• Food

    April 10, 2014

    Wei Shian: A Noodle By Any Other Name

    This Irvine restaurant serves fabulous Szechuan-style beef soup with—you guessed it!—noodles

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2014

    Crispa Crepes Closes In Irvine After Less Than One Year

    You might remember that about a year ago I wrote a post about Crispa Crepes opening, taking over the space of a froyo shop in an Albertson's-anchored shopping center in north Irvine. Or perhaps you didn't much notice the post. Or the restaurant itself. The business folded (pun not intended) a few we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2014

    TAPS Fish House and Brewery To Open Third Location in Irvine

    UPDATE Mar. 31, 4:23 p.m.: Check the end of the story for size, number of taps, and a nice quote from founder Joe Manzella. Good news, Irvine: TAPS Fish House and Brewery will be expanding to the Irvine half of the Market Place next February (sorry Tustin). While the new location will be without a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2014

    Travis Dewayne Batten Jr., Former Auto Mechanic, Guilty Rape and Attempted Rape

    A jury Thursday found a former mechanic at Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport Beach guilty of twice raping an Irvine woman and trying to rape a Newport Beach woman after breaking into their homes. Travis Dewayne Batten Jr., 31, of Irvine, sobbed as the guilty verdicts were announced, according to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2014

    Brea Cops Unveil Flasher Images, More Details

    See the update at the end of this post with images of and more details on Brea's flasher. ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 14, 6:05 A.M.: The Irvine flasher may have struck again, and now police have released a sketch of him in color (at right). Meanwhile, the Brea Police department is looking for a guy who l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    Film Shown in Irvine Tonight Chronicles 2013 Solar Decathlon in City to Preview 2015 Return

    Power Houses, a feature-length documentary about collegiate students competing in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO last October at the Great Park in Irvine, premieres at 7:30 this evening in the Irvine City Hall council chambers. The City of Irvine hosts the free screening ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2014

    On the Line: Scott McVean of PdM Kitchen, Part One

    If you think you know PdM Kitchen, think again. While it may have sister bakeries and cafes, this particular spot near the intersection of Jeffrey and Alton has something the rest do not: dinner. Full-service meals of roasted chicken, flat iron steak, plus beer and wine. This found within a chain no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2013

    Jarrid Thomas Baldogo, Tennis Instructor, Gets a Year for Sex Acts with 13 y.o. Boy

    A 29-year-old tennis instructor pleaded guilty Thursday to committing lewd acts on a 13-year-old male student in Irvine and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail. Jarrid Thomas Baldogo of Irvine pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of committing a lewd act on a child younger than 14, and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2013

    Restaurant Roll Call for October 2013

    My, my, a lot of stuff opened in October. We had the Hidden Dinner folks finally opening their long-anticipated brick-and-mortar called Ketri in Santa Ana; there was that Michelin-rated chef opening an oyster bar in Orange; more hot dogs and G Burgers; and that's just a few of what we wrote about on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2013

    Joshua Campos Allegedly Ga-Ga Over Canned Baby Formula, Tied to 6 Thefts in 10 Days

    A 21-year-old guy has been popped for allegedly stealing more than $1,000 in canned baby formula from three different Irvine stores. Joshua Campos was arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary Thursday, according to an Irvine Police statement that indicates officers who saw him surveillance vide ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2013

    Suicides (and a Suicide Attempt) Muddy the Waters in Irvine and Newport Beach

    There's something in the water. I see dead people. No, these were not plucked from old movie posers but the cities of Irvine and Newport Beach, where two people killed themselves in or near bodies of water this week and a third tried to do the same recently.

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2013

    Immigration Reform Protest Hits Irvine x 2

    The City of Irvine, which likes to boast about being a melting pot, is perhaps a fitting location for an immigration reform rally. Actually, it does not matter if it is fitting or not because it is getting two such protests Saturday morning, although it's more likely two heads of the same monster.

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2013

    Urban Plates Opens In Irvine Today

    If you've been to Tender Greens at the Irvine Spectrum and Lemonade at Fashion Island, you've already got a good idea of what to expect when Urban Plates opens today at 11 a.m. at the Crossroads in Irvine. The yuppie cafeteria concept continues here. Expect such dishes as grass-fed steak, free-range ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2013

    This Week In Food: Steaks For Breakfast, Changes for Lynda, and Bullshit For Food Writers

    Here we are with another week in food, folks. Hopefully you'll be joining us at our ridiculously huge food party tonight - Decadence. If not, well then this blog is all you get. Edwin had the amazing experience of going to Surfas Culinary District for his weekly review. He named the Flying Horse La ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2013

    Chung Ji-young Bringing National Security and Himself to First-Ever Cinematic Event in Irvine

    The Silent River Film Festival's Silent River Film and Literary Society, which its founder compares to the Orange County Film Society run by the Newport Beach Film Festival staff, has scored quite a coup in Irvine. For the Silent River society's first-ever, non-festival event, it is honoring visiti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2013

    Mingshu Jin Accused of Being Madame of Brothel in Apartment in Upscale Part of Irvine

    An alleged Irvine madame is scheduled to be arraigned this morning on charges related to a brothel run out of her apartment in an upscale Irvine apartment. Mingshu Jin--which for the record is not a phony name supplied by a sneaky NTSB intern--faces felony counts of pimping and pandering and a maxi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2013

    Checkpoints Tonight in Irvine, Garden Grove; Saturation Patrols in Laguna Beach Saturday

    Look for orange cones, flashing lights and, if necessary, a ride in Irvine and Garden Grove tonight as police departments in both cities run DUI checkpoints tonight. Over in Laguna Beach, saturation patrols will be deployed Saturday night in areas known for drunken driving arrests, collisions and f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2013

    Meshael Alayban, Saudi Princess from Maid Slave Case, Has Truth on Her Side: Lawyer

    See Update No. 7 on Page 3 about a hearing on Meshael Alayban's GPS monitoring device and her attorney saying the truth will set her free. Update Nos. 5-6 at the bottom of Page 2 are about the Saudi Arabian princess making her $5 million bail and being freed. Update Nos. 3-4 on Page 2 are about her ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2013

    Thanh Closes in Irvine; Tasty Garden To Move In

    As I wrote back in August of last year, Tasty Garden, the chain of Hong Kong-style cafes (cha chaan teng) with branches in the San Gabriel Valley, is planning to open in Irvine.

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2013

    Breaking News: Funny or Die's "Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival" is Coming to Irvine!

    Comedy titan Dave Chappelle has been popping up all over with spontaneous appearances lately and if you are getting pissed that he hasn't popped into Orange County, you can push your anger aside because, HE IS COMING!! Oh my god, calm down. No screw it. WE CAN'T! WE'RE WAYYY TO EXCITED!

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2013

    James Allen Dorscht Church Burglary Case in Limbo; Daniel Ruben Cortes is Guilty: Update

    See the update at the end of this post about prosecutors declining to proceed in the church-burglary case against James Allen Dorscht and detectives trying to resurrect it, as well as Daniel Ruben Cortes already being sentenced after pleading guilty.ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 12, 10:40 A.M.: Irvine Police ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 10, 2013

    Pita Grill in Irvine Closes

    Pita Grill, the Lebanese purveyor of shawarma in Irvine that we highlighted in an Eat This Now post a few weeks ago and in our current print issue, has suddenly shuttered. According to a comment I received from a reader this weekend, Pita Grill's last day was last Sunday. When I went to check it ou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2013

    Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill Opens First OC Location in Aliso Viejo Next Week; Next Irvine

    There's been a slew of new Mediterranean eateries invading our southern borders lately. Luna Grill, a San Diego-based chain that calls itself a "kabobery," opened not just one but two locations recently (Irvine and Lake Forest). Then there's Taverna Blu, which is technically Greek. They opened in Ir ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2013

    Layer Cake Bakery Opens Second Store in Fullerton

    As Anne Marie said in her blog post of a few months ago, Irvine's Layer Cake Bakery was planning a second store in Downtown Fullerton. Well, the day has come: Ehrline Karnaga's ode to butter, sugar, and flour has now opened Layer Cake Part 2 at 101 N Harbor Blvd.

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2013

    Jarrid Thomas Baldogo, Tennis Instructor, Held for Alleged Lewd Conduct with 13 y.o. Student

    A private tennis instructor was arrested Thursday afternoon for alleged lewd conduct with one of his 13-year-old students. Jarrid Thomas Baldogo, 29, is believed to have had inappropriate physical contact with the student between February and April of this year, but police fear there may be other vi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2013

    Harry's Deli Damaged By Fire, Closed Until Further Notice

    Harry's Deli just can't catch a break. First it was closed longer than expected due to a schedule-busting remodel; now, after just six and a half months, it's closed again, this time due to fire damage overnight. Harry Kho posted to Facebook late last night that a fire started in the deli's soiled ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2013

    Irvine City Employees Doing Just Fine, Thanks!

    For those disenchanted by reports of continued high unemployment, sequestration and the devaluation of your hard earned dollars, take heart, apparently it's not all doom and gloom. According to a study conducted by the California Public Policy Center (CPPC), we in the media haven't been entirely vig ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2013

    Assi Natural Market Opens In Irvine

    Assi, the Korean market that replaces Stein Mart in the Woodbridge neighborhood in Irvine, is having its grand opening this Thursday, March 28 at 9:00 a.m. There will a ribbon-cutting by Irvine Mayor Steven Choi, live entertainment and giveaways, including rice cookers and other household appliance ... More >>

  • Food

    March 21, 2013

    Four Sea's Wake-Up Call

    This Irvine restaurant serves Chinese early-morning staples—like, really early

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2013

    Creamistry, Ice Cream Shop Using Liquid Nitrogen, To Open In Irvine

    Where smoothies and then froyo have failed before, now comes ice cream. Creamistry will take over the space left behind by Yogurt Passion at The Crossroads in Irvine. Yogurt Passion itself replaced Tropical Smoothie Cafe about three years ago. So what distinguishes Creamistry from the Baskin Robbi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2013

    10 Late-Night Restaurants that UCI Students Are Grubbing At Right Now

    Since the founding of Harvard back in the 1600, college students have always frequented the open-til-two or the 24-hour restaurants, whether it was grog they were seeking or ramen, either as a study break or after a long night of partying at the generic frat house. Six hours of sleep and under ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2013

    Irvine Called 6th Worst Place to Drive in U.S.

    Irvine is reportedly the sixth worst place in the country to drive through.That's based on CNN Money rankings that may hold a clue as to how Irvine can afford to be one of America's safest cities.

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2013

    Another Veggie Grill Planned For Irvine

    I'm not sure why Veggie Grill is opening another restaurant in Irvine. It is a very good vegetarian restaurant to be sure, but there's already two in the city thus far (at University Center and at The Irvine Spectrum). Those represent the entirety of its presence in Orange County (though it has seve ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 1, 2013

    Restaurant Roll Call for January 2013

    So many restaurants opened this month, despite January being a notoriously slow month for the business. Irvine continues to see a boom in Asian eateries and Tustin is now home to an El Toro Bravo and their ginormous burritos. Here's our monthly list of "open and shut cases."

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2013

    85°C Bakery and IKEA Meatballs Featured on New Travel Channel Show

    What I thought I was watching last night as I sat down in front of the TV to eat dinner was one of those incessant "Food Paradise" shows, which, frankly, I've grown tired of. It only takes a hundred pronouncements by the people they interview proclaiming their local hot dog, burger or BBQ is "to die ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 16, 2013

    There's Such A Thing As A (Practically) Free Lunch Today with Viking Truck, Dos Chinos, SOHO Taco, and More!

    As chain-laden and conservative as Irvine is, we have to admit it draws the luxe loncheras. Great Park, Irvine Lanes, (Teller Lot, RIP) and even certain apartment communities are regular stops for our meals on wheels. Yet there's always the haters who proclaim, "It's too expensive!" Well, here's you ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2013

    Irvine Restaurant Week Going On Right Now Until Thursday

    January, as most of you know, is a slow month for restaurants. And thus, as part of a so-called "California Restaurant Month," some eateries in Irvine are participating in a so-called "Irvine Restaurant Week." I say "so-called" because among the restaurants listed is Mastro's Steakhouse, which is ac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    The Hangover Part III: All Irvine, All the Time?

    Justin Bartha--the George to his Hangover movie franchise co-stars Bradley Cooper's John, Ed Helms' Paul and Zach Galifianakis' Ringo--was just asked on the KTLA Morning News, about The Hangover Part III setting given the infamous closure of Route 73.SAM RUBIN: Does Irvine and Newport Beach play a p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2013

    The Counter Opens Third OC Restaurant

    I still miss Fatburger, which used to hold court here at Park Place in Irvine. It's not that the plaza was exactly burgerless (you could technically get a burger at Ruth Chris, Houston's, or even the employee cafeteria in one of the buildings if you can find it), but open finally this past week ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2013

    New Korean Taco Joint Serves Short Rib Arepas and Kimchi Quesadillas at Diamond Jamboree

    Remember the time Kogi, at the height of its popularity, decided to descend upon the Diamond Jamboree shopping center in Irvine, an Asian food Mecca that already has 85 Degrees screwing up the parking situation?

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2012

    This Week in Food: Sexual Cleansers, Suckling Pigs, and More Good Eats in SanTana

    The New Year means at least two great things for Orange County. One, we made it through the end of the world and lived to see another day behind the orange curtain (Hooray?!) Two, 2013 is going to bring us even more fabulous places to eat. We've grown a reputation for only having chain restaurants, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2012

    Anaheim vs. Irvine Schools as Judged by George W. Bush Institute's Global Report Card

    Under George W. Bush, federal funding for education increased 59.8 percent from 2000 to 2003. I don't know if American schools performed better than they had before during those years, but a "Global Report Card" from the Dallas-based George W. Bush Institute suggests richer school districts do bette ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2012

    Orange County Republicans Outraged That DA Tony Rackauckas Aided Larry Agran's Campaign

    The most historic, local moment of Tuesday's election happened around 9 p.m. when elated (literally jumping up and down) Orange County Republicans realized they were finally on their way to not just finally defeating Larry Agran but also taking control of Irvine.But the GOPers were also fuming becau ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2012

    William Scott Spalding, Gemologist-Movie Producer, Gets 10 Years for $280k Gold Scam

    William Scott Spalding, the 47-year-old Irvine "gemologist" and "movie producer" who conned a single Huntington Beach mom out of $280,000 in a fake gold investment scam, pleaded guilty to a laundry list of charges today and was promptly sentenced to 10 years in state prison.He was also ordered to pa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2012

    New Huntington Beach Restaurant Serves Kimchi-Flavored Waffles

    A new Asian tapas restaurant opened in Huntington Beach. No not that Asian Tapas, which is just a name for what has evolved to be a typical Northern-style Chinese restaurant.Scraps seems to be a real Asian tapas-style eatery. The menu consists entirely of small dishes made to be shared--dishes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2012

    Irvine City Council Will Try to Replace Verizon Wireless Amphitheater With the Great Park Cramphitheater...What Are They Smoking?

    It's official: By 2017 the Great Park will be the only place to see big-ticket entertainment in Irvine. Please excuse us while we struggle to contain our enthusiasm. As of last week, the Irvine Company and the Irvine City Council both confirmed that a new amphitheater is being proposed to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2012

    Forget Carmageddon, Here Comes Cowboygeddon!

    Unless you don't know how to read or just enjoy blatantly ignoring road signs, then you know that the 405 Freeway between the 10 and 101 will be closed this weekend for another round of Carmageddon in L.A. Though the closure is more than 50 miles away from Irvine, locals aren't exactly out of the wo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2012

    Grapes Of Wrath At The Melting Pot, Our Drink of the Week!

    While fondue may be their specialty, we've spent many a happy hour at The Melting Pot's bar bitching about stupid people over the other liquid nourishment. In their Irvine spot, bar stools are closest to both restrooms and kitchen, conveniently meeting our personal and gastronomical needs. One can e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2012

    Irvine Contractor Who Swindled The Elderly Wins Prison Trip!

    Dragan Fustars' eyes are oddly askew, but that's not a valid excuse for the Irvine contractor to con elderly people out of more than $126,000.This week, Fustar pleaded guilty to 10 felony charges surrounding the swindling of senior citizens from May 2010 to December 2011 and received a six-year pris ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2012

    New Taiwanese Restaurant Serves Sausage Inside Another Sausage!

    I didn't know much when the shell of a space that was working its way to becoming Chef Kitchen in Irvine appeared a few months ago. Now the restaurant has opened and it appears to be a Taiwanese restaurant much like the others in this 99 Ranch-anchored plaza on Walnut and Jeffrey. See also:Liang's ... More >>

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