The Marketplace, the sprawling Irvine Company shopping complex that occupies several blocks on the Tustin and Irvine border, has always been constantly evolving. The past few years have seen old standbys such as Buca Di Beppo, Black Angus, and Opah replaced with new ones like TAPS, Bonefish Grill, and Famous Dave’s.
The evolution continues as we speak. As I said in a previous post, another Hopdoddy Burger Bar is coming to the Tustin side, next to Bonefish; and soon, Snooze an A.M. Eatery, a Denver-based breakfast joint that already has restaurants in San Diego will open its first OC location next to Hopdoddy. Snooze is known for a whole menu section that’s dedicated to eggs Benedict, every one of them doused in different flavors of hollandaise such as a roasted poblano, a cream cheese, and a smoked cheddar.
On the Irvine side, a new liquid nitrogen ice cream joint called Frozen will open in between Supercuts and Payless ShoeSource. Among its signature flavors are a “Blackberry Goat Cheese” and a “Celtic Sea Salted Butterscotch Pretzel”. Frozen has a planned location in Lake Forest at 23622 Rockfield Blvd, which will open sooner than the Irvine store.
Along with those, a Brazilian steakhouse called Texas de Brazil and a Japanese restaurant called Wokcano are also anticipated this year.
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.