Following the success of her flagship 118 Degrees at The Camp in Costa Mesa (714.754.0718, 118degrees.com), owner/chef Jenny Ross, a prominent leader in the raw food industry, has opened two more living cuisine restaurants. One is the 118 Degrees Community Café, located at the Center Street Promenade in Anaheim (714.772.2695). The other 118 Degrees is open at Ocean Ranch Village in Laguna Niguel. The focus of 118 Degrees is on fresh, whole-food smoothies, quick-serve and Grab and Go options. Meal programs are available at all three locations.
On September 18, 7 p.m., as part of the Newport Beach Library's What’s Cooking at the Library series, Deborah Schneider, executive chef/partner of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach (949.675.9800, solcocina.com) and Scottsdale, Arizona (480.245.6708), presents a cooking demonstration from her fifth and latest cookbook, The Mexican Slow Cooker. Tickets are $20 per person and available online at newportbeachpubliclibrary.org. Reservations are required. Chef Schneider is renowned for her delicious interpretation of authentic Baja cuisine at SOL restaurants. The latest book includes her recipes for chile verde, zesty barbacoa beef, tortilla soup, and other Mexican street food favorites. The book is available everywhere books and e-books are sold, and at SOL Cocina with an autograph.
Executive Chef Adam Navidi of Future Foods Farms (futurefoodsfarms.com, FoodsFarms@gmail.com, 714.315.1642) will host dinners at his aquaponic farm in Brea during September on the 1st, 15th and 29th. The evening includes a welcoming glass of Champagne on arrival, followed by a short tour of the facility and a multi-course dinner served family-style. Reservations are required and the $70, all-inclusive fee without wine, must be pre-paid. There is no corkage fee for guests who bring their own bottle. The unique setting of the farm is also available for private events.
Cathy Pavlos, executive chef/co-owner of Lucca in Irvine (949.725.1773, luccacafe.com) has fashioned her summer menu around seasonal local produce that has been harvested from farms within a few miles of the restaurant. Heirloom tomatoes at their peak are enhanced with burrata cheese, golden beets, baby purple carrots, and lemon basil vinaigrette. Ahi crudo is served with watermelon, mangoes, heirloom tomatoes, and feta cheese. The menu also incorporates sweet corn, asparagus, Tuscan kale, Romano and cranberry beans. Pavlos also uses certified Angus beef, free-range turkey, hormone-free chicken, and wild salmon in her entrees.
To introduce its new 100 wines by the glass, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (949.720.9633, flemingssteakhouse.com) wages “Bottle Wars” every Friday in September, 5:30-7 p.m. ”Wars” include a Pinot Noir Smackdown, Battle of the Hemispheres, Old world versus New world, and a Blind Tasting. The $25 per person tab includes a sampling of eight to 10 wines and appetizers.
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop (949.200.3950, greenleafchopshop.com) hosts Costa Mesa Wine Nights on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Held in the scenic back patio, four different bottles are chosen around a special theme, and changes weekly. Wine reps are on hand to offer tasting tips and pairing suggestions. Small plates are passed, and live music adds to the ambiance. Reservations and an advanced $20 payment are required.
On September 18, Seasons52 at South Coast Plaza (714.437.5252, seasons52.com)
switches to the autumn menu that will stay in place through December 20.
New offerings at lunch include a soft wheat-flaxseed lavosh wrapped around organic turkey, Boursin cheese, arugula, avocado and tomato, plus a new vegetarian tasting with harvest squash, and a pumpkin pie mini-indulgence. At dinner, look for an all-natural grilled quail with truffle mushroom risotto.
Pastry Chef Katie Averill, at one time chef/partner of the former award-winning Mirabeau in Monarch Beach, has opened Eat Street Culinary School, located on the Anaheim Promenade. Classes are geared for those who want to cook “just for fun,” or those on professional levels. Instructors include Averill, as well as visiting chefs who have specific expertise. Hands-on, themed classes are offered to the public. Private classes are offered to a minimum of 12 guests. For details on classes, call 714.563.2334, or visit eatstreetculinary.com.
Peter Serantoni and Don Myers, the creators of Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea (714.255.1040, chachasbrea.com) have added their second venture, Brunos Trattoria, to downtown Brea’s growing list of fine restaurants (714.257.1000, brunosbrea.com). Named after Serantoni’s father and mentor, Brunos presents soul-satisfying fare created through simple and rustic recipes, recreated from family dinners enjoyed in Serantoni’s youthful years in Venice, Italy. A list of worldly wines is modestly priced. The bar menu of crafted cocktails uses premium Italian spirits, liqueurs and fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Zov Karamardian, chef/owner of Zov’s in Tustin (714.838.8855, zovs.com), Newport Coast (949.760.9687) and Irvine (714.734.9687), presents her first fall cooking class, “Comfort Food At Its Best,” on September 22, 11:30 a.m. In her own inimitable style, Karamardian will teach techniques, methods and secrets to creating meals that warm your heart. The menu includes Greek spanakopita, black bean soup, chicken tagine, saffron couscous, and sautéed Swiss chard. Cost, $75 per person. Reservations required.
Three Seventy Common Kitchen+Drink (949.494.8686, 370common.com) welcomes Chefs Seth Greenburg and Meesh Montygierd from The Penthouse at The Huntley in Santa Monica, as part of its Uncommon Mondays guest chef series. The prix fixe dinners range in price from $50 to $75 per person, depending on the menu, plus tax and gratuity. Space is limited and reservations are suggested.
Fans of Paso Robles wines will enjoy tasting the family-crafted wines at Pozzuoli Vineyard & Winery, a new wine tasting shop on Red Hill Avenue in Tustin (714.258.8817, pozzuoliwinery.com). Owners Enrico and Daniela Pozzuoli have created a charming Italian-styled tasting room for samplings of their five varietals and estate-bottled olive oil. Open Wednesday through Saturday, the facility is also open for private events. Check the website for details of hours, wine tasting packages and prices.
Kudos to longtime Orange County residents Dennis and Marianne Casino, who successfully “tweaked” a generations-old family recipe for spaghetti sauce, and managed to develop it into the commercial brand of Kissino All Natural Sauces. After 14 months of test marketing, the gluten-free spaghetti sauce has found its way to the shelves of Mother’s Kitchen, Gelson’s, Whole Foods, and Bristol Farms in Southern California and Northern Nevada.