We've always wondered why the Lime Truck never made the Roy Choi-esque jump to a brick-and-mortar restaurant, but now the wait is over.
Jason Quinn, the 25-year-old chef behind Orange County's beloved Lime Truck, will be opening a high-end burger restaurant in downtown Santa Ana this summer.
The restaurant, to be called Playground, will be located in the
Fiesta Marketplace East End Promenade, at 220 E. Fourth St. in Santa Ana, most recently occupied by Mariscos Tampico. Playground will feature communal tables, edgy music and an open kitchen with a full view of the meat grinder on which the burgers will be ground daily.
The menu will consist of burgers and fries, with craft beers on tap. While some of the burgers will have familiar ingredients (mushrooms, bleu cheese, etc.), some will be flights of fancy--and some, according to Quinn, may not be recognizable as burgers. As the Lime Truck does, Playground will solicit menu suggestions from diners.
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Its opening is slated to coincide with the opening of the Yost Theatre (itself scheduled for Aug. 6); stay tuned for further updates.
Meanwhile, not to worry, Lime Truck lovers (and Great Food Truck Race partisans): Daniel Shemtob is still on the truck, with new help, and Jason Quinn is still consulting on the menu and offering refinements and suggestions where necessary, while not stifling the new crew's creativity. "Whatever success I have as a chef, I will owe to the truck," he said. The new restaurant is just the natural evolution of his career.