I have been eagerly awaiting the restaurant Twenty Eight since I read that chef Shirley Chung, a finalist on "Top Chef," planned to open a restaurant in Irvine.
Bangkok Avenue recently opened in Huntington Beach and is being billed as a modern Thai restaurant.
I used to frequent a deli in a tiny strip mall across the freeway from the Irvine Spectrum Center and noticed that the place next door was always crowded. I was on my lunch hour and never had the time to wait.
Westminster has the second-largest population of Vietnamese people in the world and many wonderful restaurants as well, but we are lucky that several very good Vietnamese eateries can be found closer to home.
Openings of fine-dining establishments are few and far between in this economy. The majority of new eateries are large chain restaurants, and so I am always delighted to find a small neighborhood spot that has first-rate food and good service.
The South Coast Collection, or SoCo, center has become a real haven for foodies. In addition to Surfas, the large cooking supply store, it is home to Taco Maria, Arc, Pueblo, The Cellar Cheese Shop, The Portola Coffee Lab, Shuck Oyster Bar, Birdie Bowl and Juicery Bar, Susie Cakes, The Iron Press, Green Leaf Chop Shop, We Olive and Wine Bar and LCA Wine.
Orange County has very few Cajun/Creole restaurants, so I was delighted to discover the recent arrival in Huntington Beach of Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking, which also has a location in Santa Ana.
The Five Crowns is one of the grand old dames of fine dining in Orange County, having opened in 1965 as part of the Lawry's chain. But it has an even more colorful history.
The seventh Orange County Restaurant Week, featuring special offers from more than 100 eateries, will take place Sunday to March 7.
I've been feeling lucky these days in that I have found a number of small new restaurants that serve excellent food.