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
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.