According to an Instagram post by pastry chef Ashley Guzman, Irenia Restaurant, the itinerant Filipino pop-up restaurant by Chef Ryan Garlitos, has opened in the Santa Ana in the space that used to be The North Left (which was itself The Crosby before that). Guzman, who used to work for The North Left, is also now Irenia's pastry chef.
400 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701, (657)245-3466; www.ireniarestaurant.com
Sichuan Impression has opened in the space vacated by Shen Wen Bistro. The restaurant is the first foray into Orange County for the highly-regarded modern Szechuan restaurant called Szechuan Impressions in Alhambra that, a few years ago, garnered a favorable reviews from Jonathan Gold of the LA Times and the critics at our former sister paper LA Weekly. Among the more popular dishes include cumin-crusted toothpick lamb, boiled fish in chile sauce, and spicy rabbit.
13816 Red Hill Ave., Tustin, CA 92780; http://szechuanimpressioninc.com
El Raspadito, a Mexican shave ice shop based in Riverside, has now opened a store in Santa Ana. The 18 flavors of raspado (shaved ice) include cucumber, coffee, strawberry, even egg nog. Also served: tostilocos.
1710 E 17th St. Ste A., Santa Ana, CA 92705, (714) 866-8835; elraspadito.com
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Black Bear Diner, a Redding-based, "old-fashioned" comfort foods chain, has opened in a former Carrows in La Habra. It's the second location in Orange County for Black Bear after a Buena Park location opened two years ago. Two more Black Bears are in the works: Fullerton and Santa Ana, with the latter slated to take the place of a recently shuttered Carrows on Bristol Street near MacArthur.
1000 S. Beach Blvd, La Habra, CA 90631; http://blackbeardiner.com
While the Wokcano in Tustin Marketplace is still being built as we speak, the second Wokcano in Orange County opened last week at Santa Ana's MainPlace Mall. The first OC outlet of this "Asian Restaurant & Lounge" opened in Huntington Beach in February. Like all the other Wokcanos in Burbank, L.A., Santa Monica, Valencia and Long Beach, both OC Wokcanos feature a menu of sushi and sushi rolls. But because of that "Asian" catch-all, you can also expect Sweet and Sour Pork, as well as a Thai-style curry, or Teriyaki chicken, and then add Singaporean noodle to your meal.
2800 N Main St. Ste 2140, Santa Ana, CA 92705, (714) 480-8888; wokcanorestaurant.com