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Bloody Mary Sunday Brunch, Golf-Inspired Masters Menu and Much More

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Find out what's new in Orange County food and dining news.

The 20th Annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night returns to SOS (Share Our Selves) headquarters in Costa Mesa on April 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m. An hour-long VIP Pre-Party begins at 4:30 p.m. Twenty-five of Orange County’s premiere chefs gather to create the most exotic and unique tacos enjoyed only at this event. Drinks include beer and Tres Sietes tequila margaritas. General admission tickets, advance sale only, are $70 per person, $150 per person for VIP admission. To purchase, visit shareourselves.org/events, or call SOS at 949.270.2100. Proceeds from the event benefit the SOS Orange Aid Project.

From April 11-14, in honor of The Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, Chef Derek Brooks at Pelican Grill at the Resort at Pelican Hill (949.467.6800, pelicanhill.com) will create an exclusive golf-inspired, Southern-style Masters Menu. Special dishes will include fairway fried chicken birdie, shrimp ‘n’ bunker grits and a Masters tradition — a pimento grilled cheese sandwich. Beverages include sweet tea, mint juleps, Arnold Palmers, and pickled okra bloody Marys.

Lunch and Learn at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin on April 23 at noon, with Guest Chef Kitty Morse, author of Mint Tea & Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories. The luncheon menu includes Moroccan salmon salad, crostini of preserved lemons and tomatoes, fresh mint tea, and baklava. Cost, $25 per person. To reserve a spot, call 714.838.8855.

On Administrative Assistant Day, April 24, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea (714.255.1040, chachaslatinkitchen.com) offers a two-course menu along with a house margarita or a glass of housemade sangria for $20. Thursdays are Seniorita Night with $5 drink and appetizer specials, and live Latin music.

On April 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Surfas Culinary District at SoCo (714.453.2005, surfasonline.com), Executive Chef Geeta Bansal of the Clay Oven in Irvine (949.552.2851, clayovenirvine.com) will cook favorite Indian dishes from her restaurant with ingredients collected that Saturday morning from SoCo’s farmers market. Chef Geeta will also offer her grandmother’s tips on the value of changing colors, flavors and aromas of food each season.

Café Jardin at Sherman Library and Gardens (949.673.0033, pascalnewportbeach.com) is once again open for brunch on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The seasonal outdoor café, overlooking the beautiful gardens, serves a four-course, prix-fixe menu for $35, plus tax and gratuity. Endless Champagne is an extra $15.

Restaurant entrepreneur and Chef David Wilhelm, founder of Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern in Point Loma near San Diego, returns to Orange County to open a second JFAT in Dana Point Harbor on the site of the former Ristorante Ferrantelli. JFAT will be an upscale gastropub specializing in comfort food. An early summer opening is planned.

Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza (714.352.2525, charliepalmer.com) offers a spectacular Bloody Mary Sunday Brunch with a totally revamped menu and the most elaborate bloody Mary bar to be experienced. The prix-fixe meal, with mouth-watering choices from seven appetizers and eight entrees, including unlimited bloody Marys, is $37.50. The brunch menu is available a la carte as well.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Fashion Island (949.720.9633, flemingssteakhouse.com) is offering a Filet & North Atlantic Lobster combination through April 7. The duo, plus a starter course and side, are priced at $37.95 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Added to the 5 for 6 ‘til 7 menu is pan-crisped pork belly. Braised short ribs of beef have been added to the appetizers and Pacific swordfish to the entrées.
Bistango (949.752.5222, bistango.com) has installed a new art collection throughout the restaurant featuring the works of 12 artists. The exhibit was curated by Studio Gallery in collaboration with Marchetti Fine Arts.

Alfonso Ramirez, a long standing alumnus from within the Patina Group, is the new executive chef at Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza (714.444.5900, patinagroup.com/pinotprovence). Chef Ramirez prepares classic, as well as contemporary French dishes, including a canard cassoulet with duck confit and housemade duck prosciutto.

All 33 locations of The Counter Custom Built Burgers, have introduced an all-gluten-free menu that is available year-round. The separate menu features the same five-step build-your-own-burger process, with three different options. Other gluten-free items include milkshakes, gluten-free beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales and wine. For more information and menu online, visit thecounterburger.com/gluten-free.

For a limited time, The Habit Burger Grill at all seven Orange County locations (habitburger.com) will offer a grilled shrimp sandwich. Priced at $6.50, the patty is composed of pure, whole shrimp, char-grilled to order, glazed with barbecue sauce and topped with caramelized onion, tomato and lettuce on a whole wheat bun.

Veggie Grill (veggiegrill.com) has opened its third Orange County location at the Plaza de la Paz shopping center in Laguna Niguel. Doors open at 11 a.m.

The Villa Nova restaurant was sold to Mike Moshayedi, owner of Joe’s Crab Shack, at an auction held in March. Interested lessees include the owners of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar at The District at Tustin Legacy.
Kimera in Irvine and Katsuya in Laguna Beach closed their doors in March.

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