Taste of the Town

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Wahoo’s Fish Taco Turns 25!

NBM_22_Dine_Wing Lam_By Jody Tiongco-4

Since 1988, the Lam brothers—Wing, Ed and Mingo—have been serving up a fast and healthy fusion of Mexican, Brazilian and Asian cuisine, with the opening of the first Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Costa Mesa. The brothers’ vision to create a chain that would blend with the active surf culture of Southern California has led to partnerships with the surfing elite and has grown to include 64 famous sticker-lined stores throughout the U.S.—and there’s talk of taking it international, with a location in Tokyo, Japan. In celebration of its 25th birthday, Wahoo’s is giving back to its loyal customers through a series of promotional programs: Throughout February, win surprise menu items with scratcher cards. In March, one creative customer who comes up with the best name for the restaurant’s new savory chicken burrito will win a year of free Wahoo’s. (wahoos.com) —A.B.

Cup o’ Juice


With the tall demand for drinkable “detox” cleanses and meal replacements in health conscious Newport Beach, a few new organic juice shops are popping up around town. Located in Costa Mesa’s The Camp, Ritual Juice, which opened this past October, offers a variety of cleansing green drinks (for those who like ’em sweet or spicy), antioxidant-rich lemonades, nutrient-infused waters, “mylk” meals and other energy- and performance-enhancing blends (ritualwellness.com).

Even though Suja juice is pressed and bottled in a San Diego kitchen, the brand is growing popularity and lining grocery shelves in its northern neighbor, Newport Beach. At Whole Foods Market, Fashion Island, find an array of good-for-you concoctions with appealing names and claims like Purify and Glow. Get your daily dose of greens with Green Supreme, grab a ready-made Master Cleanse, or treat your palate and body with Vanilla Cloud (sujajuice.com). —A.B.

sp-triple-scoop-sundaeSprinkles Screams for Ice Cream

If you thought Sprinkles Cupcakes couldn’t possibly surpass what it has already created with its industry-setting cupcakes, it has. The company is expanding its brand with something sweeter (and colder to boot): ice cream. Slated to open early this spring, Sprinkles Ice Cream will make its first Orange County home next to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Corona del Mar Plaza. On the scoop shop’s menu is a variety of mouth-watering ice cream flavors, including staples like chocolate, strawberry and vanilla bean, as well as more unique flavors from pistachio and salted caramel to red velvet—undoubtedly taking after its cupcake predecessors. The shop will also offer cupcake sundaes, ice cream sandwiches and red velvet waffle cones. Using 14 percent butterfat and fresh ingredients, like dairy from Straus Family Creamery in Northern California, the shop slow churns its ice cream into sugary perfection. About 12 flavors will be available daily, with seasonal offerings rotating throughout the year. (sprinklesicecream.com) —A.T.

Rick Bayless Restaurant to Open at Fashion Island

Celebrity chef and 2009 winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” Rick Bayless is slated to bring his bold, upscale Mexican restaurant concept Red O to Fashion Island this spring. Featuring authentic Mexican cuisine with lighter, California-style dishes, the Red O menu will offer an eclectic array of delectable dishes. The “Bright Bites” section includes a selection of ceviche and tostadita, while the “Savory Snacks” section features various sopes, queso fundidos (flamed cheese), taquitos and tamales. The “Cazuelas for Soft Tacos” portion of the menu highlights a variety of regional Mexican flavors for making your own soft tacos, and the “Enchiladas & Tacos al Carbon” section highlights classic Mexican offerings. Another unique addition to the menu is the “Mexico’s Celebrated Seven,” which features Rick’s spin on iconic dishes, such as pollo en mole poblano (chicken in mole sauce) and cochinita pibil (pulled pork). Patrons will also enjoy a widespread collection of tequilas and cocktails alongside wines and imported craft beers. (redorestaurant.com ) A.T.

Ruby’s Turns 30

Balboa 4425-8_9 8x11EAee

From the look of California’s classic Ruby’s diner, from the red vinyl booths to vintage posters, you’d think it’s actually been around since the 1940s. But the establishment only recently celebrated its 30th birthday. The retro aesthetic can be attributed to the original location on Balboa Pier, a run-down building that founder Doug Cavanaugh discovered and decided to turn into a 1940s-era diner named after his mother, Ruby. The original Balboa diner operated with only three employees and a three-item menu (hamburger, hot dog, malt). Current times may not be as simple and sweet as they once were, but we certainly feel that way every time we step into this coastal favorite, which now has 36 other locations nationwide. (rubys.com) —A.B. 

VO5N0033A Sweet Treat

While Corona del Mar’s newly relocated B. Candy may be a dentist’s worst nightmare, it’s a dream come true for anyone with a sweet tooth. Customers delight in the wall-to-wall candy bar, packed with gummies, chocolates and other favorites that can be purchased by the pound. Also offered are treats sold individually wrapped, as well as a selection of unique and flavorful novelty gifts, such as an oversized gummy bear nightlight, chocolate Monopoly and candy-themed party accessories. A.H.


A Slice of the Big Apple

It’s oft said—especially by Mid-Atlantic coasters—that there’s no pizza like NY pizza. Unless, of course, a New Yorker opens shop somewhere else. As is the case with Johnny’s Real New York Pizza, located on Coast Highway in Corona del Mar and now at The Bluffs shopping center in Newport. Set to open soon, Johnny’s will offer an array of authentic pies and another West Coast unknown—Italian water ice—boasting big flavor like you’ll only find in the Big Apple. (949-729-9159; johnnysrealnypizza.com) —A.B.

Cheese Pizza (2)


Lark Creek to Open at Fashion Island

Award-winning, San Francisco-based restaurant group Lark Creek is bringing its first Orange County location to Fashion Island this spring. Offering chef-driven lunch and dinner menus with dishes from steaks and fish grilled over a wood fire to pastas featuring local, seasonal ingredients, Lark Creek Newport Beach is sure to add to Fashion Island’s fine dining repertoire with its longstanding reputation for excellent service and an inviting ambiance. The restaurant will also serve a bounty of wines from Napa Valley, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Barbara, Mendocino and Sonoma counties, as well as international appellations, on its drink menu. The brand is also known for its artisanal cocktails from proprietary recipes with fresh-squeezed juices, which will also be highlighted. The restaurant will be exclusive to Orange County and is set to open on the west side of Fashion Island near Nordstrom. (larkcreek.com) —A.T.

Dessert 2







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


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


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; muldoonspub.com

R+D Kitchen

555 Newport Center Dr.;
949-219-0555; hillstone.com


Taco Rosa

2632 San Miguel Rd.;
949-720-0980; tacorosa.com

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; charlies-chili.com

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 W. 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


2601 W. Coast Hwy.; 949-675-7427;


Nesai Restaurant

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



Pizzeria Mozza

800 W. Coast Hwy..; 949-945-1126;


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)675-8101.;

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;

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;

ruth’s chris steak house

2961 Michelson Dr.; 949-252-8848;


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;


Zinc Cafe & Market

350 Ocean Ave.; 949-719-9462;

zinccafe.com NBM

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