There is some serious celebrating in this week’s Grub Guide. A birthday, trio of grand openings, and so much savory goodness – that means there’s no time to waste. Have an excellent weekend, party people! We’ll be spending it with a Bloody Mary.
Life Time Athletic’s Autumn Flavors – Laguna Niguel
At our local gyms, we’re just happy to be there. Yet at Laguna’s Life Time, they’ve got a cafe with seasonal tastes that can rival local restaurants. Per Executive Chef Ryan Dodge, “Butternut squash is my favorite Autumn ingredient. Its vibrant orange color, versatility and subtle, unique flavor best exemplifies the flavor of Fall.” Filled with baby arugula, farro, sage, chicken breast and brown rice, consider their special chicken bowl the perfect grab-and-go, post-workout meal. 25600 Rancho Niguel Rd, (949) 238-2700; www.lifetime.life.
Grand Opening Week at Tackle Box – Costa Mesa
Today marks the first day in a series of official grand opening events at Brian Huskey’s second Tackle Box space. Moving inland, the grub shack eats are housed at one end of SoCo, across from ARC. This evening is a half-off burger deal, if you participate in their five tap takeover by Ballast Point. Tomorrow is Friday fiver beer flights. Surfrider Foundation benefits from 20% of proceeds Saturday. All-day Bloody Marys are on special, if you know to order this off-menu treat this Sunday. Gameday Burgers will be half-off and 20% of proceeds go to Boots for Troops on Veterans Day. Tuesday is the biggest treat as Huskey shows his Top Chef talent with a four-course, prix-fixe menu going for $40; make reservations, as this will be limited seating. And finally, Wing Wednesday is a double deal: 50% off all bottles of wine, plus free buffalo wings with a purchase. We love your beach location, chef. But being freeway accessible is even better. 3321 Hyland Ave., Ste. E, (714) 486-3301; www.tackleboxoc.com.
Jimboy’s Tacos Opening Deal – Irvine
Best known for their ground beef tacos housed in a Parmesan-dusted shell (we save our calories for their quesadilla), Jimboy’s further expands into OC by setting up shop in Irvine. Drop by Tuesday the 13th for a free OG Beef Taco with any in-store purchase. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and parking make this our favorite location to hit up. 5643 Alton Pkwy., (949) 596-8477; www.jimboystacos.com.
Cannery Gets Creative – Newport Beach
We heard about The Cannery making a few updates to their menu. What we weren’t expecting was a labor of love, sweet tea-brined fried chicken with drop biscuits. Or an octopus starter featuring crispy potatoes, dukkah spice and merguez sausage. Its flavors tasted even better than it read on paper. Chef Philip’s additional nod to his Filipino heritage (the first being a kamayan on the brunch menu) is what we were most impressed by. Plated very much like a dish we’d have at a family party, with the exception of his choice of protein, the Corvina seafood entree comforted with long beans and kabocha squash. While you can most definitely find scallops, trout and clam chowder, we strongly suggest giving one of their new dishes a go. 3010 Lafayette Rd., (949) 566-0060; www.cannerynewport.com.
Gringo Bandito Rolls Out Limited Edition Recipe
Scotch bonnet peppers and habaneros are the featured heat in Dexter Holland’s 2018 Gringo Bandito Private Reserve recipe, released earlier this week online. You can purchase an individual bottle, or go for the gusto with a Super Duper package, which includes a limited-edition autographed bottle, second bottle, plus branded swag to show off and make others jealous. Top off your favorite eats with a few shakes of this hot stuff, and dive in. www.gringobanditostore.com.
Diamond Jamboree Turns 10! – Irvine
Has it really been a decade since the corner of Alton and Jamboree has been perpetually packed? DJ is throwing a party to celebrate 10 years this Sunday at 1 p.m., complete with food samples, lion dance and discounts throughout the plaza. Utilize the above hashtag in your social media posts for opportunities to win prizes from Diamond Jamboree’s tenants. Bonus: Tokyo Table is starting the festivities a day early with sake barrel breaking, sushi demos and other specials Saturday starting at 1 p.m. www.diamond-jamboree.com.
Harley Opens TONITE! – Laguna Beach
If you made it this far into our guide, we’d like to reward you with a bit of scoop. The new dining room from Chef Greg Daniels is ready TODAY, and you need to go before all the locals find out. We dropped by over the weekend for a glimpse of the space decked out with plenty of decorative details, courtesy of VANROOY Creative. Harley Laguna Beach is dedicated to providing the best possible dining experience, from quality ingredients to thoughtful menus and top-notch service. Book it! 370 Glenneyre, (949) 715-1530; www.harleylagunabeach.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.