Four Restaurants to Try in the O.C.

A Quartet of Exciting New Restaurants

November 10, 2019 by Editors

1. CdM Restaurant

The Table

While all of the tables are desirable, the sumptuous blue velvet booths provide intimacy and comfort.

The cocktail

Head downstairs to Under CdM to enjoy bar manager Ravin Buzzell's smoky Old-Fashioned. "The presentation usually inspires guests to yell, 'Wait, I need to record this!'" quips Buzzell. "It's a cocktail and a show."

What the Chef Likes

Pressed to choose, corporate executive chef Jonathan Blackford touts the spicy pizza as his go-to, while the crispy whole branzino is most popular among guests.

Why We Like It

The team behind Newport Beach's A Restaurant is responsible for this hot spot, which includes an underground speakeasy and upstairs private dining room. Corona del Mar, cdmrestaurant.com

2. Chaak Kitchen

The Table

The dining room is a charmer, as its retractable roof, designed by local architect Leason Pomeroy, brings the outdoors in. Book the two-top table 12 to place yourself in the heart of the action.

The cocktail

Spice things up with the Tamarindo con Chile—Montelobos mezcal with muddled orange, tamarind paste, Tres Amigos bitters, agave and lime salt.

No. 1 On Menu

The vibrancy of chefowner Gabbi Patrick's cuisine steps into the spotlight with tastes like the banana leaf-steamed tamal colado served with wild mushroom ragout and housemade spicy pork sausage.

Why We Like It

Patrick has long been loved for Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen, and her second venture is as close as you'll get to tasting the Yucatán Peninsula in O.C. Tustin, chaakkitchen.com

3. Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse

The Table

Score a spot at the 12-seat white quartz chef's table, where you'll get an up-close look at how the from-scratch Italian dishes come to life.

The Bottle

Go big with a magnum bottle of Peter Michael vino.

The cocktail

The Davio's Doli is ideal for sweet palates, while the newly added Paloma is a refreshing seasonal option.

No. 1 On Menu

Make the night twice as nice with orders of both the tagliatelle Bolognese highlighted by braised veal, beef, pork and tomato sauce, and the handrolled potato gnocchi with organic mushrooms, basil and white truffle oil.

Why We Like It

Chef-proprietor Steve DiFillippo has poured his heart and soul into his first West Coast outpost of this East Coast icon. Irvine, davios.com

4. Harley Laguna Beach

The Table

Sit at the kitchen counter, advises chef-owner Greg Daniels.

Off-The-Menu-Musts

Vegetarian lovers will delight in the Korean-style fried cauliflower finished with spicy garlic glaze. "We can't always make it, but we love sending it out to a vegetarian table when they least expect it," he says.

The Cocktail

The Strawberry Hill— featuring vodka fat-washed with Terrace Hill extra virgin olive oil and a torched bay leaf to garnish—takes top marks.

What the Chef Likes

Daniels is all about the wild elk tomahawk chop sourced from Texas' Broken Arrow Ranch.

Why We Like It

Daniels is as passionate as can be about his latest concept, named after his grandfather, where the fare is as fab as the surroundings. Laguna Beach, harleylagunabeach.com

Interiors by Betsy Van't Hof of Art by Design and Kevin Forbes at CdM;

sea scallops at Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse;

the lush dining room at Harley;

Chaak Kitchen's puffy tortillas with braised turkey, blackened chile and salpicon.













A Quartet of Exciting New Restaurants

November 10, 2019 by Editors

1. CdM Restaurant

The Table

While all of the tables are desirable, the sumptuous blue velvet booths provide intimacy and comfort.

The cocktail

Head downstairs to Under CdM to enjoy bar manager Ravin Buzzell's smoky Old-Fashioned. "The presentation usually inspires guests to yell, 'Wait, I need to record this!'" quips Buzzell. "It's a cocktail and a show."

What the Chef Likes

Pressed to choose, corporate executive chef Jonathan Blackford touts the spicy pizza as his go-to, while the crispy whole branzino is most popular among guests.

Why We Like It

The team behind Newport Beach's A Restaurant is responsible for this hot spot, which includes an underground speakeasy and upstairs private dining room. Corona del Mar, cdmrestaurant.com

2. Chaak Kitchen

The Table

The dining room is a charmer, as its retractable roof, designed by local architect Leason Pomeroy, brings the outdoors in. Book the two-top table 12 to place yourself in the heart of the action.

The cocktail

Spice things up with the Tamarindo con Chile—Montelobos mezcal with muddled orange, tamarind paste, Tres Amigos bitters, agave and lime salt.

No. 1 On Menu

The vibrancy of chefowner Gabbi Patrick's cuisine steps into the spotlight with tastes like the banana leaf-steamed tamal colado served with wild mushroom ragout and housemade spicy pork sausage.

Why We Like It

Patrick has long been loved for Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen, and her second venture is as close as you'll get to tasting the Yucatán Peninsula in O.C. Tustin, chaakkitchen.com

3. Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse

The Table

Score a spot at the 12-seat white quartz chef's table, where you'll get an up-close look at how the from-scratch Italian dishes come to life.

The Bottle

Go big with a magnum bottle of Peter Michael vino.

The cocktail

The Davio's Doli is ideal for sweet palates, while the newly added Paloma is a refreshing seasonal option.

No. 1 On Menu

Make the night twice as nice with orders of both the tagliatelle Bolognese highlighted by braised veal, beef, pork and tomato sauce, and the handrolled potato gnocchi with organic mushrooms, basil and white truffle oil.

Why We Like It

Chef-proprietor Steve DiFillippo has poured his heart and soul into his first West Coast outpost of this East Coast icon. Irvine, davios.com

4. Harley Laguna Beach

The Table

Sit at the kitchen counter, advises chef-owner Greg Daniels.

Off-The-Menu-Musts

Vegetarian lovers will delight in the Korean-style fried cauliflower finished with spicy garlic glaze. "We can't always make it, but we love sending it out to a vegetarian table when they least expect it," he says.

The Cocktail

The Strawberry Hill— featuring vodka fat-washed with Terrace Hill extra virgin olive oil and a torched bay leaf to garnish—takes top marks.

What the Chef Likes

Daniels is all about the wild elk tomahawk chop sourced from Texas' Broken Arrow Ranch.

Why We Like It

Daniels is as passionate as can be about his latest concept, named after his grandfather, where the fare is as fab as the surroundings. Laguna Beach, harleylagunabeach.com

Interiors by Betsy Van't Hof of Art by Design and Kevin Forbes at CdM;

sea scallops at Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse;

the lush dining room at Harley;

Chaak Kitchen's puffy tortillas with braised turkey, blackened chile and salpicon.





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