Food for the Lunar New Year
While most of the world counted down the new year in December, February 8 is the time to celebrate for those from several Asian countries. Festivals, parades and vibrant red attire start the party, but the best part of the Lunar New Year is the eating.
Eat your way into an auspicious new year with a seasonal fruit. It’s the Year of the Monkey, so go ape devouring tangerines, oranges and, for more adventurous citrus eaters: pomelos. The pomelo’s large size (think: supersized grapefruit) and thick greenish-yellow skin might be a bit of a challenge to tackle for newbies. Devouring the fruit’s tart flesh is believed to be especially lucky because the Cantonese word for “pomelo” sounds similar to a phrase that means “continuous prosperity.”
Whole Foods, 415 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.999.8572 :: wholefoodsmarket.com
As symbols of a long life span, platters of long noodles always grace the table during lunar celebrations. Capital Noodle Bar in Costa Mesa specializes in noodle-centric dishes. Choose from noodles made from rice or eggs, thick or thin, served in a soothing soup or sizzling and pan-fried. One options is a comforting bowl of egg noodles swimming in a salty broth garnished with slices of roasted duck breast.
Capital Noodle Bar, 3033 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 657.231.6120 :: capital-seafood.com
The Reel Thing
A whole fish served head-on might seem daunting for most Western diners, but this dish is a staple during the Lunar New Year festivities. Serving the fish with its head and tail intact symbolizes prosperity, a literal example of a beginning and an end. At Provenance in Newport Beach, chef Cathy Pavlos serves a filleted trout garnished with a
smattering of fresh vegetables harvested from her Eastbluff garden. The micro greens and thinly sliced radishes give the fish a refreshingly light crunch that adds texture and color.
Provenance, 2531 Eastbluff Drive, Newport Beach, 949.718.0477