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Cooking Camp for Little Chefs, Johnny's Real New York Pizza and More

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

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop (greenleafchopshop.com) opened its second Costa Mesa location at the South Coast Collection (SoCo). Greenleaf is popular for its premium salads, award-winning sandwiches and entrees, as well as its environmentally-conscious interior that incorporates reclaimed wood furniture and vintage riddling racks. Wine and tap beers are available, and happy hour is held daily. An outdoor dining patio and garden boxes round out the rustic ambiance.

Through August 31, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (949.720.9633, flemingssteakhouse.com) highlights Taste of the Season, a two-course menu with a starter and entrée for $40.95 per person, plus tax and gratuity. A Wine Country Brunch is served every Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with a new cocktail cart rolled tableside for bloody Marys or a hand-crafted seasonal cocktail. Brunch items include filet mignon, smoked salmon eggs Benedict, a French-folded blue crab omelet, and lemon ricotta pancakes.

Surfas Culinary District in Costa Mesa (714.453.2665, culinarydistrict.com) will host a Cooking Camp for Little Chefs, ages 7 to 11, on August 7, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Cost, $50. Cooking Camp for Little Pastry Chefs, ages 7 to 11, will be held August 14, 12:30-2:30 p.m. The hands-on classes, with a trained chef instructor, are held in the Test Kitchen at Surfas with a maximum of 10 students. A tasting of the finished product will be provided, as well as recipes. Detailed information can be found online.

Zov’s Bistro & Bakery in Tustin (714.838.8855, zovs.com) has revamped half of its menu to add bolder flavors and seasonal ingredients to new starters, entrees and side dishes. Look for sea bass ceviche, crimini mushroom flatbread, duck confit, Mediterranean cioppino, and rib-eye steak. The Bistro also has a boutique market, an award-winning bakery, banquet facilities, full-service catering, and cooking classes. A Zov’s Neighborhood Cafe & Bar is located in Newport Coast (949.760.9687) and in Irvine (714.734.9687).
Tabu Grill (949.494.7743, tabugrill.com) has introduced its newest happy hour, Sunday through Thursday, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wines, beer, “sinfully delicious small plates,” aperitifs, and specialty sangrias are half-priced. A four-course tasting menu, priced at $29 per person, is available Sunday through Wednesday. The menu changes weekly.

A new Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill has opened at Woodbury Town Center in Irvine (eatgarbanzo.com). It is the second West Coast location for the Denver-based fast casual restaurant chain that features authentic Mediterranean cuisine, and highlights trans-fat free dishes. Meals may be customized with house-made pita, laffa, falafel, shwarma, hummus, and seasoned rice. The grill is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Johnny’s Real New York Pizza now has a second location in The Bluffs shopping center in Newport Beach (949.718.1337, johnnysrealnypizza.com). Along with six signature pizzas, the lengthy menu includes a classic house-made penne Bolognese, spaghetti with meatballs, hearty sandwiches, salads, and hot wings. Select wines, beer and Italian Peroni are available. Doors open daily at 11 a.m. Individual pizza orders, as well as catering orders can be placed by calling or visiting the website.

Veggie Grill opened its third location at the Crossroads shopping center in Irvine (veggiegrill.com). VG offers a full range of soups, salads, “burgers,” hot sandwiches, home-style plates, and desserts made fresh to order, quickly served and does not contain animal fat, dairy, eggs, cholesterol, hormones, trans fats, or high–fructose corn syrup. Open daily at 11 a.m.

On August 8, 5-8 p.m., canines and their companions will gather for the highly celebrated Yappy Hour at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Dana Point Lawn (ritzcarlton.com/lagunayappyhour). Dogs of all shapes and sizes are invited to party and enjoy complimentary house-made dog biscuits and flavored water. Cocktails and appetizers are available for purchase to pooch owners, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Friends of Orange County’s Homeless Pets (FOCHP).

August 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., is a Parrot Head Sunday at Bayside Restaurant (949.721.1222, baysiderestaurant.com). A three-course, free-flowing Champagne brunch is served for $29.95 per person, and Mark Wood & The Parrot Head Band Duet entertain. The regular lunch menu is also available.

The Endless Summer menu at Islands (islandsrestaurants.com) features the new Heat Wave Burger topped with grilled green chiles, Serrano chiles and pepper Jack cheese. Recommendations to cool the palate include a cool I-Shandy made with Islands golden ale, lemonade and mango, or a Blonde Pale Ale. Islands has unveiled a new happy hour menu, available Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. in the bar. A selection of appetizers and drinks are offered for under $5.

After 12 years at University Center in Irvine, Britta’s restaurant has closed.

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