Now Open(ing): XA Sweet & Savory Cafe, Old Crow Smokehouse And California Chicken Kitchen

Pass the cornbread!
Pass the cornbread!
Photo courtesy Old Crow Smokehouse

The long weekend found us cruising through beach cities for our meals. To our surprise, we spotted a trio of eats in various stages of opening. If you're ready to try somewhere new, here's your short list.

Over off Beach and Atlanta in Huntington Beach, the second outpost of XA Sweet & Savory Cafe opened their doors less than two weeks ago. If the name sounds familiar, that's because it was on Edwin's and my Top 5 list for 2013. Awaiting a few decorating touches, XA's menu is a confident, clean cuisine of perfectly cooked proteins, vegetables and scratch sauces that'll make make regulars out of first-timers. Shawn Xa also revamped breakfast (thank you!) with a selection that includes three styles of French toast – as soon as he receives that final piece of equipment. In the meantime, load up on those cookies; we purchased 10 to get us through the weekend. XA Sweet & Savory Cafe is located at 21202 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, (714) 969-2900;

California Chicken Kitchen salad
California Chicken Kitchen salad

After having dinner elsewhere at Pacific City, we walked past soft opening of BBQ and country music-themed Old Crow Smokehouse on the second floor. While their kitchen wasn't ready to offer the entire menu yet, Chef Tony Scruggs introduced himself and invited us to stop in for a drink; they were passing out complimentary selections all evening. The crew was itching to open, so open they did. Expect a fully operational kitchen by the time you read this. Hey Tony, email us for an interview! Old Crow Smokehouse is located at 21022 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, (714) 536-0381

Lastly, over in Newport we spotted unfamiliar Oceanfront signage. They are called California Chicken Kitchen (no relation to similar concepts). With a motto of 'fresh, fast and friendly', CCK specializes in rotisserie birds served with your choice of sides, on a salad or inside a wrap. It'll be interesting to see how they fare at such a highly visible location. When we called for an opening date, the person on the other line stated Tuesday of this week. California Chicken Kitchen is located at 2200 W Oceanfront, Newport Beach, (949) 432-5074 ;

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