A new Persian restaurant called Urban Kitchen Fresca Mediterranean Grill has opened in the former Fukada 2 Go space in Irvine. Specialties include koobideh and lamb shank dishes, but there are also a few Italian dishes including meatball subs and pizzas.
6200 Scholarship, Irvine, CA 92612, (949) 221-8282; gourbankitchen.com
A new Japanese restaurant called "Local: Healthy Tapas & Sake" has opened in Costa Mesa. Specialties include a brown rice burger with jidori chicken and vegan specialties such as endive cups with vegan meat.
1907 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, (949) 873-5333
It appears that Pho Quang Trung, the Little Saigon institution known for chicken pho, has added a third restaurant to its brood. The new Quang Trung Restaurant is in Huntington Beach at a building that was formerly a Carrow's.
16931 Magnolia St., Huntington Beach, CA 92647, (714) 375-5900
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Just when you think everyone's that's going into the poke game is already in, the venerable Honda Ya restaurant has opened its own joint called Poke Express in Fullerton just a stone's throw from Cal State Fullerton. You have the choice of building your own bowls as usual, or you can go with one of their signature bowls of a "tuna mix", "salmon yuzu" or "shrimp mayo".
2504 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, CA 92831, (714) 519-3224
Noah Blom second restaurant after ARC has opened at SOCO in Costa Mesa. It's called Restaurant Marin. There are donut holes and duck liver mousse toast for breakfast; grilled cheese and lobster tacos for lunch; and bouillabaise and steak frites for dinner. It's also one of the first restaurants in OC to try a no-tipping policy which it calls "European Hospitality."
3321 Hyland Ave. Ste G, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, (949) 500-5561; restaurantmarin.com.