TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room has opened in Tustin across the street from Orange County Rescue Mission. The 19,000-square-foot space is the first full-scale production brewery for TAPS, whose microbrews first gained acclaim at TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea. The new facility also houses a tasting room with vintage pinball and video game machines, a patio with a fire pit and the permanently stationed TAPS food truck which serves bulgogi beef masa fries, bánh mì bacon-wrapped hot dogs, and a so-called “hippie burger”. 15501 Red Hill Ave., Tustin, CA 92782
Fanous Mediterranean Grill has taken over the spot of Fresca’s Mexican Grill in Tustin. Hookah is offered on their outdoor patio as well as a menu of kabobs such as koobideh and barg. 1621 Edinger Ave, Ste 102, Tustin, CA 92780
Red Flame, the Garden Grove hot pot joint that specializes in roiling soups and steaks set atop searing lava stones, has opened a second location in Westminster. 15667 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683
First there was Ah-Lien Hot Pot, which closed. Then came Hot Pot Legend, which also closed. Now in the same spot at Sand Canyon Plaza comes Hi House, which specializes in noodle soups and the soup dumplings everyone as xiao long bao. 6638 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618
Dunkin Donuts has opened a new shop across from UCI. It is the first in Orange County of the brand’s so-called NextGen restaurant, where the “Donuts” part is dropped in favor of just “Dunkin” and a new tap system pours eight cold beverages such as coffees, iced teas, cold brew coffee and nitro infused cold brew coffee. 4139 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.