9 Top Orange County Restaurants to Try Now

Hendrix

Hendrix features popular cuts of fish, steak and chops as well as rotisserie items and flavorful accompaniments.

Are you looking for the best dining in Orange County? From hot new spots to delicious spring menus, upscale and casual, here are nine top Orange County restaurants to check out now.

Edited by Laura Okey

Hendrix
Eat, drink and hang at Orange County’s newest restaurant to hit the dining scene—Hendrix. Coming from the team behind Driftwood Kitchen and The Deck on Laguna, Hendrix offers cuisine that reflects a melting pot of traditional American cooking techniques. Executive chef Rainer Schwarz has created a menu with popular cuts of fish, steak and chops as well as rotisserie items with flavorful accompaniments and appetizers utilizing the season and its finest ingredients. Menu highlights include spit-roasted porcetta and Colorado rack of lamb, fried catfish, Double R Ranch bone-in ribeye, Scottish cedar-planked salmon and rotisserie chicken with fontina flatbread. Begin your dining experience with made-to-order zucchini cornbread with honey compound butter with sea salt, and end with Austrian apple strudel, inspired by chef Schwarz’s youth. Su-Th 4:30-11 p.m. F-Sa 4:30 p.m.-midnight. Lunch and brunch coming soon. Ocean Ranch Village, 32431 Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, 949.248.1912. hendrixoc.com

 

Nobu
Experience sushi as you never have before at the acclaimed Japanese restaurant Nobu. Founded by Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro, the brand new Newport Beach location showcases a beautiful waterfront view at Lido Marina Village. Signature items include miso black cod and yellowtail jalapeno, world-renowned sushi and a rotating menu of craft cocktails. The two-story space includes an impressive special event space, elegant bar and lounge and outdoor covered patio seating. Bar Lounge open M-Su 4 p.m.-midnight; Su-Th 6-10 p.m.; F-Sa 6-11 p.m.  3450 Via Oporto, Suite 101, Newport Beach, 949.429.4440. noburestaurants.com

 

Beachcomber-Seared-Crusted-Yello-Tuna

The Beachcomber’s new spring menu features seared crusted yellow tuna.

The Beachcomber
The Beachcomber, known for it’s literal beachfront location, adds eight new mouthwatering dishes to its menu for spring. Inspired by seasonal ingredients, menu highlights include pulled pork Benedict with citrus braised pork shoulder, two organic eggs, a housemade buttermilk biscuit, roasted poblano peppers, caramelized onions and green poblano hollandaise sauce; and seared crusted yellow tuna with wasabi potato puree, purple asparagus, forest mushroom wine sauce and watercress. 15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, 949.376.6900. thebeachcombercafe.com

 

Habana
Indulge on a Cuban-inspired brunch menu at Habana. Choose from unique items like plantain pancakes served with crispy jamon and fruit; and breakfast empanadas stuffed with egg yolk, Spanish chorizo, potato, onion and bell peppers, served with tomatillo sauce and a side of fresh fruit. The brunch menu boasts of unique spices and sauces on every plate to complement traditional Cuban proteins such as roasted pork and more. See full menu online. Su 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Habana, 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.556.0176. habanacostamesa.com

 

MESA squash blossoms

Mesa’s new spring menu features tempura-fried squash blossoms.

Mesa
Mesa’s seasonal menu features an innovative use of fresh ingredients and clever flavor combinations. Chef Niki Starr is plating up dishes such as Jidori chicken with corn puree, bacon-braised collard greens, house guava barbecue sauce and crumbled corn nuts, scallops over asparagus risotto, tempura-fried squash blossoms, creative salads that feature ingredients like strawberries and beets, and more. Not to mention, the fun and refreshing lineup of Spring-themed cocktails from the bar. Among the additions, our favorites are the Yushu Sour made with Iwai whiskey, chai, grapefruit, campari, egg whites and Boston Bittahs; and the 22 in Manhattan made with Ketel One vodka, lychee, Asian pear rose water, Granier Mon Pastis and lemon. 725 Baker St., Costa Mesa, 714.557.6700. mesacostamesa.com

 

Mac And Cheese Balls at Eureka

Among the new menu items at Eureka! are the mac and cheese balls.

Eureka!
Eureka, A popular destination for extravagant burgers, craft beer and ultra-premium whiskeys, has expanded its menu to include a few new mouthwatering items. Making its debut among the appetizers is shrimp ceviche with avocado, watermelon radish, lime and cilantro; and crunchy mac n’ cheese balls made with a housemade beer cheese sauce and Fresno chiles. Introducing additional lighter options, enjoy the high-protein chopped salad with romaine, kale, quinoa medley, roasted beet, red onion, carrot, bean trio, feta and sunflower seeds, tossed in red wine vinaigrette. Other menu highlights include the vegan falafel tacos served on top of lettuce cups, topped with avocado, beets, kale, pickles, watermelon radish and tahini; the butcher’s flat iron dip topped with caramelized onions, pickled Fresno chiles, horseradish mustard aioli, Havarti, and side of au jus; and the turkey chipotle burger with charred tomato salsa, avocado, feta and arugula. And of course, don’t forget dessert—the bourbon barrel cake features candied pecans, caramel and vanilla bean ice cream. See website for all locations. 7631 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, 714.230.3955. eurekarestaurantgroup.com

 

Potato-Leek-Soup,-Parsley-Oil Five Crowns

Potato leek soup with parsley oil at Five Crowns

Five Crowns
Five Crowns, a charming replica of one of England’s oldest country inns and a Corona del Mar landmark, offers the perfect dining setting for spring in its outdoor sunlit English garden. In celebration of spring, find seasonal menu items like grilled octopus with favas, scallion and lemon vinaigrette; potato leek soup with parsley oil; and spring mushroom and artichoke risotto with pea tendrils and parmigiano. 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, 949.760.0331. lawrysonline.com

 

Studio
Inspired by the enduring creative spirit of the artists who settled in Laguna Beach nearly a century ago, Studio at Montage Laguna Beach views food as a serious art form. Executive chef Craig Strong highlights his modern French cuisine with California influences on an ever-changing tasting menu featuring daily-caught seafood; farm-raised meats and game; and always fresh, artisanal ingredients. This time, Studio presents a new vegetarian tasting menu featuring fresh ingredients from the restaurant’s 1,000-square-foot raised bed garden. Try items like the crimson beet tartare featuring chopped roasted red beets to create the tartare, and topped with a golden beet “yolk.” It’s then dressed with a ring of horseradish crème fraiche and garnished with micro herbs and edible viola flowers; and the celerini alfredo features fettuccini ribbons created with celery root and served in celery cream sauce, then topped with brown butter crumble and garnished with black truffles, snowflake celery, and borage flowers. See website for full menu. Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 South Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montagehotels.com

 

HaiDiLao Fusion Shabu
Head to Brea Mall and experience brand new restaurant HaiDiLao Fusion Shabu. The restaurant offers an interactive cook-it-yourself style dining. Choose from a selection of high quality meats, succulent seafood and locally sourced veggies in a variety of broths, uniquely seasoned to perfection. Pair each bite with select sauces such as citrus-based ponzu or roasted sesame sauce. 1065 Brea Mall, 1031A, Brea, 714.784.6868. haidilao.us

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