pick up Blinking Owl’s to-go cocktails, holiday gift packs, and hand sanitizer.

El Mercado Modern Cuisine
Santa Ana
You can now order family-style portions of the restaurant’s signature entrees including the chicken enchiladas, tacos ahogados, and carnitas to-go. You can even try the udon noodle soup with masa dumplings featured in our December issue.

Costa Mesa
New holiday-inspired takeout specials include the family-style pozole which comes with 32 ounces of pozole rojo and a variety of sides ($20, serves 3 to 4). Place your order via phone. 714-486-3798,

Knife Pleat
Costa Mesa
Take home a three-course, prix fixe meal, curated by chef Tony Esnault every week. You can also add pastries, cocktails, beer, and wine to your order. Consider the Holiday Caviar Package which comes with blinis, crème fraîche, and a mother of pearl spoon ($150 to $350).

Rodeo 39 Public Market
The food hall launched a new curbside takeout system where guests can order from multiple vendors on one platform. Place your orders online, park at the designated curbside parking area, and confirm your stall number.

Marché Moderne
Newport Beach
Chef Florent Marneau offers a weekly four-course, prix-fixe curbside dinner package ($49.50 per person). Also try new takeout items such as take and bake escargot with garlic parsley butter, lobster gnocchi comté mac and cheese, and a seafood platter with housemade sauces.

Dana Point
On Dec. 12, Glasspar’s one-year anniversary, its popular seafood market will reopen offering items such as Alaskan king crab legs and local swordfish. You can also buy marked down bottles of wine and holiday-themed cocktails to-go.

Old Vine Kitchen + Bar
Costa Mesa
Pick up dinners for two with vegan and vegetarian options available. The Premium package includes sea scallops, eggplant burrata, filet mignon, and char-grilled lamb chops. $65 to $115. Round out your meal with an artisan cheese board ($24) and dessert ($10).

Curry Up Now
Irvine Spectrum
Take advantage of the restaurant’s BOGO fried chicken sandwich special (available online with promo code GIFT). Choose from sandwiches featuring tandoori-marinated chicken with bombay aioli and pineapple and jalapeno curry chutney or a spicy option made with a blend of Trinidad scorpion, Carolina Reaper, habanero, and ghost peppers.

Flame Broiler
Through the end of the month, this location is offering a $5 chicken bowl special with a 20-ounce drink for Stanton residents and public service workers. The O.C.-based brand also launched online ordering, eco-friendly bowls, and a kimchi add-on.

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