Not just a restaurant, but also a gourmet specialty seafood market—sidewalk tables included—and what you'll find at either location. It's to your benefit to try the clam chowder, the California or spicy tuna sushi, all of which are fresh beyond the call of duty. For an entrée, try the splendid grilled swordfish, served with rice pilaf, vegetables and garlic bread. Of course, the fish tacos or the crispy fish and chips make super standbys for fish fetishes. And while you're there, do your produce or beer and wine shopping . . . it's all one stop.
Services: Takeout available. Costa Mesa location open Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. till 8 p.m.; Sun. till 7 p.m.; Orange location open Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat. till 6 p.m. Most major credit cards accepted.Scampi Trattoria Bar & Grill1576 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, (949)645-8560
Good Italian food, good wine and good candlelight ambiance create a well-rounded dining experience at Scampi. If you're a martini connoisseur there are 12 flavors to choose from and a full bar at which to do it. For an antipasti appetizer, the mozzarella caprese is a cheesy delight: fresh buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes & extra virgin olive oil. The lasagna di mare, homemade seafood and fish lasagna with lobster sauce, is an entrée your palate will always remember. For dessert the homemade tiramisu goes great with a nice espresso or cappuccino, so save room! Scampi also has a large banquet room available, holding up to 400 people, for special parties.
Services: Takeout, delivery and catering available. Full bar. Hours:Tues.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sun.-Thurs., 5-10:30 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 5-11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations suggested. Parking available.Serra's Bar & Grill859 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Canyon Rd., (949) 497-2566
Craving Turkish?? OK, how about trying the manti, a plate of heavenly prepared Turkish ravioli? Or the luscious lamb kebab will do your palate proud…. What about some handmade pita bread with Cacik, a Turkish yogurt dip? For a little variety, there's always the mixed kebab combination plate. All right, now it's time to cut a rug to Turkish, Persian, Arabic and Latin tunes via live music or a dynamite DJ. If that's not enough, the crazy staff at Serra's will keep you entertained with their antics.
Services: Takeout and catering available. Open daily, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations are essential on weekends.Skewers298 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-6459
The first and only full-blown brewery in Costa Mesa, Skewers boasts a fine selection of in-house beers. "Yeast" lovers must try the Yellow Tail Pale Ale—an award-winning recipe that won a silver medal in the National Brew Festival in 1996. The food menu features wood-burned pizzas, steaks, seafood and chicken dishes. And, of course, you'll choose from a variety of fantastic tasting skewers (kabobs), such as the Maui beef kabob, which features top sirloin marinated in a blend of teriyaki and fresh pineapple sauce, ginger, garlic, green onions and sesame seed. Come in and fill up!
Services: Takeout available. Open Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 4:30-9 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations suggested.Steelhead Brewing Company4175 Campus Dr., Irvine, (949) 856-2227
Steelhead Brewing Co. is an authentic microbrewery in the heart of Irvine. The resident brewmaster creates the potent Steelhead Amber on the premises and features a number of quality international wheats and stouts for your drinking rapture. They also offer a great selection of food. Wood-fired pizza or juicy steak are the perfect complement to a pint of Steelhead Amber. Located in the thriving University Center across from UCI, the place is always jumping and can accommodate large parties. The outdoor patio has heat lamps to augment the cigar friendly ambiance, with special cigar nights happening every three months. Live entertainment busts the house Thursday though Saturday, 9 p.m. till closing—no cover charge. Sunday and Monday nights offer a special late-night happy hour, 9 p.m.-closing.
Services: Takeout available. Full bar. Open daily, 11:30 a.m.-midnight (or later). All major credit cards accepted.Sushi of Naples5470 E. 2nd St., Naples in Long Beach, (562) 434-1122; 735 E. Green St., Pasadena, (626) 578-1123
Sushi of Naples doesn't offer salmon skin rolls in Alfredo sauce. What it does have is authentic, strictly Japanese sushi made from the healthiest cuts of fresh, quality fish around. Sushi lovers can enjoy a fulfilling evening of good, artistically prepared entrées or sushi. They have four experienced chefs who create such enticing entrées as their beef sukiyaki: thinly sliced prime beef with tofu and vegetables simmered in a unique special sauce. Also take advantage of the sundry house special rolls, including the tiger roll with shrimp tempura, avocado, masago, cucumber and spicy sprouts. Sayonara!
Services: Takeout and delivery available. Beer and wine only. Open Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-10:45 p.m. AmEx, MC and Visa accepted. Parking available.
This is Southern California's longest running, best-attended restaurant and entertainment festival, highlighted by a diverse sampling of cuisine from Orange County's best restaurants, three stages of continuous live music, world class chef demonstrations, family entertainment and activities designed for children from the "Kid's Stuff Expo," and nonstop comedy from the comedy showcase. Featured bands include: The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Bobby Redfield (hot Latin jazz), The Delphines (with Go-Go's Kathy Valentine & Gina Schock), and Parkaimoon (power rock). There will also be a 10, 25, & 50-mile bike tour on Saturday, June 26th and a 5k & 10k run/rollerblade event.
Admission: $8, adults; 12 and under free; $10 weekend pass. Sign up online in advance at www.tasteofoc.com.Thai Wave211 62nd St., Newport Beach, (949) 645-3078