Two restaurants bearing the same name and opening within a few months of each other should be related, right? Not in the case of these two joints. In fact, we learned they're not even the same cuisine.
Something they do share in common: They're occupying former dining spaces.You'll also spot them in non-traditional locations (i.e. not the mall or even a strip mall). Don't let the curiosity kill you.
Formerly Tuscany Mediterranean Grill, O-Live Tree is banking on Mediterranean eats to draw crowds. Sharing a parking structure with El Torito Grill, McCormick N Schmick's and Mick's Karma Bar, rumor has it they're under new ownership. We anticipate them opening their doors in the next month.
Olive Tree Chinese Kitchen is inside Quality Inn N Suites. Formerly Formosa Cafe, their menu appears straightforward. Although the option to add quinoa or an organic raw bowl sound like winners. Open over a month, it's a change of pace from the McDonald's drive-thru next door. Next time you're in the area, check one of them out and report back.
Olive Tree Chinese Restaurant is at 23702 Rockfield Blvd in Lake Forest, (949) 458-7125; www.olivetreechinesekitchen.com.
O-Live Tree Mediterranean Cuisine will be at 2010 Main St in Irvine.