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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cocoa Lounge returns to the Island Hotel in Newport Beach

Chocolate lovers, spa-goers and foodies will all have something to indulge in this February at Island Hotel Newport Beach, the acclaimed AAA Five Diamond luxury hotel in Newport Beach.

Cocoa Lounge at island hotel

February 4 through February 26: Tuesday to Saturday, 6:00 to 10:00 pm

What: Back by popular demand, Palm Terrace’s Cocoa Lounge Dessert Buffet will be serving up chocolate decadence.

Why: Executive Pastry Chef Michael Owens will offer scrumptious creations that include Banana Chocolate Mousse Cake, White Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake, Triple Chocolate Cupcakes, Double Chocolate Fudge S’mores, Manjari Obsession in Chocolate Cups, plus lollipops, peanut caramels, port chocolates and coconut almond bars, and much more – served among displays of chocolate statues and chocolate velour.

Price: $18 per person, tax and gratuities not included.

Insider Tip: Order a two- or more-course dinner at Palm Terrace Restaurant in February, Tuesday through Saturday, and receive complimentary entrance into the heavenly Cocoa Lounge.

ISLAND Spa and Chocolate Indulgence

When: Available February 4 through February 26

What: Experience a luxurious 60-minute spa treatment at the award-winning Spa at Island Hotel, followed by a decadent sweet finale at Palm Terrace Restaurant’s Cocoa Lounge. Choice of: Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Pregnancy Massage, Deep Cleansing Facial, Gentlemen’s Fact Therapy, Aromatherapy Facial, Honey Hibiscus Hydrating Facial, OC Facial Drench, or Organic Carrot Vitamin Facial.

Price: $130.00, including the Cocoa Lounge Dessert Buffet (tax and gratuities not included). To book an appointment or arrange to give as a Valentine’s Day gift, please call (949-759-0808).

Insider Tip: These 60-minute spa treatments are normally $140, so this is a sweet deal.

Valentine’s Day Dining at Palm Terrace Restaurant

When: Monday, February 14 – 6:00 to 10:00 pm

What: Executive Chef Bill Bracken’s four-course Valentine’s Day menu is deliciously designed for Her & Him.


For Her: Chilled Seafood Terrine with Tarragon and Tender Greens

For Him: Terrine of Foie Gras with Pineapple Chutney and Toasted Brioche

* * *

For Both: White Asparagus Veloute with Roasted Pheasant and Mushroom Ravioli

* * *

For Her: Pan Roasted John Dory
with Braised Artichokes, Roasted Beets and Blood Orange Butter Sauce

For Him: Roasted Petit New York Steak
with Weiser Farms Potato Gratin and Savory Mushrooms

* * *

For Both: Cocoa Lounge, Pastry Chef Michael Owen’s dazzling chocolate buffet

Price: $95 per person (plus tax and gratuity), includes a complimentary glass of Champagne with the Cocoa Lounge dessert course. Live entertainment. To make a reservation, please call 866-554-4619.

Insider Tip:
Start the romance early on Valentine’s Eve, Sunday, February 13, from 5:30 to 9:00 pm, with a three-course “Her & Him” dinner for $65.00 per person (including the Cocoa Lounge Dessert Buffet), plus tax and gratuity.

WHERE: Island Hotel Newport Beach
690 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Toll Free: 866-554-4620
Phone: 949-759-0808

Super Bowl Sunday at Prego Ristorante

Prego Ristorante is offering those who crave quality dining and impeccable service to join them this year as they show the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 6 on six flatscreen televisions in the restaurant’s extensive bar/lounge.

This year, Prego is offering prizes every quarter of the game, including a grand prize $200 gift certificate to the restaurant. Guests will be able to take advantage of drink specials, including $4 beers and $5 specialty cocktails, and food specials, including $6 meatball sandwiches, calamaretti e rucola, Prego pizzetta, and, of course, wings!

Reservations can be made by calling 949.553.1333. To view all menus online, visit: 18420 Von Karman Ave in Irvine.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Presenting OC Restaurant Week’s 100 Restaurants

The Orange County Restaurant Association has released the list of 100 restaurants that will be participating in its now annual Orange County Restaurant Week, February 27 through March 5. This year’s culinary event includes a wide variety of options, from upscale and fine dining, to casual and family friendly establishments. Following is a list of participants spanning the county

118 Degrees
230 Forest
320 Main
6ix Park Grill (Hyatt Irvine)
Anaheim White House
Andrei's Concious Cuisine
Antonello Ristorante
Auld Dubliner
Belacan Grill
Bluewater Grill
Brasserie Pascal
Canyon Restaurant
Capital Grille
Catal Restaurant
Cedar Creek
Cha Cha's Tacos & Tequila
Crystal Jade
Don The Beachcomber
Fire & Ice
French 75
GG’s Café Bistro
Giesha House
Harborside Restaurant
House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer
JT Schmid's Restaurant & Brewery
K'ya Bistro / The Rooftop Lounge
K'ya Street Fare
Lulu's Café
Matador Cantina
Medieval Times
Melting Pot
Memphis at the Santora
Memphis Café
Mr. Stox
Nello Cucina
Newport Landing
Nirvana Grille
No Ka Oi
O'Neill's Bar and Grill
Orange Hill Restaurant
Original Mike's
Pablo's Cantina
Palm Terrace Restaurant (The Island Hotel)
Phans 55 Irvine / Fullerton
Pinot Provence
Pirates Dinner Adventure
Pizzeria Ortica
Prego Ristorante
Primecut Café
Quattro Café
RA Sushi
RAYA (The Ritz Carlton)
Rib Company
Royal Hawaiian
Royal Khyber
Rusty Pelican
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse - Irvine / Anaheim
Sage Restaurant
Salt Creek Grill
Sandy's Beach Grill
Savannah Chophouse
Shades Restaurant (Hilton Huntington Beach)
Signature Kitchen
Simply Fondue
SOL Cocina
Sorrento Grille
South Coast Winery
Sparks Woodfire Grill
Splashes (Surf and Sand Resort)
Summit House
Sundried Tomato
TAPS Fish House & Brewery
The Beach House
The Californian (The Hyatt Huntington Beach)
The Catch
The Crow Bar
The Derby
The Next Door
The Ritz Restaurant & Garden
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Tortilla Jo's
Tradition by Pascal
Wildfish Seafood Grill
Zov's Bistro / Zov's Cafe

Friday, January 7, 2011

Taco Asylum to open in The Camp in Costa Mesa on Thursday 1/13/11

Taco Asylum
2937 S. Bristol St, B102,
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

The moment that so many of us foodies have been waiting for has finally arrived. Taco Asylum, the brainchild of the trio that opened Haven Gastropub in Orange, will be opening at The CAMP in Costa Mesa on 1/13/11. Taco Asylum will feature gourmet tacos for around $5 each. A sampler of 8 mini tacos will also be available for $18. Here is their menu:

Specializing in non-traditional gourmet tacos, taco asylum pulls from a wide array of global cuisines, showcasing interesting ingredients ranging from Mediterranean-style grilled octopus to East Indian-style curried paneer. Le Cordon Bleu trained Executive Chef Greg Daniels has carefully thought out and uniquely constructed 10 taco offerings, each with a distinct flavor profile, ingredients, and accompaniments. Our own unique tortillas, marinades and sauces will be made in-house and from-scratch, using only the freshest ingredients, sustainable meats and seafood, and products from local farms and vendors wherever possible.

o grilled octopus – flour tortilla, kalamata olives, oregano, feta, tomatoes $5

o pork belly – flour tortilla, carrots, daikon, onions, cilantro $5

o short rib – flour tortilla, pickled red onion, salsa verde, cotija cheese, cilantro $5

o curried paneer – naan tortilla, raita, tomato chutney $5

o wild mushroom – herbed tortilla, mushrooms, garbanzo puree, parsley salad, fried chickpeas $5

o lamb – flour tortilla, olive tapenade, ratatouille, mâché $6

o duck – flour tortilla, camembert, dijon crème fraîche $6

o corazon – flour tortilla, pickled turnips and peppers, harissa $5

o ghost chili pork – flour tortilla, chili threads, pork cracklins $5

o flight of first eight above $18

To elevate and complement the overall dining experience, Beverage Director Wil Dee has put together a unique beer selection comprised of only craft beer, with six varieties on tap and 18 canned beers – all priced at $6. Guests may also enjoy a unique selection of all-natural bottled sodas, many of which are handcrafted in small batches – all priced at $4.

The 50-seat restaurant has an industrial feel with unfinished concrete flooring, exposed ducting, hanging industrial wire-caged miner lights, reclaimed wood walls with rusted copper accents. Unfinished reclaimed wood tables feature metal shop stools. Soft banquet seating and barstools are offset with galvanized plumbing pipe supports.

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., taco asylum is located at The CAMP (2937 S. Bristol St, B102, Costa Mesa, CA 92626), between Native Foods and SEED People’s Market. All food and non-alcoholic items will be available for secure online ordering through our website, and conveniently designed for carryout. taco asylum will offer its entire food menu for carryout.