Food & Drink

The 19 Best New Restaurants in Orange County

Published On 06/22/2015 Published On 06/22/2015
Courtesy of The North Left
Courtesy of ADYA
Courtesy of Afters Ice Cream
Courtesy of 100eats
Photo Courtesy of Din Tai Fung
Anne Marie Panoringan/Thrillist
Courtesy of Driftwood Kitchen
Anne Marie Panoringan/Thrillist
Courtesy of Mendocino Farms
Courtesy of Oak Grill
Anne Marie Panoringan/Thrillist
Anne Marie Panoringan/Thrillist
Anne Marie Panoringan/Thrillist
Courtesy of TWENTY EIGHT
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1. ADYA 440 S Anaheim Blvd #201, Anaheim, CA 92805

This modern Indian restaurant pairs inventive options like "Indian Sloppy Joes" with craft beer and wine. Be sure to order the thali, or a plate with tons of sides, if you subscribe to the belief that variety is the spice of life.

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2. The Blind Rabbit 440 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805

Enter through the sake barrels and exit through the bookcase, but stop in between for a craft cocktail and inventive eats at this speakeasyish barstaurant. Be sure to try the mini corndogs and duck confit mac and cheese.

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3. Bosscat Kitchen and Libations 4647 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660

This place dishes up elevated Southern fare like collard green poppers and rock shrimp and grits in their industrial-chic dining room. Oh, and they also carry over 100 whiskeys and offer an elaborate weekend brunch with dishes like crawfish etouffee benedict.

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4. Capital Noodle Bar 3850 Barranca Pkwy Ste E, Irvine, CA 92606

This Asian eatery comes from the people behind Kim Tar Noodle House in LA. Saddle up to one of the communal tables with all your friends or order their house-made egg and rice noodles to go.

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5. Din Tai Fung 3333 Bristol St Ste 2071, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

This LA fave has arrived in Orange County, bringing with it an authentic taste of Taiwan. Expect a wait, but fortunately you can leave your number and browse the shops at South Coast Plaza until a table opens up.

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6. Dory Deli 2108 3/4 West Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663

Just steps from Newport Beach Pier, this place serves amazing food, some of which may not be fit for beach season. Take, for example, the "sweatpants burrito" which is crammed with so much good stuff that a belt isn't even an option.

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7. Driftwood kitchen, laguna beach 619 Sleepy Hollow Ln, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Located in the Pacific Edge Hotel, this waterfront establishment serves the freshest and finest seafood, steaks and hand-shucked oysters. They also serve up hand crafted cocktails that you can sip as you gaze out over the Pacific.

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8. Mendocino Farms 4175 Campus Drive, Suite B., Irvine, CA 92612

Mendocino Farms promotes eating seasonally and locally by serving up fresh sandwiches, salads, and soups made from local ingredients. This is its largest location to date, complete with a kids' corner and a gaming area for cornhole. It's a great place to hang and eat while sipping one of its craft brews.

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9. The North Left 400 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701

The North Left offers a new take on American food with fresh, quality ingredients and seasonal offerings. Wooden walls and leather banquettes really elevate the space. Make sure you order dessert because anything from their pastry chef is bound to be memorable.

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10. Oak Grill 690 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Chef Mark Johnson turns the "hotel restaurant" stereotype on its head with this dining concept in the remodeled Island Hotel. The space has subtle and inviting elegance that extends from the interior to the extensive deck, complete with a fire pit.

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11. Pirozzi Corona del Mar 2929 East Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660

The latest and greatest from renowned chef Alessandro Pirozzi, this new Italian spot features meticulously handcrafted pasta and a pizza oven imported from Naples. Be sure to end the meal on a sweet note with Pirozzi's homemade gelato.

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12. PokiNometry 184 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805

This customizable concept brings flavor and freshness to Anaheim, with poké as the star of the show. While the venue draws a consistent line any day of the week, efficient service, plus a spacious environment with tons of four-tops and a long counter bar means your eating experience is never crowded.

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13. Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n' Waffles 2110 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802

Roscoe's pairs sweet and salty perfectly with their heaping plates of fried chicken and waffles. Be sure to order their Southern sides like grits, greens and sweet potato pie.

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14. SOCIAL - Costa Mesa 512 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

SOCIAL prides itself in offering classic Southern dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Stop by for the cool-new-gastropub vibe and stay for the Drive Thru Burger, a double-patty monster of meat where the edges are crispy while the insides stay juicy. It comes dripping with cheese and bacon marmalade, making it a must-order item.

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15. TAPS Fish House & Brewery The Market Place, 13390 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602

The closest OC gets to a Vegas-style upscale buffet is TAPS. The food quality is impeccable, and the choices will make your plate overflow more than your waistline. The cajun-creole menu offers fresh seafood like Drunken Mahi Mahi and Whole-Roasted Branzino. And if you prefer hot breakfast, it has all the traditional choices, like eggs Benedict, and hot, gooey cinnamon rolls.

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16. TWENTY EIGHT Restaurant and Lounge 19530 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92612

Shirley Chung, finalist in Top Chef: New Orleans, debuts her first solo endeavor with TWENTY EIGHT, offering an inventive take on classic Asian dishes like oxtail fried rice with mushrooms and watermelon radish.

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17. The Winery Restaurant 3131 W Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92663

Enter this hip, vibrant and sophisticated setting for contemporary California regional cuisine, where you can choose from 650 wine selections to pair with entrees like Chili Lime Rubbed Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi and Brandt Family Reserve Cajun Flatiron Steak.

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