Orange County Business Journal

Fifi Chao is a chef, lecturer, author, educator, radio personality and publisher of Chao's Dinesty, a private subscription restaurant, wine and travel newsletter. She has been reviewing local restaurants for the Business Journal since 1990.

Recent Stories

Café Tu Tu Tango Still Tempts Taste Buds for Less

Spanish Menu Served Up in Boho Indy Style

People always ask restaurant journalists: “What is your favorite restaurant?”

Dining on the Latin Side Vibrant, Tasty, Unexpected

Traditional, Progressive Eateries Serve Up Magia

This is the first time I have rounded up a group of Mexican or Latin-themed restaurants for Fifi’s Best. There are lists of the Best Tacos, the Best Margaritas, the Best Mexican Restaurants, and more in so many publications and online. I’m taking another avenue.

Recent Changes Stir Orange County Fine-Dining Pot

Some Very Good, Another Remains to Be Seen

Restaurants keep opening, many of them good, but when we spent time at the new Watertable in the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Hotel & Spa, we realized dish by dish that there are still culinary frontiers being conquered and ways to set the bar much higher. It has been one of the most eye-opening, palate-pleasing forays into fine dining on a comfort-food level that I’ve come across in a long time.

Same Place, Fresh New Vibe at Vine in San Clemente

Offers Warm, Affordable ‘Wine Country’ Experience

Old venues can rev up a lot of new excitement when someone with a strong restaurant background and reputation for being warm and respectful to his employees comes along as owner and offers up a singular kind of affordable wine country experience.

Seafood Lovers, Food Writers Mourn Chef’s Passing

Bluewater Grill Veteran Shared Passion With Smile

Orange County lost a beautiful person and passionate chef last month in Brian Hirsty, executive chef of the Bluewater Grill restaurants. He was only 48, and though he had a rare bone marrow disease, his death was completely unexpected.

Primo Restaurants for Fresh, Creative Spring Fare

From French Countryside to Sushi With a Flair

Springtime brings thoughts of colorful flowers emerging, a climate conducive to beaches and boating, and getting out as the winter fades, even though we’ve had such a mild winter.

Passion for Food, Sharing It Make Dubray Stand Out

Pelican Hill Executive Chef Leads With Strength, Smiles

Our Chef of the Year, Jean-Pierre Dubray, has been engaging the public in appreciation of gorgeously showcased and inherently delicious food for more than three decades.

Pelican Hill Offers Food, More for Locals, Guests

Trio of Restaurants Get Fifi’s Seal of Approval

There’s so much happening at The Resort at Pelican Hill all during the year. I’ll try to capsulize it but nevertheless want to bring you the best of the resort.

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It’s Hard Keeping Up With Pascal Olhats These Days

Brasserie Pascal Closing, Epicerie Moving—Where?

A couple of Pascal Olhats surprises popped up recently, and they do not make me happy.

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Balboa Bay Club Vet Hissin to Island Hotel as GM

Club Nabs Lesage From St. Regis, Plans Revamps

The exodus of the three well-known faces of the Balboa Bay Club and Resort is complete.

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