We may give a lot of attention to TRADE Irvine (because they are the new kid on the block), but we've been paying attention to what's up at other food halls. 4th Street Market is officially launching two new concepts this weekend. If you might recall from a previous post, the restaurants within this Downtown Santa Ana spot aren't on long-term leases. It's an ideal place to test out a menu and see how diners respond.
For starters, the storefront that brought you Pig Pen Delicacy has gone to the birds. In its place is Wingman Kitchen, a joint dedicated to all things fried chicken. While you can most definitely order those wings, there are also sandwiches piled high with cluckers, plus loaded cheesy fries that include a meaty garnish. As usual, no meal here is basic. We wouldn't have it any other way.
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A couple of doors over, you'll discover Red Envelope— formerly Sit Low Pho. When we arrived, we discovered Hop Phan's involvement was less in the (kitchen) weeds, more on the owner side of the business. In his place, Mr. Michael Pham. If that name rings a bell, that's because he's the former chef of Anchor Hitch. Pham's take on Vietnamese leans towards modern comfort food. Our favorite bite was their Shaken Beef Nachos, but their smoky pho almost literally jumped out at us with its sizable beef bone. Also on the menu: spring rolls incorporating edible flowers and a juicy shaken beef sandwich.
Both eateries make it official this Sunday at noon. The first 50 customers lined up at Wingman receive a free t-shirt. Our advice: Don't fret about opening day (unless you really want to wait in line). Hit them up any other day, but know their hours aren't quite set in stone yet. 4th Street Market in general is packed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But if you can't wait, we get it. It's like catching the next Star Wars movie opening weekend. You just gotta be there.
4th Street Market is at 401 E 4th St, Santa Ana, (714) 486-0700; www.4thstreetmarket.com.