With Nancy Wilhelm back at Tabu Grill (949.494.7743, tabugrill.com), a new management team is in place at Starfish (949.715.9200, starfishlaguna.com): Gretchen Andrews, Archie McConnell and culinary partner Chef Marco Romero. The restaurant has retained its popular Asian Coastal Cuisine menu, and loyal diners will find many of their favorites still available. The good news is that prices have decreased, and portions have increased. Starfish is open for dinner nightly, and Monday through Friday for lunch. Opium Hour is every day from 3 to 6 p.m. with specially priced small plates and drinks.
Every Monday, Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach (949.715.8234, broadwaybyamarsantana.com) serves a $39 three-course, prix-fixe menu, in addition to its a la carte selections. Tuesday nights feature a selection of small plates and specially-priced cocktails and wine. On February 27, the restaurant will highlight the wines of Landy at a winemaker dinner.
On February 24, 4 p.m., Kimera Restaurant (949.261.1222) will host its 5th annual Oscar Event to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The “star-studded” event will be recreated by guests walking the red carpet to the lounge for hors d’oeuvres, followed by an elegant buffet dinner served at 6 p.m. The awards show will be viewed on four big screens. The evening includes a tango dance performed by Marcelo Rivero, and prizes awarded to those wearing the most impressive outfits. Tickets are $75 each before February 15, $85 after. VIP booths are available for $100, which includes a bottle of Champagne. Call or send e-mail to email@example.com.
February 24 through March 2 marks the fifth year of Orange County Restaurant Week (ocrestaurantweek.com). It is a great time to visit a restaurant you've wanted to visit for lunch or dinner. One hundred restaurants will offer special menu and prices during this popular culinary event. Visit the website for an updated list of participants.
On February 25, as part of its Wine Education Tastings, Old Vine Café at The CAMP (714.545.1411, oldvinecafe.com) will present “An Introduction To French Wines” taught by Advanced Sommelier Mario Miranda. Classes are held monthly and include tastings of six world-class wines. Classes are $40 each and begin at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited and participants must register in advance.
Chef Deborah Schneider of SOL Cocina (949.675.9800, solcocina.com) has designed a healthy dining option menu to keep health-focused diners on cue. Heavy sauces are replaced with one of the 20 salsas made daily; most items are grilled or braised; sides are nonfat and salad dressings are thickened with avocado and made with fresh fruit juices and almost no added oil.
The Seventh Tea Bar (seventhteabar.com) is officially open at The OC Mix (SoCo) in Costa Mesa. An assortment of the world’s most exotic teas and “nosh” plates are offered, as well as Bantam Tea Service for one to two people or a Grand Tea Service for two to four guests that are paired with an assortment of sandwiches and treats. Iced teas are on tap and ready to pour.
Melissa’s Produce, in collaboration with Orange County Register Food Editor Cathy Thomas, and a team of experts and chefs at Melissa’s Produce, has introduced its third cookbook, Melissa’s 50 Best Plants on the Planet: The Most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Recipes. Alphabetized and focusing on the 50 most nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, the health benefits of each produce item is highlighted and paired with tips on how to buy, store and cook. The cookbook is available exclusively in a hardbound edition from Melissa’s Produce ($35) and can be ordered at 1.800.588.0151 or melissas.com. A softbound edition will be nationally distributed to all major book sellers in April and will retail at $30.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (949.515.3631, coffeebean.com), the oldest and largest specialty coffee and tea retailer in the U.S., has opened at Westcliff Plaza Shopping Center in Newport Beach. The 50-year-old company is known for its coffees that are sourced from the best family coffee farms around the world, and whole leaf teas harvested from the world’s most exclusive tea estates. Latte lovers will swoon over Coffee Bean’s English toffee, Chai and Winter Dream lattes.
Teemu Tavern & Grill will replace French 75 in Laguna Beach, formerly owned by John Martin and Rudy Pollak. Partners in the new venture include Hall of Famer Anaheim Duck Teemu Selanne, businessman Kevin Pratt and longtime restaurant operator Jim Shumate. After a total renovation, the restaurant will capture the essence of an upscale, but comfortably casual, tavern and steakhouse. The opening is tentatively set for April 2013.
Blackmarket Bakery at The CAMP in Costa Mesa, Suite D-100A (blackmarketbakery.com), is serving breakfast goodies beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Check out the made-from-scratch retro breads, rolls, hot-pressed sandwiches, and so many more incredible baked goods. Pastry Chef/Owner Rachel Klemek brings a few of her amazing creations to the Laguna Hills Mall Farmers Market on Fridays and at the Irvine Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Mr. Stox, the 35-year-old, fine dining landmark restaurant in Anaheim will close its doors in March. Owner Ron Marshall stated that he has no plans to relocate.