Taste of the Town

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Orange County Restaurants

So Fresh and So Green 

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop has come to Orange County and brought a marketplace and wine bar along with it. The Costa Mesa restaurant is the largest of three locations and is a one-stop shop for meals, after-work drinks and organic treats on the go. Both Patina alumni, owner Jonathan Rollo and Executive Chef Kristi Ritchey are committed to serving fresh, organic and local dishes that embrace a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing flavor. Known for specialty salads such as the antioxidant orchard salad and lemongrass chicken salad, Greenleaf also offers heartier options such as the grilled chicken panini with avocado pesto on focaccia or turkey melt on pretzel bread, which will fill you up without putting you in a food coma. Sides such as grilled vegetable pasta or quinoa salad round out a satisfying and healthy lunch. The restaurant features a dog-friendly patio and a garden installed by Newport-based Harvest to Home. Throughout summer, Harvest to Home owner Mike Saraylian will teach gardening classes for kids aged 7 – 13, focusing on the benefits of growing and eating organic foods (for details call 949-873-5400). Greenleaf also plans to use produce grown in the garden in the restaurant and marketplace. (234 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa; 949-200-3950; greenleafchopshop.com)

The Summer Seasons 

Seasons 52, the acclaimed fresh grill and wine bar restaurant at South Coast Plaza, recently kicked off its summer menu, which features Piedmontese all-natural bone-in strip steak, chilled lobster and shrimp spring rolls, grilled jumbo shrimp cavatappi pasta, summer vegetarian tasting and more.  The restaurant changes its menu four times a year and offers weekly fresh features to capture the flavors of the season. Nothing on the menu is more than 475 calories, from the signature flatbreads and appetizers, to all entrees and the popular Mini Indulgence desserts. (3333 Bristol St., Ste. #2802, Costa Mesa; 714-437-5252; seasons52.com)

Resort Regale

Dining specials are available at The Resort at Pelican Hill throughout summer months to ensure this season is a tasty one. Quality time at the Coliseum Pool with loved ones is made better with a comfort food feast. Served family-style, menu choices include pot roast, lasagna, paella and chicken potpie. Adults can relax by the Coliseum Pool and the Villa Pool with summery drinks like fruity margaritas, Venetian mojitos, sangria, Nero’s bloody marys and draft beer for $40 per pitcher. For gold medal appetites, the Coliseum Pool and Grill will celebrate the Summer Olympics with dishes inspired by the day’s televised events. Private cabanas await, each with their own flat-screen TVs—perfect for cheering on your favorite team while sharing Parmesan-garlic fries, flash-fried calamari or pepper jack quesadillas. Sports fans can also head to the Pelican Grill Lounge to catch the action on two 9-foot TV screens while enjoying a Stadium Burger or Skuna Bay salmon BLT sandwich. Summer in Orange County also means fresh, local produce. The Pelican Grill and Coliseum Pool and Grill present a summer ranch-to-table menu, which features local ingredients such as asparagus, avocados and strawberries. For extra special meals, the resort now offers a Chef’s Table for up to eight diners which includes a five-course dinner along with reserve wine pairings and tableside culinary presentations by chef Chang Sivilay. Planning a romantic rendezvous outside of the resort’s boundaries? The Caffé offers Crystal Cove picnic baskets, customizable assortments of gourmet goodies on the go. (22701 Pelican Hill Rd. South; 949-467-6800; pelicanhill.com)

Savoring Summer at Tommy Bahama 

Tommy Bahama apparel is synonymous with summer, so it makes sense that the Tommy Bahama Island Grill in Corona del Mar Plaza has introduced new menu items that reflect the season. The regular menu already celebrates the island lifestyle, but Executive Chef Jacquelyn Nabong has created several innovative dishes that virtually shout “summer.”

“We wanted to do a comfort menu for summer, so we took the richness out of the new items but kept the comfort intact,” Jacquelyn explains. One new entrée, rock salt grilled Meyer flat iron steak, has white bean puree, Shimeji mushrooms and a root beer reduction.

“Root beer is a classic summer drink, but we weren’t sure we could make it into a sauce,” Jacquelyn says. “We tried it and loved it. It’s savory with a sweet finish and a perfect complement to the smokiness of the steak.”

Another new menu item, the lemongrass encrusted ahi tuna salad with kale, edamame, hearts of palm, Beech mushrooms, roasted corn, pine nuts and a tahini-miso vinaigrette, has become an instant hit, while the hot iron swordfish and barbequed Tiger shrimp with charred corn succotash, spinach, local herb quinoa and lemon beurre blanc works perfectly despite Jacquelyn’s shellfish allergy.

“I can’t taste the shrimp,” Jacquelyn admits, “but I have developed my sense of smell to the point where I can tell if a dish is not quite right.”

Tommy Bahama has introduced novel cocktails—dubbed “farm to shaker”—that also reflect the season, including a sensational Thai Basil Martini made with Citron Vodka, Cointreau, simple syrup, Meyer Lemon and Thai basil. The drink is bursting with flavor and color—the bright lime green liquid looks somewhat surreal, but goes down real smooth. (854 Avocado Ave.; 949-760-8686; tommybahama.com) —Christopher Trela

New Update for an Old Favorite

Complete with a contemporary facelift, the Newport Rib Company is ready to show off its brand new look. The restaurant moved from its old location on Newport Boulevard 14 years ago, and the management and staff were ready for a change. Completely gutted to open up the entire restaurant while keeping the same neighborhood feel, the ceilings are now 10 feet higher, and the carpet has been replaced with new wood flooring.

To the delight of sports fans, they increased the number of TVs from three to 10, while guests who are more interested in simply grabbing a seat quickly and devouring some ribs will be happy to learn that they increased seating at the bar and booths. The sleek and shiny Arizona granite-top, honey brown bar is a swanky centerpiece and completes Newport Rib Company’s new, hipper vibe. Guests can enjoy some new items on the menu, including some new sliders and baskets, and the restaurant is now open later on Fridays and Saturdays. (2196 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa; 949-631-2110; ribcompany.com)

New on the Back Bay

Just in time for summer, Back Bay Bistro and Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina are cooking up new ways to enjoy great cuisine on the bay. First, Back Bay Bistro brought on new Executive Chef Kurt Schaeffer. After graduating from the Culinary School of America in 1985, Kurt worked at a number of upscale hotels and fine dining restaurants before landing as executive chef of McCormick and Schmicks in Irvine. He then started his own consulting company, KMS Consulting, during which time he opened The Capital Grille and Bistro West. Now, Kurt brings his passion, experience and flair to the Back Bay Bistro at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. As executive chef, he adds his personal touch to the menu, which includes fresh seafood, top grade beef and meat dishes, and other fare that takes advantage of California’s abundant produce. Try the new summer menu, which recently debuted.

If bay views aren’t enough, get out on the water by enjoying a meal on a Duffy boat. The public can rent the electric watercrafts and tour the Back Bay and nearby environs while enjoying specially prepared offerings from the award-winning Back Bay Bistro. Each of the three picnic packages, which come complete with linen napkins, plates and stainless steel utensils, is paired with fine wines personally selected by Food and Beverage Director Thomas Giulioni. The Duffy boats are available for $50/hour for two hours and $75/hour for one hour with the purchase of the gourmet meals. A designated “driver” is required (the Dunes can supply a cruise operator at $25/hour). (1131 Back Bay Dr.; 949-729-3863; newportdunes.com)

Hotels and Resorts

The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 Pelican Hill Rd. South; 800-820-6800; pelicanhill.com

First Cabin Restaurant
The Balboa Bay Club, 1221 W. Coast Hwy.;  949-630-4145; balboabayclub.com

The californian
The Hyatt Regency, 21500 Pacific Coast
Hwy., Huntington Beach; 714-845-4776; huntingtonbeach.hyatt.com

Palm Terrace
The Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Dr.,
949-760-4920; theislandhotel.com

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, 1 Ritz Carlton Dr.,
Dana Point; 949-240-2000; ritzcarlton.com

Sam & Harry’s
Marriott Newport Beach, 900 Newport Center Dr.;
949-640-4000; samandharrysnb.com

Stonehill Tavern
The St. Regis Monarch Beach, 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point;
949-234-3200; stregismb.com

Montage Laguna Beach
30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach;
949-715-6420, studiolagunabeach.com

Newport Center/Fashion Island

Brasserie Pascal
327 Newport Center Dr.
949-640-2700; French75.net

Canaletto Ristorante Veneto
545 Newport Center Dr.
949-640-0900; ilfornaio.com
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
455 Newport Center Dr., 949-720-9633

Mariposa Restaurant
Neiman Marcus, 601 Newport Center Dr.;

Muldoon’s Irish Pub
Newport Center Dr.;  949-640-4110;

R+D Kitchen
555 Newport Center Dr.
949-219-0555; hillstone.com

Taco Rosa
2632 San Miguel Rd. 949-720-0980;

The Ritz Restaurant & Garden
880 Newport Center Dr.
949-720-1800; ritzrestaurant.com

True Food Kitchen
451 Newport Center Dr.
949-644-2400; truefoodkitchen.com

Wahoo’s Fish Tacos
1091 Newport Center Dr.
949-760-0290; wahoos.com

Yard House
849 Newport Center Dr.
949-640-9273; yardhouse.com

Newport Coast/Crystal Cove

Beachcomber Cafe
15 Crystal Cove; 949-376-6900; thebeachcombercafe.com

Bluefin Fine Japanese Cuisine
7952 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-7373; bluefinbyabe.com

7832 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-1239;

Mastro’s Ocean Club Fish House
8112 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-6990; mastrosrestaurants.com

Tamarind of london
7862 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-8338; tamarindrestaurant.com.

Zov’s Café Bakery & Bar
21123 Newport Coast Dr.
949-760-9687; zovs.com

Balboa Peninsula

21 Oceanfront 
2100 W. Oceanfront
949-673-2100; 21oceanfront.com

Aurora Mediterranean Restaurant
2307 Balboa Blvd. 949-642-1073

Avila’s El Ranchito
2800 Newport Blvd.
949-675-6855; avilaselranchito.net

Bluewater Grill
630 Lido Park Dr.
949-675-3474; bluewatergrill.com

Buddha’s Favorite
634 Lido Park Dr.
949-723-4203; buddhasfavorite.com

Charlie’s Chili
102 McFadden Place 949-675-7991;

Commonwealth lounge & Grill 
2406 Newport Blvd.; 949-675-4444; commonwealthlounge.com

Crab Cooker
2200 Newport Blvd.; 949-673-0100, crabcooker.com

Malarky’s Irish Pub
3011 Newport Blvd.; 949-675-2340; malarkysirishpub.com

Mama D’s Italian Kitchen
3012 Newport Blvd.; 949-675-6262; mamadsnewport.com

Mutt Lynch’s
2300 W. Oceanfront; 949-675-1556

Newport Beach Brewing Company
2920 Newport Blvd.; 949-675-8449

Newport Landing Restaurant
503 E. Edgewater Ave. 949-675-2373

Pescadou Bistro
3325 Newport Blvd.; 949-675-6990 pescadoubistro.com

Regatta Cafe
3421 Via Lido; 949-675-1878

Ruby’s Diner
1 Balboa Pier; 949-675-7829; rubys.com

Rudy’s Pub & Grill
3110 Newport Blvd.; 949-723-0293 rudyspubandgrill.com

Rusty Pelican
2735 W. Coast Hwy.; 949-642-3431 rustypelican.com

Sabatino’s sausage company
251 Shipyard Way, Cabin D; 949-723-0621

San Shi Go
205 Main St.; 949-673-3724

Sol Grill
110 McFadden Place;
949-723-4105; solgrill.com

The Alley
4501 West Coast Hwy.; 949-646-9126 thealleynewportbeach.com

The Blue Beet
107 21st Place; 949-675-2338

The Cannery
3010 Lafayette Ave.; 949-566-0060

The Dock
2816 LaFayette Ave.; 949-673-3625 eatatthedock.com

Balboa Island

Amelia’s Restaurant
311 Marine Ave.; 949-673
6580; ameliasbalboaisland.com

Barolo By the Sea
305 Marine Ave.; 949-675-6193

Basilic Restaurant
217 Marine Ave.; 949-673-0570 basilicrestaurant.com

216 Marine Ave.; 949-566-9525 pasturestaurant.com

Shanghai Pine Gardens
300 Marine Ave.; 949-673-3802

Wilma’s Patio
203 Marine Ave.; 949-675-5542

PCH/Mariner’s Mile

3 thirty 3
333 Bayside Dr.; 949-673-8464

A restaurant
3334 W. Coast Hwy.; 949-650-6505; arestaurantnb.com

Back Bay Bistro Newport Dunes
1131 Back Bay Dr.; 949-729-1144; backbaybistronewportbeach.com

Bayside Restaurant
900 Bayside Dr.; 949-721-1222; baysiderestaurant.com

Billy’s at the Beach
2751 W. Coast Hwy.; 949-722-1100

Cappy’s Cafe
5930 W. Coast Hwy.; 949-646-4202 cappyscafe.com

Nesai Restaurant
217 Riverside Ave.; 949-646-2333 nesairestaurant.com

SOL Cocina
251 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-675-9800

Villa Nova
3131 W. Coast Hwy.;  949-642-7880 villanovarestaurant.com

Zubies Chicken Coop
414 Old Newport Blvd.; 949-645-6086

Corona del Mar

Bamboo Bistro
2600 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-720-1289

3201 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-673-3524

Five Crowns
3801 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-760-0331 lawrysonline.com

Gen Kai of California
3344 E. Coast Hwy. 949-675-0771

850 Avocado Ave.; 949.718-0188

Nagisa Sushi Restaurant
3840 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-673-3933

Panini Café
2333 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-650-0101

Rothschild’s Restaurant
2407 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-673-3750 rothschildsrestaurant.com

Summer House
2744 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-612-7700 summerhousecdm.com

The Bungalow
2441 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-673-6585 thebungalowrestaurant.com

The Crow Bar and Kitchen
2325 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-675-0070 crowbarcdm.com

The Quiet Woman
3224 E. Coast Hwy.; 949-640-7440 quietwoman.com

Tommy Bahama’s Island Grill
854 Avocado; 949-760-8686

Airport Area

Il Barone
4251 Martingale Way; 949-955-2755 ilbaroneristorante.com

4253-A Martingale Way; 949-756-8194 tapasnewportbeach.net

Ten asian bistro
4647 MacArthur Blvd.; 949-660-1010

Upper Bay

Bistro le Crillon
2523 Eastbluff Dr.; 949-640-8181

101 Bayview Pl.; 949-725-0777 kitayamarestaurant.com

Pita Jungle
1200 Bison Ave.; 949-706-7711

2531 Eastbluff Dr.; 949-718-9650

Wasa Sushi on the bluffs
1346 Bison Ave.; 949-760-1511

1370 Bison Ave.; 949-720-9925

Costa Mesa

3333 Bristol St.; 714-557-5679; anqibistro.com

Charlie palmer
3333 Bristol St.; 714-352-2525

Haute Cakes Caffe
1807 Westcliff Dr.; 949-642-4114 hautecakescaffe.net

1695 irvine ave.; 949-646-7944 lacaverestaurant.com

3333 Bristol St., Ste. 3001; 714-434-7900 marchemoderne.net

MI Casa
296 E. 17th St.; 949-645-7626; micasa1.com

The Pizza Bakery
1741 Westcliff Dr.; 949-631-1166 thepizzabakery.com

Pizzeria Ortica
650 Anton Blvd., 714-445-4900

Seasons 52
3333 Bristol St., Ste. 2802; 714-437-5252


19100 Von Karman Ave.; 949-752-5999

Kimera Restaurant Lounge
19530 Jamboree Rd., 949-261-1222 kimerarestaurant.com
phans 55 vietnamese bistro & bar
6000 Scholarship Dr., 949-724-1236; phans55.com

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
2961 Michelson Dr.; 949-252-8848;

Wasa Sushi
The Irvine Marketplace, 13124 Jamboree Rd. 714-665-3338; wasasushi.com

Laguna Beach

370 Common
370 Glenneyre St.; 949-494-8686

480 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-815-5533

Broadway by Amar Santana
328 Glenneyre St.; 949-715-8234 broadwaybyamarsantana.com

Cucina Alessa
234 Forest Ave.; 949-497-8222

The Deck on Laguna Beach
627 Sleepy Hollow Ln.; 949-494-6700

K’ya Bistro
1287 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-9718

La Sirena Grill
30862 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-499-2301 lasirenagrill.com

Nirvana Grille
303-101 Broadway; 949-497-0027 nirvanagrille.com

The Rooftop Lounge
1289 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-2446

Sapphire Laguna
1200 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-9888

Sundried Tomato
361 Forest Ave.; 949-494-3312 thesundriedtomatocafe.com

Tommy Bahama
400 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-6886 tommybahama.com

Tabu Grill
2892 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-7743; tabugrill.com

Zinc Cafe & Market
350 Ocean Ave.; 949-719-9462
zinccafe.com NBM

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