Novel Ventures; Cookbook Morsel; Retooled Irish Fare
After decades in South Coast Plaza’s Crate and Barrel/Macy’s Home Store wing, Nello Cucina is no more. Antonio Cagnolo shuttered the operation in late February, focusing on his three other restaurants: Antonello Ristorante, Quattro Caffé and Antonello Espresso Café.
Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments
Lighthouse Financial Services signed a lease at 3070 Saturn St. in Brea.
Italian Food at Home, Trips To Italy Inspired Eateries
Cathy Pavlos, co-owner and chef of Lucca in Irvine and Provenance in Newport Beach, has earned her place as one of Orange County’s most admired chefs. She is our 2016 Restaurateur of the Year.
Brasserie Just Ahead Of Admirer’s ‘Farmhouse’
It’s refreshing to see restaurateurs help advertise each other’s new venues. In this case, Rich Mead, highly regarded for his former Sage restaurants, sent out positive commentary on Jack Jasper and his Campus Jax restaurant—full name Campus Jax, a mindful kitchen, brasserie & Supper Club.
Plus Fifi’s Rundown Of Departures, Newcomers
As I start the new year, I think back on good food I’ve had and what I look forward to now.
Eateries Put as Much Time Into Decoration as Food
This is the time of year when all sorts of nostalgia takes over. We used to stop by and see the decorations at some of the upscale restaurants—there are now so many.
Tamarind Dashed Hopes, Scott’s Ends on High Note
Double bombshells hit diners in the past month with the sudden closing of Tamarind of London at Newport Coast and news that Scott’s would be closing at the end of the year.
Bistro Comes Into Its Own, Plus OC’s Best Indian Food
I mentioned two months ago that Little Sparrow in downtown Santa Ana had parted ways with its chef.
Plenty of Stalwarts, Fresh Fare Options to Browse
Moulin Bistro, Newport’s cute little culinary bôite filled with French aromas, ambiance, food and wine, and happy patrons, celebrates its first anniversary this month.
Chef Departs, Kids Fed, Laguna ‘Reunion’
Lots of Tidbits today: • The sad news: The shock of the month came with the announcement that Bruce Marsh, owner of Little Sparrow, the darling little restaurant in downtown Santa Ana, let chef Eric Samaniego go.
It always happens.
Creative, Eclectic, Friendly Style Cooks Up Delicious
I don’t even want to count how many restaurants I have eaten in this past year. But I can tell you that no chef has consistently impressed me more over a few decades, and still does, than Alan Greeley, the chef and owner of Golden Truffle in Costa Mesa. This special guy is my pick for Chef of the Year because he thinks globally about food and he makes culinary memories for all of us.
Chef Ogden Opens Diners, Works With New-Chef Son
Still sad over the quiet closing last month of the Lark Creek restaurant in Fashion Island. It had some of the best food in that upscale center.
Charlie Palmer Latest In String of Closings in OC
It came as a shock to serious diners that Charlie Palmer is closing his eponymous restaurant at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza at the beginning of May.
Claim Center Stage With Inviting Decor, Food, Drink
Having a glass of wine with friends is no longer the cutting-edge trend. We are now having cocktails.
Mixes Ethnic Food Smarts, Hunger for Better Dining
Our now legendary Orange County lady chef and restaurateur Zov Karamardian set out to introduce the dining public to Mediterranean food 27 years ago.
Larry Cano Left Stamp On Ever-Dynamic Food Scene
We recently lost Larry Cano, a true icon not only in Orange County dining but a major player in introducing America to sit-down Mexican dining and cuisine at a sophistication level way above the familiar taco genre.
High Marks for Del Frisco; Jägerhaus Back on Radar
Del Frisco’s Grille opened recently at Irvine Spectrum.
Take It From Tommy Bahama: Follow-Up Matters
This tidbit about a restaurant doing it right, doing what hospitality is really all about, seems like such a good way to start the column.
Famed Italian Chef Stars At Festival This Weekend
There’s a very special event happening at the end of this week.
Chinese Dumpling House Delights With Each Morsel
Din Tai Fung, the famed Chinese dumpling house, opened two weeks ago at South Coast Plaza (entrance on the upper level next to Sears). I surmise that, having heard the buzz about its international reputation, the crowds will flow.
Spanish Menu Served Up in Boho Indy Style
People always ask restaurant journalists: “What is your favorite restaurant?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brasserie Pascal Closing, Epicerie Moving—Where?
A couple of Pascal Olhats surprises popped up recently, and they do not make me happy.
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.
Plus, Food Mystery Solved, Hawaii Standout Revisited
Bonefish Grill has come to Orange County.
Hush Veteran Reyes Back in Old LB Spot
Okura, a robata grill and sushi restaurant, has opened in Laguna Beach and is making use of the space that previously housed Hush and then Katsuya.
Michael Jordan Jumps to Jackson Family Fine Wines
Michael Jordan has left The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim
Restaurants Pop Up While Oldie Still Satisfies
Many more new restaurants are introducing themselves to us, and the trend is toward casual and noisy rather than sexy and romantic.
Fresh Twists on Familiar, Plus Old-School Cooking
EXECUTIVE DINING Column by Fifi Chao
Seaside Eating, Local Ingredients, Ambiance
SPECIAL REPORT - FIFI's BEST: Summer Dining at its Finest
Chef From Italy Delivers Charm and Authenticity
SPECIAL REPORT - FIFI's BEST: Summer Dining at its Finest
Plenty of Restaurants With Real Food, Plenty Without
DINING: Fancy but unpretentious eating abounds, in Executive Dining by Fifi Chao
DePalma Back at Old Spot, Katsuya Leaves PCH
OC-style eateries rise to the top in Laguna Beach, in Executive Dining
Fifty Shades of Food Event Set for April 26 in Anaheim
Famous chefs set to wield knives live for charity, in Executive Dining
Interesting Menus, Personal Insights From Varied Batch of Standouts
OClectic: interesting menus, personal insights from varied batch of standouts
Chen Family’s Moveable Feast
Restaurant of the Year: China Moon
Chocolate at Cocoa Lounge; Soirees at McCharles House
Month of romance is here—so are romantic ideas, in Executive Dining
Chef Ugo Gets Over Fire; Marshalls Circle March 15
Prego still thrills; Mr. Stox gets ready for farewell, in Executive Dining
As Eatery Works Toward Sustainability Approvals
Seasonal special: Bluewater’s stuffed-lobster deal, in Executive Dining
Ghoukassians’ Flagship Eatery Marks 25th Year
Bistango serves up artful dining, gallery-worthy art, in Executive Dining
Finely Tuned Fine Dining
SPECIAL REPORT - FIFI's BEST - Restaurant of the Year: The Winery
OC Offers Array of Dining Choices for Discerning Palates, Pocketbooks
SPECIAL REPORT - FIFI's BEST: OC offers array of dining choices for discerning palates, pocketbooks
Popular Summer Menu Extended Extra Month
Bayside in Newport Beach should be on your priority list of restaurants to visit, in Executive Dining
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