Asian Box, the newest Chipotle-style Asian concept, has opened in Irvine, near UCI. Asian Box has three units in the San Francisco area and one in LA. The Irvine store is the first in OC and is located in the same building as The Habit on Campus Drive. Asian Box serves bowls constructed in the usual assembly line and the menu is outlined in the already familiar series of steps. Proteins range from a "six-spice blend" chicken to "lime basil tossed" shrimp. Saucing options include a tamarind vinaigrette, a peanut sauce, and something called Asian Street Dust, which Asian Box has trademarked.
4503 Campus Dr., Irvine, CA 92612
As Anne Marie wrote last week, Royal Hen has opened in Newport Beach's Balboa Island at the spot that was formerly Amelia's. It's by the same owner of A Restaurant and 25 Degrees brand in Huntington Beach. Menu items include chicken cracklings, lamb samosas, and haggis croquettes.
311 Marine Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92660
Orange Bap, a new bi-bim-bap joint in Anaheim, serves bi-bim-bap using the familiar build-your-own-bowl concept familiar to everyone who's been to Chipotle and every other restaurant that has tried to copy them. Proteins like chicken, pork, and beef (also available in spicy versions) can be placed atop noodle or two kinds of rice, and then garnished with a multitude of bi-bim-bap toppings and flavored with an array of sauces (including salsa and marinara). Poke bowls are also offered.
2717 W Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, CA 92801
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The owners of LA's Wirtshaus and Hermosa Beach's Brat & Bräu have opened Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach. On the menu are homemade sausages, authentic schnitzel with garlic cream sauce, Bavarian pretzels, and potato pancakes. German and Belgian beers are, of course, offered. 18 are on tap and 15 are in bottles. Rasselbock, by the way, is the German word for "jackalope".
4020 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA 90807
Two Two Fried Chicken, a popular fried chicken restaurant out of Seoul, South Korea, has now opened a branch in Fullerton. The basic fried chicken comes in three flavors—original, sweet-and-spicy, and "Flaming Hot", but there specials with flavors like garlic, soy, and something called chicken gangjeong.
1805 W Orangethorpe Ave. Ste B, Fullerton, CA 92833