More than a decade ago, the Thai Spice in Costa Mesa--a take-out shack if ever there was one--begat more locations in and around Irvine and Lake Forest than you probably realize. At one point, I counted at least five Thai Spices doing business in the area.
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You might be aware of the one on Jeffrey and Irvine Center, and the one at The Irvine Marketplace foodcourt. Those seem to have taken a firm foothold, becoming permanent mainstays for fast take-out Thai. But did you know about the three that came and went over the last three years?
There was a branch on Irvine Blvd. between Yale and Jeffrey which opened and then fizzled not long after a year. The Lake Forest branch on El Toro didn't last that long either. The newest joint, located at MacArthur where it meets Main St. in Irvine near John Wayne, is the latest to be closed.
But ever the practitioner of "if at first you don't succeed, try try again", another Thai Spice will debut, resurrected it seems, at MacArthur where it meets Main St. in Santa Ana (yes, MacArthur and Main intersect at two places within blocks of each other). This latest branch will take over the spot vacated by Topz at Hutton Center.
Their Facebook page projects it will be open in early September. I doubt that. When I peeked into their windows, they've barely even started taking out what was left behind by the "healthy burger" joint.