OC Grub Guide: Cheat Day, Marché, Sunday

Squid ink, anyone? Photo by Anne Marie Panoringan.

Resy Teams Up With TAPS For Off-Menu Shenanigans – Brea and Irvine

We are jumping right in to this week’s guide, because there’s so much to dish! Both OC locations of TAPS Fish House and Brewery are involved with the first annual Resy Off-Menu Week. A chef-driven (as opposed to price-driven) week, many restaurants who utilize the reservations app have week-long, special selections to showcase the creativity of their kitchen leaders. Menus do vary between the TAPS siblings; for example, Irvine’s Squid Ink Linguine with Argentinean shrimp, scallops, calamari, cauliflower and chili oil reminds us of a modern cioppino. Check out the menus online and plan a date. The last day is March 3. www.tapsfishhouse.com.


Mad scientist. Photo by Dylan + Jeni for Marché Moderne.


Cassoulet at Marché Ends Today – Newport Beach

TONIGHT is the final service for Chef Florent Marneau’s infamous cassoulet. If you are a fan of this oh-so-French specialty, here’s what you can expect from his Toulousain version: Duck confit, housemade Toulouse sausage, saucisse pied de cochon, boudin noir (We learned the hard way at Bouchon that this is nothing like boudin blanc.), crispy suckling pig, braised haricot blanc, carrote de nantes, duck skin, parsley and crusty brioche. If this is remotely as succulent as his tail-to-snout meal we attended last year, cancel your dinner plans and head on over. 7862 Pacific Coast Hwy., (714) 434-7900; www.marchemoderne.net.


Winner! Winner! Photo courtesy Sapphire.

Sapphire Anniversary Deals Through Sunday – Laguna Beach

12 is the magic number, as Sapphire Laguna celebrates a dozen years of eclectic and international cuisine. Whether you’re a weekday diner or brunch squad member, Chef Azmin is ready for you. Through Friday, locate and chew on any entree for $12. Yes, any. On both Saturday and Sunday, the unlimited mimosa deal (they clock you at two hours) is the same reduced amount. Grapefruit, mango or orange? Yes, yes, and yes! 1200 S. Coast Hwy., (949) 715-9888; www.sapphirelaguna.com.


Yasssssss. Photo courtesy Cheat Day Land.

We See You, Cheat Day Land! – Irvine Spectrum

It was either Urban Home or some similar large retail box that vacated Spectrum a while back. The last time we dropped by for our 85-Degrees fix, we spotted it on their windows. Verbiage normally reserved for places that take a minimum of 90 minutes to drive to from Orange County. The interactive pop-up museum is making its way here in the not-so-distant future. So power up those backup chargers, get that manicure done and be ready for the current parking situation over where the 405 and 5 freeways meet. We’ll be in the cereal bowl. www.cheatdayland.com.


Meat on carbs on meat. Photo courtesy Orange County Restaurant Week.

Are You Ready For OC Restaurant Week?

We are currently sifting through all the OCRW menus, looking for the good eats. Check back on the blog next week for some of our recommendations. The kick-off party may be sold out, but you’ve still got seven straight days (March 3-9) of deals to choose from. And with 125 restaurants vying for your business, it’ll be a party for your wallet. www.ocrestaurantweek.com.


Our favorite network. Photo courtesy Orange County Bartenders Cabinet.

Calling All Bartenders!

If you or someone you know is an Orange County bartender, then you probably know about OCBC. If not, well here’s your formal introduction. As described by Rebecca Schiffer,

A group of Orange County, California and surrounding area bartenders and industry dedicated to enhancing the drinking culture of Orange County, educating our members about spirits and cocktails (including their history, techniques, etc.) and exposing everyone to new and interesting products.

That being said, now it’s your turn to share. Attend a monthly meeting every second Monday to meet similar-minded individuals and partake in some tastings. Get put on the mailing list by emailing info@bartenderscabinet.com. We attended the February meeting and realized that we very much liked their choice of Cognac Park for the education portion. Check out  www.bartenderscabinet.com for more information. 

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.

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