Fifi Chao

Executive Dining Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

Restaurant of the Year: China Moon

Chen Family’s Moveable Feast

Restaurant of the Year: China Moon

Tease photo

OClectic

Interesting Menus, Personal Insights From Varied Batch of Standouts

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

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

Tease photo

Worldly Dining

From Afghan to Vietnamese, Restaurants Bring Global Flavor

Fifi Chao picks her favorite local ethnic eateries.

Tease photo

Restaurateur of the Year: Joe Manzella

Man Behind Taps, Catch is Indie Success Story

Joe Manzella has been named the Business Journal’s Restaurateur of the Year

Tease photo

De Palma to French 75; Secret Plan for Deli at Mark’s

Starfish to Laguna; Changes at Taléo; Katsuya Coming

Starfish is set to open in Laguna Beach this month, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Nicholas, Son Make 35º Hot Ticket for Home Chefs, BBQs

Website Offers Quality Cuts Found at Best Restaurants

The Newport Beach Wine Festival is set for the end of May, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Tasty Economic Indicators in Round of Restaurant Openings

Fashion Island, Spectrum Center See New Eateries

Fifi Chao sniffs out Irvine’s best-kept secret, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

Chef of the Year

Eddie Meza Started as Dishwasher—the Rest Is Anaheim White House History

Fifi Chao names Eddie Meza of the White House in Anaheim as Orange County’s Chef of The Year

Tease photo

Casual Consideration

Burgers and Pizza That Go Beyond the Ordinary Are Just the Beginning of Our Culinary Bargain

Fifi Chao profiles restaurants with more casual fare, in Fifi’s Best

Tease photo

Fifi Plays Cupid With Valentine’s Dining Suggestions

15 Fifi Chao gives top picks for Valentine’s Day

Charlie Palmer Holds the Hoopla on Back-Room Burger

New Twist for Ruth’s Chris; Z’Tejas Entices; St. Regis Stars; Jazz Events Coming Up

Charlie Palmer opened a gourmet burger joint, in Executive Dining

Tease photo

No Shortage of Local Restaurants Good for Gift Cards

Newport’s Revitalizing Sage; Just Alessá in Laguna; True Food at Fashion Island; Yoshi’s Zen

Chef Alessandro Pirozzi has opened his third OC restaurant, Alessá in Laguna Beach, in the Executive Dining column

Tease photo

Holiday Gift Idea: Pelican Hill’s Culinary Classes

South Coast Plaza Dining Avenue Adds a Pair; Benefit Buffet; Dinner Deal at The Catch

South Coast Plaza has seen a number of restaurant openings this year, including Seasons 52 and Capital Grille, in the Executive Dining column

Tease photo

Montage Stirs Park City; Holecheks Are at it Again

Gastropub’s Gusto; Time for Tandoori Thanksgiving Orders; Update Down at The Cellar

Summer House in Corona del Mar recently opened, taking the former space of El Ranchito, in the Executive Dining column

Tease photo

Ambrosia, Five Feet and Hush Restaurants Close Down

Tour de France Tasting Menu at La Vie en Rose; Oktoberfest Fare at Five Crowns, Balboa Bay

Some of OC’s most recognizable restaurants have closed their doors, in the Executive Dining column

Tease photo

Big Week: True Food Kitchen Opens; Summer Dinner Series

Raya, Stonehill Tavern on Must-Taste List; Sapphire Chef Expands School Lunch Program

True Food Kitchen opens this week at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, in the Executive Dining column

Tease photo

Restaurant of the Year

Cucina Alessa Brings Naples Recipes, Fresh Pastas to Newport, Huntington

Cucina Alessa takes the top spot as the Business Journal’s Restaurant of the Year

Tease photo

Just Because

FIFI's BEST

Fifi’s Best—includes reviews of restaurants with international cuisine and budget-friendly fine dining

Tease photo

Laguna Beach Set To Get New Restaurants, Retailer

Il Barone Brings Italian Flavors to Newport Beach; Balboa Bay Club Takes Top Drink Prize

The old Jolly Roger building in Laguna Beach is set to house a Tommy Bahama restaurant and store, in the Executive Dining column

Tease photo

Small Plates Dominate at Laguna’s Sapphire, Sorrento

Restaurants Opening in Newport, Huntington Beach; Cha Cha’s Reinvents Latin Food in Brea

The latest on OC’s dining scene, in the Executive Dining column

Tease photo

Local Chef Shuffle Leads to New Concepts, Restaurants

Marché Moderne Celebrates 3rd Birthday with Spanish Event; Preview of Newport’s Festival

The latest on OC’s dining scene, in the Executive Dining column by Fifi Chao

Tease photo