April 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Wild & Crazy Taco Night, meet a few of your favorite chefs, 26 in all, and munch on their unique and fantastic tacos. Beers, margaritas and water will be on hand. The event, held at the Share Our Selves (SOS) facility in Costa Mesa, will have a VIP reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. General admission, $70 per person, $150 per person for VIP tickets. Advance sales only. To purchase tickets, contact SOS at 949.270.2134 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds benefit the SOS Orange Aid Project.
On April 19, 7 p.m., Mushrooms, Mushrooms, Mushrooms, those low-calorie, fat-free and cholesterol-free delights will be the focus of April’s Chef’s Table Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Four varieties of wild mushrooms will be expertly prepared in four different courses by the RC culinary team. Limited to 14 guests, the tasting menu is exquisitely presented in the private dining room. The $169-per-person fee is all-inclusive of tax and gratuity, and wine pairing. For reservations, call 949.240.2000.
On April 29, 2-5 p.m., The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar will host its annual Sunday in the Vineyard fundraiser to benefit the Marconi Foundation for Kids. The wine tasting features more than 80 wines, many considered to be unique and rare from boutique wineries spanning the globe. The event also includes a live cooking station with Executive Chef Yvon Goetz of The Winery Restaurant, and live and silent auctions. Tickets are $150 and must be purchased in advance by calling the Marconi Foundation for Kids at 714.258.3001 or visiting marconimuseum.org.
Z’Tejas at South Coast Plaza (714.979.7469, ztejas.com) has revamped its weekend brunch menu, and has added a “weekend fun bar” where guests can build their own bloody Marys, bloody Marias, mimosas, and screwdrivers every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Executive Chef Danny Stevens has also introduced new food items, such as a chorizo pork scramble skillet, a shrimp omelet topped with spicy tomato Andouille sauce and Barbacoa beef breakfast enchiladas.
Tradition by Pascal may have closed, but the most popular dishes will live on at The Tradition Room, a “pop-up” eatery within Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island (949.640.2700, brasseriepascal.com) that Chef Pascal Olhats plans to open later in April. Located in the Brasserie bar lounge, the new room will seat only 25 guests, and will offer a prix fixe menu with three to five courses priced at $45, $55 and $65. The Tradition Room will only be open Tuesday through Thursday starting at 5 p.m.
True Food Kitchen at Fashion Island (949.644.2400 or truefoodkitchen.com) is appeasing gluten-intolerant guests with a tasty, new gluten-free menu that is available for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Breakfast offerings include carrot muffins, goji berry granola, whole grain hot cereal with steel-cut oats, and a quinoa Johnny cake. Also new is a Kale-Aid drink made with apple, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger; roasted eggplant pizza; cheese ravioli with roasted squash; fish or steak tacos; and the list goes on.
Bear Flag Fish Company (949.715.8899) has opened at the scenic Crystal Cove Promenade. The healthy and high-quality seafood menu features a sashimi plate, New England clam chowder, oysters and clams on the half shell, a variety of grilled fish plates, and grilled fish tacos. Along with a retail fresh seafood market, catering services are offered, as well as food to-go.
If you have enjoyed fine wines, cheese or a beer at the Wine Lab in Newport Beach (949.515.8466, winelabnewport.com), repeat the same experience at the new Wine Lab that recently opened at The CAMP, Ste. A101B, in Costa Mesa (714.905.9521, winelabcamp.com).
Jeff Reuter, proprietor of 333 Bayside (949.673.8464, 3thirty3nb.com), is the new owner of the former Josh Slocum’s on West Coast Highway, Newport Beach. The building is currently being renovated for Reuter’s new restaurant, The Dive Bar, a casual eatery scheduled to open early this summer. The menu will focus on burgers, ribs and popular beach fare.
On April 14, 10 a.m., The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano (949.443.4223, theecologycenter.org) celebrates Earth Day April at the Center. La Sirena (949.499.2301, lasirenagrill.com) will serve an organic Earth Day Plate and homegrown music will be provided by Moonsville Collective. Heirloom veggie seedlings will be available and there will be a scavenger hunt and an Eco-Lab exploration. The event is free.
Bayside Restaurant (949.721.1222, baysiderestaurant.com) is currently showcasing the Action Sailing Art of Newport Beach artist Ron Barczak. In his series of Sports Action Art, Barczak is noted for his ability to use vivid colors and strong lines to capture power, force and excitement in his paintings. His work will be on display through June.
See's Candies (sees.com) is offering a variety of new and limited-edition chocolates and seasonal sweets designed specifically for this spring holiday. Easter items include a new Bordeaux egg, a limited-edition Easter assortment bunny family and new orange cream lollypops.