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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Chef Cathy’s new lunch and dinner dessert menus feature classics with a LUCCA twist

In an effort to combat the summer heat, LUCCA Executive Chef/Co-Owner Cathy Pavlos introduces new lunch and dinner dessert menus that offer something to please every sweet tooth. The desserts, created by Chef Pavlos and Pastry Chef Jennifer Geffroy, are all made in-house from scratch, with the exception of sorbets and ice creams, which are made for LUCCA locally in Irvine by Le Bon Gouter.

“These menus really do offer something for everyone – with options like our signature bread pudding and strawberry shortcake, to more exotic Euro pastries and tortes,” commented Pavlos, who co-owns LUCCA with her husband, Elliott. “In response to the many LUCCA regulars who crave a little something sweet with their lunch, I’ve created a number of fun ‘desserts on a stick!’”

New desserts at LUCCA include the following:

Local Strawberry Shortcake
Vanilla pound cake, strawberry-Grand-Marnier mousse, chantilly cream, fresh local strawberries
(lunch and dinner)

LUCCA Ice Cream Sandwiches
Chocolate chip cookies with French vanilla ice cream
Peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate sorbet

LUCCA’s Signature Bread Pudding
Caramelized apples, pears, and golden raisins, pecans, homemade whipped cream, white chocolate and caramel brandy sauce
(lunch and dinner)

Cheesecake on a Stick
Fluffy vanilla cheesecake dipped in dark chocolate and almonds with raspberry sauce

Red Velvet Cake Pops
Rich red velvet cake with white chocolate and fresh berries
Chocolate-Orange Torte
Dark chocolate marble cake, chocolate ganache,
orange creme brulee with orange reduction and dark chocolate sauce

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae
Stonefruit and almond cream tartlet (Peach, Nectarine, Plum or Apricot), handmade French vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge-cinnamon sauce and toasted hazelnuts

Mini Euro Pastries for Two (pictured above)
Chef’s selection of five seasonal mini pastries - changes daily

Seasonal Berry Bowl and Sorbets Trio
Chef’s choice of fresh seasonal berries, with one scoop of dark chocolate sorbet and one scoop of raspberry-chocolate chip sorbet

Reservations strongly encouraged and can be made by calling (949) 725-1773. Free parking available to all guests.

Lucca is definitely more than its name implies – it is an inviting space where casual friendliness quickly meets a few chic big-city elements, including cozy tables on a large banquette, a gas-burning fireplace and sensual curved features. Lucca, which has been referred to as “an urban concept in a suburban center,” has many facets. Having joined the Orange County dining landscape in 2005, Lucca in Irvine has become known for its one-of-a-kind dining, off-site catering and wine bar. The eatery offers sandwiches, salads and pastas on its lunch menu, but come dinnertime the café changes to a European-type bistro that serves small plates, cheese and charcuterie. The whole menu is based on the use of healthy and high quality ingredients, such as certified Angus beef, free-range turkey, hormone-free chicken, wild salmon and locally grown organic produce. The bar features more than 30 wines by the glass, with a choice of 2.5-ounce or 6-ounce pour of wine for $5 to $14.

LUCCA is located in the Quail Hill Village Center in Irvine (6507 Quail Hill Parkway) in Irvine. For more information, make reservations or order Lucca2Go, please call (949) 725-1773 or visit

Monday, July 18, 2011

Royal Hawaiian Announces New Polynesian Inspired Brunch Menu

(Portugese Sausage and Fried Rice)

Royal Hawaiian
331 North Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-8001

I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of brunch. The Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Bech has just announced a new brunch menu. They have done a great job with their taco Tuesday. Hopefully we will see a brunch that is executed just as well.

Laguna Beach's landmark Hawaiian restaurant launches new Polynesian inspired weekend brunch menu

Royal Hawaiian has launched a new weekend brunch menu inspired by traditional Polynesian dishes as well as popular breakfast and lunch entrees. Highlights of the menu include Portuguese Sausage and Eggs with fried rice and green papaya slaw; Coconut French Toast made with sweet bread, Portuguese Sausage and coconut syrup; and a Kalua Pork Scramble with Swiss Cheese, green onions, peppers and breakfast potatoes. In addition guests may also choose from their favorites like the Ala Moana Style Spare Ribs and Royal Hawaiian Burger. Chef James Harris designed the new brunch menu, which he hopes will bring more focus to the food aspect of Royal Hawaiian. Chef Harris has also recently launched a new dinner menu and a 'Tiki Taco Tuesday' that is very popular with the locals. Guests can enjoy the brunch menu, which features dishes priced $5 to $13 on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

General Manager Colleen Oyler adds, "We hope that these new changes will help reintroduce guests to Royal Hawaiian's revamped menu and atmosphere. As we like to say, welcome back to paradise."

(Coconut French Toast)

(Loco Moco)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrate Summer Culinary Offerings at The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Chef Yvon Goetz Introduces Dinner Menu with the Season’s Freshest Ingredients

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar’s Executive Chef/Partner Yvon Goetz introduces a new dinner menu featuring an abundance of fresh, flavorful dishes. This seasonal Chef's menu will be offered in addition to the restaurant’s regular menu from Tuesday, July 5th through Friday, September 30th during dinner. Priced at $39.95 per guest (exclusive of tax & gratuity), Chef Goetz presents the following menu of Contemporary California Regional Cuisine:

YG’s Summer Dinner Menu
Tuesday, July 5th – Friday, September 30th

Choice Of:
The Winery House Salad
Organic Baby Greens, Candied Walnuts, Roquefort Cheese, Red Grapes, Tomatoes, Apples, Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

Soup Du Jour
Chef’s Daily Market Inspiration

Santa Barbara Heirloom Tomatoes
Fresh Burrata Cheese, Micro Arugula, Lemon Mosto Olive Oil, Aged Balsamic

Main Courses
Choice Of:
12oz USDA Prime Cajun Flatiron Steak
Black Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Bordelaise Sauce

Chili-Lime Rubbed Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi
Tropical Fruit Chutney, Ginger Jasmine Rice, Lemon Gewurztraminer Butter

Sonoma Free Range Chicken Risotto
Wild Mushroom, Fresh Soy Beans, Shaved Parmesan, Cabernet Reduction

Choice Of:
Organic Fruit & Almond Cobbler
Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Tahitian Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee
Chocolate Fleur de Sel Cookie

There may be no substitutions or splitting with this menu. To view The Winery’s regular lunch and dinner menus, visit

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar pairs contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, The Winery was named “Restaurant of the Year” by the Orange County Concierge Association in its first two years in business. In addition to wild game and USDA Prime steaks, the menu is peppered with Pacific Rim flavorings, such as fresh line-caught Opah, Mong Chong, Ono & Mahi Mahi flown in daily from Hawaii. Tying the expansive wine list into the menu, award-winning Chef Goetz features additions such as Gewurztraminer vinaigrette and roasted garlic-syrah essence into many of his signature dishes.

The restaurant’s wine list, which currently offers 650 selections, changes weekly, offering diners a wide range of varietals from around the world. Guests can look into and even tour the restaurant’s 800-square-foot, climate-controlled cellar, which can hold up to 7,500 bottles! The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar offers a warm and passionate menu complimented by the perfect wines -- endless possibilities and something to suit every palate.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is located at The District in Tustin (2647 Park Avenue, Tustin, California 92782). For more information, call (714) 258-7600 or visit