Ah, a sunny day spent at Montage Laguna Beach. Does it get any better than that? Well, yes, when that day includes wine, cocktails, music from the Kalama Brothers and tastes from some of the best chefs in SoCal. Even better, it’s all for the great cause of raising money for hungry kids. One in five children in the U.S. struggles with hunge
“Irasshai!” shouts a hostess as she leads me to my table. The sushi chefs and waiters respond in kind. Most are cheerily enthusiastic, although I can’t help but notice one waiter rushing through the room with an armful of food who mumbles the greeting under his breath in a way that suggests the Japanese-to-English translation i
Sweet SpotChef Alessandro Pirozzi works hard to channel the taste of simple, thin-crust pizza synonymous with his Southern Italian hometown. At Pirozzi’s in Corona del Mar, authentic Naples-style pizza cooks in mere seconds thanks to an imported oven built brick by brick just for the chef. While the pizza menu lists classics w
While the rest of the country revels in fall’s flushes of amber, gold and rust, blue-gray ocean waves lapping tan sand quietly mark our autumn. The exception can be found at Pelican Hill Resort, nestled up against Newport Coast Drive, where its Apple Dandy cocktail, served at the resort’s Social Lounge, channels a true harvest
Ah, the poor potato chip. For years it has been relegated to the category of “junk food.” Our guilty-pleasure side dish, sliced paper thin and sprayed with artificial flavors, potato chips are one of those foods we hate ourselves for eating after a single handful.
Not anymore. Sessions West Coast Deli’s new Huntington B
The best chefs are entertainers. The craft of cooking may be a utilitarian one; but the art of being a chef is based on entertaining. We don’t obsess over food because it feeds us. Potatoes can feed us. The reason we Instagram our favorite dishes is because the chef has succeeded at making food fun.
Julio Hawkins, executive chef at
Serious mixologists may sneer at the thought of a premade cocktail mixer. But when the cold-pressed juice connoisseurs at Nékter Juice Bar created its line of low-calorie mixers longing for a boozy finish, several bar hounds took notice. One skeptical taster was SOL Cocina’s beverage director Colin Pflugradt.
These show stealers fuse heritage-bred swine with surprising ethnic flavors.
Surf and turf The bocadillo de ostras is a fried oyster sandwich with thin slices of house-cured pork served with a vinegary kale slaw. It’s a smorgasbord of unlikely flavors. Ham with shellfish – a true ko
Nostalgia for the whimsical desserts of childhood is the sweet inspiration for a few local chefs. While these dishes might channel your inner child, OC’s fine foodie creations are definitely not kid stuff.Cookie CrazyA take on the childhood classic, the Fluffernutter sundae at A Restaurant in Newport
Sweet HotsWhat could make lounging beside an outdoor fire pit, shielded beneath a shady palapa, more perfect than a sweet margarita that tingles the tongue with a touch of heat? That was exactly Dave Griffith’s thinking one day at the Costa Mesa water hole La Vida Cantina, where he is a partner. “The day was hot an
Any gardener will tell you that growing your own tomatoes is the gateway to more gardening. Why? Nowhere else is the difference in flavor between homegrown and store-bought produce so starkly evident. A good tomato is a revelation; a bad one tastes like ketchup-flavored cardboard. At Vine in San Clemente, long rows of tomatoes grow right b
Fri Jun 26, 2015
By: Jenn Tanaka | Photography by Ralph Palumbo
Summer cocktails have a bad rap for being too sweet or slushy – or kitschy. (We’re talking about you, beer margaritas.) When the Fahrenheit rises what you really want is something refreshing. John Nye, Driftwood Kitchen’s director of operations, knows how to quench your thirst. Enter the Laguna mule. Nye says there&
The ClassicThe cheeseburger at Shock Top Brew Pub satisfies the meat lovers in the stands. The juicy, hand-formed burger, made with top-grade meat, cheddar cheese and a fluffy brioche bun, hits the spot. According to Johnson, “The biggest surprise at Angel Stadium comes early in the night at Shock Top Brew Pub, an indoor/outdo
David Fuñe, head chef at Splashes in Laguna Beach, is serious about his work. His dishes are tightly composed, and he deftly mixes traditional techniques with molecular gastronomy. Each dish that leaves his kitchen is plated with tweezer-level precision.
That doesn’t mean that Chef Fuñe is stuffy, however.
Sometimes a dish’s ingredients just click together seamlessly like the insides of a clock; So it is with Chef Azmin Ghahreman’s Kobe Beef Carpaccio at Sapphire Laguna. Nothing is missing; everything fits. Ghahreman starts with perfectly marbled Snake River beef, which he slices paper-thin. He drapes it on the
Looking to jolt your taste buds with a subtle wave of heat? All you need for a zesty pre-dinner cocktail is a jalapeño and a touch of color from a couple of festive red bell pepper slices. Those ingredients will amp up your Cinco de Mayo cocktail menu. When Mastro’s wine & spirits director Robbi Jo Oliver concocted the Ski
Big BuffetsFor the grand, much-more-than-you-could-ever-eat buffet experience, Motif at the St. Regis is the go-to place on the coast. The multiple food stations that include a variety of breakfast choices, as well as seafood,
The VixenInspired by one hot mama – though admittedly not chef Alan Greeley’s mother – the seasonal lavender kumquat gelato graces the menu of The Golden Truffle in Costa Mesa. Seductive starlet Penélope Cruz was the muse behind Greeley’s newest dessert. It also helped that a client of h
Off the CobSometimes simple is better. When visiting the Irvine Farmers Market, the comforting aroma of kettle corn lures you to an unassuming yellow tent. Inside, corn kernels transform into sweet and salty puffs with the heat of a large barrel kettle. No website or business cards can be found, just unassuming maize. While the kett
The battle is over. California’s controversial foie gras ban has been lifted, and Orange County’s top chefs are racing to get it back on their menus. In the media, the debate was often portrayed as a war between animal rights activists and heavily tattooed, renegade chefs – the bleeding hearts versus the heartless. But th