OC Grub Guide 8/15-8/21: Bracken, Macallan & Wilhelm

Green is good. Photo courtesy Melissa’s Produce.

Can you believe kids are already starting to go back to school? Where did the summer go? We are holding on to those late sunsets and Hatch chiles for as long as possible. This week’s edition of Grub Guide has us enjoying these stretched out evenings and a new restaurant in Newport.


Worth it. Photo by Anne Marie Panoringan.

Orange Hill Restaurant’s O BAR Rules the Happy Hour Views 

When it comes to after-work libations, a view is normally reserved for PCH lounges. Yet if you head up Chapman to this local spot, the sights are just as satisfying at sunset. Updates to Orange Hill’s dining menu and O BAR remind us they’re still a trusted place to meet girlfriends or blow off steam. Our cocktail of choice was Salary Man, assembled with Japanese Blended Malt Whisky. If you can wrap your head around Earl Grey, almond and apple shrub, this is the drink for you. Otherwise, check out the Happy Hour selections, possibly with a gin-based Little Miss Sunshine. On the fried side, we noshed on Coconut Shrimp with an orange-ginger marmalade dipping sauce. Although the best bites came from slow-cooked BBQ Duck Tacos off the dinner menu. If it’s been a while since your last visit, then set a date for O BAR. 6410 E. Chapman Ave., (714) 997-2910; www.theorangehillrestaurant.com.


Green is good. Photo courtesy Melissa’s Produce.

Hatch Pepper Roasting A La Melissa’s Produce – multiple locations

For those of you who respect the awesomeness that is Hatch Chile season, we got the goods on upcoming roasting locations in OC. Thanks to Stacy Wagner and Robert Schueller at Melissa’s for rounding up the intel!

  • Friday, August 16 – Northgate Market, 720 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim; 3-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 17 – Gelson’s, 5521 Alton Pkwy., Irvine; 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Friday, August 30 – Northgate Market, 770 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana; 3-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 31 – Bristol Farms, 18421 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda AND 810 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach; 8 a.m.-2 p.m.


Get your own. This is ours. Photo by Anne Marie Panoringan.

David Wilhelm Feeds Locals With Tavern House Kitchen + Bar – Newport Beach

When he removed himself from the equation at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, we wondered what Wilhelm had up his culinary sleeve. That thought was answered last month, as the old 333 spot (remember the birthday shout outs on their marquee?) launched as his shiny, new Tavern House. While we never made it out to one of the former iterations at this address, we can tell you the bar seats plenty, and views from the back dining room remind us why we live in Orange County. Can’t miss bites include a resurrected Voodoo Shrimp Martini with sweet chile glaze that we almost fought our seat mates for. And an order of BBQ Bourbon Baked Oysters with bacon, plus copious amounts of garlic butter to round out your seafaring eats. Shout out to the service-oriented valets who got the job done super efficiently. 333 Bayside Dr., (949) 673-8464; www.tavernhousekb.com.


The stage is set for Macallan. Photo courtesy Mastro’s Steakhouse.

Mastro’s Steakhouse x Macallan Pairing Dinner Is For Ballers – Costa Mesa

Only the fine people of Mastro’s would create a decadent meal involving classy scotch and an over-the-top, multi-course kind of evening. We’re talking cherry balsamic glazed pork belly, five spice seared scallops, and ancho chili rib eye. Macallan tastes include Rare Cask, Edition No. 4, and Classic Cut. If the kitchen would consider making the Butter Cake with Macallan infused caramel sauce and butterscotch creme anglaise a seasonal fixture, we guarantee dessert sales doubling. With an all-inclusive, $275 price tag on August 23, you’ll want to read full details over here, because that wasn’t even everything. 633 Anton Blvd., (714) 546-7405; www.mastrosrestaurants.com.


Last year’s victor, Chef Jason Montelibano. Photo courtesy Bracken’s Kitchen.

Support Bracken’s Kitchen at The Hungry Games – Garden Grove

Thursday, September 19 is the date to set aside for The Hungry Games 2.0. The inaugural event had us sampling bites from some of the area’s coolest chefs all in the name of charity. Who will be this year’s winner? How much dessert can we put away? Learn this and then some when you purchase tickets to Bill Bracken’s competitive event. 13941 Nautilus Dr., (949) 445-3585; www.brackenskitchen.com.

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