Our collection of shareable bites this week is pretty darn tasty. We’ve got something for every spending habit, so embrace that holiday weekend and make those decisions.
OCAPICA Tastemakers is Baaaaaaack! – Costa Mesa
The Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) made a major upgrade to its now annual event. Behold their new home at Julianne and George Argyros Plaza! This event sells out, so to name every single chef attending almost isn’t necessary.
Instead, we’re giving shout outs to the ones we’ve personally interviewed for On the Line: Allan Tea (Hello Kitty Cafe), Bill Bracken (Bracken’s Kitchen), Brian Huskey (Tackle Box— Diggin’ the new location at SoCo!), Dean Kim (OC Baking Company), Greg Daniels (Repping himself, because he CAN!), Greg Stillman (Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge), Henry Pineda (Modern Filipino Kitchen— Congrats on your recent wedding!), Ivan Calderon (Taco Mesa/Taco Rosa), Leonard Chan (Shuck Oyster Bar—Smooches!), Max Schlutz (Sessions West Coast Deli), Rainer Schwarz (Hendrix), Shachi Mehra (Adya— Congrats on your newlywed status as well!), Akashi Abe/Ted Lee (Bluefin), and Tarit Tanjasiri (Crema Artisan Bakers). The event is September 5, and tickets can be found right here.
Irvine Spectrum expansion: BLK dot Coffee, Falasophy & 85-Degrees
There are a number of reasons to visit the recent expansion at Spectrum. For example, the fourth location of local fave BLK dot Coffee. We are just as likely to chow on their Avocado Boat as we are debating between LVTM and Thai Iced Tea. www.blkdotcoffee.com. As far as Falasophy goes, we’re always down for Plato’s Salad Bowl and all the new menu items coming from Rashad’s kitchen at their new spot next door to BLK dot Coffee. Mark your calendar for September 8, since the first 100 diners in line at 11 a.m. will earn a free falafel pita sandwich! www.falasophy.com.
If that’s not enough reason to head down to Irvine Spectrum, we’ve got one last morsel to share. How does 10-cent Sea Salt Coffee from 85-Degrees this Friday morning sound? You’ll have an extra arm for pastries, since with any additional purchase you’ll also receive one of their massive tote bags for free! Spend at least $20 (treats for the office?), and they’ll throw in a fancy California mug. Everything is while supplies last, and the coffee deal is Friday only, starting at 9 a.m.; the tote and mug deals are Friday through Sunday. www.85cbakerycafe.com.
Hatch Chile Season Ends Soon!
This is your friendly reminder that our favorite season is winding down. We’ve got a link to our previous roasting schedule right here. In addition to a date change for Smart & Final in Orange, we added Northgate Santa Ana and Ralphs Huntington Beach. Thanks again to our contacts at Melissa’s Produce and Frieda’s Specialty Produce for the updates. Oh, and we tried the Hatch pizza over at Lazy Acres in Long Beach (also available at Bristol Farms through September), and it was damn good!
Ritz-Carlton Pacific Northwest Seafood Celebration – Laguna Niguel
A family-style, eight-course dinner with an oceanic theme is a Friday night feast for those who enjoy the great outdoors. Cedar plank salmon, mussels, clams and oysters on the half shell are yours for the taking. Also on the menu: lamb chorizo, bruleed figs and Pudwill Farm Blueberry Crumble– all prepared outdoors for an interactive experience. Did we mention the unlimited wine and cocktail service? Bring your appetite September 7 starting at 6 p.m., and get your questions answered here. One Ritz-Carlton Dr., (949) 240-2000; www.ritzcarlton.com.
AVEO Delights with Desserts – Dana Point
Diners may be fans of Bourbon Steak, but Monarch Beach Resort’s secret weapon is downstairs. Stop by AVEO Table + Bar for fanciful cocktails, plentiful surf and turf options from Executive Chef Collin Thornton and Chef de Cuisine Donald Lockhart, and one intense pastry program from Executive Pastry Chef Jamon Harper. What you see above is their Aroma S’mores Experience. Prepare to smell the campfire and savor a fanciful twist on this childhood favorite, with elements that include chili hot cocoa and raspberry moon pie. There is so much more we can say about dessert, but you honestly need to experience it for yourself; it won’t disappoint. 1 Monarch Beach Resort N, (949) 234-3200; www.monarchbeachresort.com/aveo.
Thank you, Macallans! – Brea
Sending a quick shout out to the team over at Macallans in Downtown Brea. We had the pleasure of joining two other distinguished judges for an event featuring Breckenridge Distillery. Bartenders from Orange and Los Angeles counties poured creative cocktails revolving around bourbon and a couple of secret ingredients (strawberry rhubarb jam, anyone?). When the shakers settled, the top scoring competitors were Aaron Alvarado from House of Blues Foundation Room in Anaheim and Holly Tripp from Tribune in Fullerton. Congrats to the winners. Oh, and we’re coming back to order those Bourbon Baby Back Ribs! 330 W. Birch St., (714) 529-1224; www.macallanspubbrea.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.