Not every meal needs to be an occasion. Sometimes small bites and a stiff cocktail will do the trick, perhaps between work and an evening performance, or after a day of power shopping. Consider any of these happy hours fit for a mini feast:
A Restaurant For “social hour” from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, g
Bar BuddiesWatertable’s slow-roasted California almonds glisten with an olive oil sheen. Each savory bite is flaked with sea salt and dotted with green rosemary shards. The addicting crunch pairs well with a crisp cider or a pilsner on draft. Watertable’s bar jars – sharable small bites like those rosemary-salted a
The dining scene in Hong Kong – like the city itself – is the ultimate expression of East meets West. Driven by homegrown chefs and European-trained expats alike, restaurants here combine a potent mix of old and new, of roasted goose and barbecue pork, dry-aged steak and crab fried rice. The epicenter of all this deliciousness is the
Holsteins Shakes & Buns elevates the common mini burger into tournedos Rossini sliders with a bit of savoir faire. Would you expect anything less from South Coast Plaza’s most recent epicurean addition?
“This is a play on the classic French tournedos Rossini dish – beef tenderloin with foie gras and Perigourdine [tr
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
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
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
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
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
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