143 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
Award-winning Chicago chef Rick Bayless will debut a Fashion Island outpost of his popular Los Angeles restaurant that fuses traditional Mexican dishes with a Californian twist. West Coast interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard looked to the historic villas of San Miguel de Allende for inspiration, mixing modern and old-world textures that include leather accents and a live tree in the center of the dining room.
Fig & Olive
401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
The French Riviera comes to Newport Beach with the latest opening of Fig and Olive at Fashion Island. Seasonal ingredients help shape the Mediterranean menu that includes Provencal roasted organic chicken and truffle risotto.
3321 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa
This cozy eatery located at South Coast Plaza offers dishes made with locally sourced ingredients (think meatballs with garlic and whiskey over toast or a hearty chicken casserole) as well as an innovative cocktail menu (we love the Grappa Sour with grappa, citrus and egg white).
957 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
Sustainable and farm-fresh ingredients are at the center of Chef John Ledbetter’s ARC restaurant, offering gourmet dining in a relaxed oceanfront setting. White shrimp ceviche and pork tamales are just two of the many approachable dishes that have made this nutrition-focused restaurant a welcome addition.
131 ½ Main Street, Seal Beach
West Coasters with Southern heart head to Seal Beach’s Beachwood BBQ for a rib fix, but here, there’s also a beer to satisfy all tastes. The down-home cooking hotspot, co-owned by husband-and-wife team Gabriel Gordon and Lena Perelman since 2006, is also a brewpub serving up world-class craft beer and a tough-to-beat IPA selection.
Ways & Means Oyster House
513 East Chapman Avenue, Old Town Orange
Get ready to spend the oyster months (anything with the letter “r” in it) at Ways & Means, a classically inspired oyster and seafood house in historic Old Towne Orange. Here, sustainably caught fare has top billing alongside prime meats and a diverse selection of East and West Coast oyster varietals—best chased with a house cocktail or a selection from the extensive shellfish-friendly wine list.
891 Baker Street, Costa Mesa
This Costa Mesa hole-in-the-wall has the best Japanese BBQ in town and a wakame salad that is to die for. Enjoy high-quality Japanese steaks cooked over a table grill as well.
21500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach
Beachfront destination Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa has opened Watertable, a restaurant helmed by chef Manfred Lassahn. Ingredients from local purveyors make their way onto the menu, which features family-style Sunday suppers. Or sample a “beer-tail” along with one of the restaurant’s signature bar jars—mason jars filled with pâté or pickled vegetables.
690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
Located steps away from Fashion Island, Oak Grill is an open-air dining venue that offers contemporary California fare. The locally sourced menu features a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, flatbreads, pastas and entrees showcasing fresh fish and high-quality meats.