Orange County Business Journal

Chef Built Beloved Restaurant on Natural Talent

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.

Upscale Bars Offer Comfort, Sociable Dining Alternative

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.

Ode to Local Pioneer; New Twists in Familiar Places

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.

New Option at Spectrum, Old Standby in Anaheim

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

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.

Upscale Dining Weekend, New Eateries on OC’s Plate

Famed Italian Chef Stars At Festival This Weekend

There’s a very special event happening at the end of this week.

OC’s First Din Tai Fung and Other Worthy Food Adventures

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Fresh Seafood Order of the Day at New Tustin Eatery

Plus, Food Mystery Solved, Hawaii Standout Revisited

Bonefish Grill has come to Orange County.

Tease photo

Couple Brings Japanese-California Fusion to OC

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.

Tease photo

The Ranch Loses Wine Expert, Keeps Abiding Quality

Michael Jordan Jumps to Jackson Family Fine Wines

Michael Jordan has left The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim

Tease photo

Casual With a Side of Noise, Good Food and Ambiance

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.

Tease photo

Chefs Introduce New and Old Concepts With Aplomb

Fresh Twists on Familiar, Plus Old-School Cooking

EXECUTIVE DINING Column by Fifi Chao

Tease photo

Easy But Fine Summer Dining in OC, at its Best

Seaside Eating, Local Ingredients, Ambiance

SPECIAL REPORT - FIFI's BEST: Summer Dining at its Finest

Tease photo

Classic Italian Dining With Personal Touch is Winner

Chef From Italy Delivers Charm and Authenticity

SPECIAL REPORT - FIFI's BEST: Summer Dining at its Finest

Tease photo

Fancy But Unpretentious Eating Abounds, I Need More

Plenty of Restaurants With Real Food, Plenty Without

DINING: Fancy but unpretentious eating abounds, in Executive Dining by Fifi Chao

Tease photo

OC-Style Eateries Rise to the Top in Laguna Beach

DePalma Back at Old Spot, Katsuya Leaves PCH

OC-style eateries rise to the top in Laguna Beach, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Famous Chefs Set to Wield Knives Live For Charity

Fifty Shades of Food Event Set for April 26 in Anaheim

Famous chefs set to wield knives live for charity, in Executive Dining

Tease photo


Interesting Menus, Personal Insights From Varied Batch of Standouts

OClectic: interesting menus, personal insights from varied batch of standouts

Tease photo

Restaurant of the Year: China Moon

Chen Family’s Moveable Feast

Restaurant of the Year: China Moon

Tease photo

Month of Romance Is Here—So Are Romantic Ideas

Chocolate at Cocoa Lounge; Soirees at McCharles House

Month of romance is here—so are romantic ideas, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Prego Still Thrills; Mr. Stox Gets Ready for Farewell

Chef Ugo Gets Over Fire; Marshalls Circle March 15

Prego still thrills; Mr. Stox gets ready for farewell, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Seasonal Special: Bluewater’s Stuffed-Lobster Deal

As Eatery Works Toward Sustainability Approvals

Seasonal special: Bluewater’s stuffed-lobster deal, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Bistango Serves Up Artful Dining, Gallery-Worthy Art

Ghoukassians’ Flagship Eatery Marks 25th Year

Bistango serves up artful dining, gallery-worthy art, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Restaurant of the Year: The Winery

Finely Tuned Fine Dining

SPECIAL REPORT - FIFI's BEST - Restaurant of the Year: The Winery

Tease photo

Delicious, Diverse

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

Tease photo

Bayside’s Seasonal Dishes Look Good, Taste Better

Popular Summer Menu Extended Extra Month

Bayside in Newport Beach should be on your priority list of restaurants to visit, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Back Bay Bites: Seafood, Steak, Kobe Beef Sliders

Newport Dunes to Host Charitable Fundraiser

Back Bay bites: seafood, steak, Kobe beef sliders, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Fig & Olive Set for Fashion Island in Newport Beach

Red Robin to Move From One Tustin Site to Another

Fig & Olive set for Fashion Island in Newport Beach, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Newport Wine Festival to Offer Tastings, Seminars

Balboa Bay Club Venue Poses Dining Opportunity

Newport Beach Wine Festival to offer tastings, seminars, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

A Passel of Premier Purveyors for OC’s Dining Scene

List of Ingredients runs from Dry Dock to Ranch

Passel of premier purveyors for OC’s dining scene, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Restaurateur of the Year

Chef Pascal Olhats: An Abiding Culinary Force

Chef/Restaurateur of the Year Pascal Olhats is a unique culinary force

Tease photo

FIFI's BEST - Preview

Iconic Restaurants - Legendary Restaurteur

Summary of the Special Report

Tease photo

Legends of the Dining Landscape

Iconic Establishments Freshen Menus to Stay Au Courant

FIFI's BEST - Legends of the dining landscape

Tease photo

Beloved Restaurants Will Be Gone But Not Forgotten

Tradition, The Ritz to Join Others Recently Shuttered

A number of legendary local restaurants have closed or soon will.

Tease photo

Diners Globe-Trot at Golden Truffle Each Wednesday

3-Course, Sojourn Features Different Cuisine Weekly

Wednesday nights at the Golden Truffle offer diners the chance to travel the globe with international cuisines, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Holiday Gift Ideas: Hotel Certificates, Kitchen Gadgets

Wine, Vodka Still Work Well As Fall-Back Ideas

Fifi Chao reviews recently launched Capital Seafood, talks holiday gift ideas

Tease photo

Riviera Gone, Maybe Not for Long; Amelia’s Hits 50

Change at Hilton Anaheim; Mayur Cuisine is a ‘Gem’

Fifi Chao: Mayur Cuisine a “gem,” Riviera gone—but maybe not for long, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Bon Appétit at Bon A Pita; Bruno Up For CNN Hero

Wood Ranch at Spectrum; Balboa Bay’s Oktoberfest

Fifi Chao profiles Lebanese restaurant Bon A Pita, makes push for Chef Bruno

Tease photo

Pizzeria Mozza, Freshii Arrive; Fleming’s Wine Deal

Asada in Laguna, Broadway Coming; Il Fornaio’s Charm

Fifi Chao profiles Pizzeria Mozza, Freshii, more

Tease photo

Katsuya Opens; Theater, Dinner at La Vie en Rose

Food Adventure at Anqi; A Night at L’Opera

Fifi Chao visits Studio Garden, newly opened Katsuya and more