11 of the most anticipated restaurant openings in Orange County in 2022 - Orange County Register

11 of the most anticipated restaurant openings in Orange County in 2022 – Orange County Register

A fully organic vegetarian burger restaurant, a fine dining room following the Baja Mediterranean trend, and new hot spots like Sol Mexican Cocina, Zov’s and A Restaurant – there’s plenty to look forward to in 2022 for foodies looking for new places to try. Here’s a rundown so you can keep an eye out for these highly anticipated restaurants.

Detention and trust

Chef / owner Jason Quinn’s Playground has morphed into two new concepts. Quinn will assume the role of advisor. Bob Quinn, (Jason’s father), will remain his son’s business partner while Jarred Dooley, John Parker and Justin Werner take on new roles in operations management.

A new concept called Detention will be led by Bob Quinn, Dooley and Parker, who run Playground. Menus will change seasonally and the original Playground Bar will be a lounge offering “Omakase Cocktail Experiences and Bar Snacks”.

Playground 2.0 was entrusted to Werner who developed an 18-seat chef’s table concept called Trust, which opened on Friday January 7 with tickets available through Tock. Werner had previously worked at Playground with Quinn. Most recently, he was a chef at Porch & Swing in Irvine.

Opening: Trust recently opened, Detention will open on Tuesday January 18 at 220 E. 4th St., Santa Ana.

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Sol mexican cuisine

Xperience Restaurant Group – the owner and operator of El Torito, Chevys Fresh Mex, Sol Mexican Cocina, Acapulco and Las Brisas – announced in May that El Torito Grill in Irvine would be transformed into Sol, undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. dollars.

New Sol’s menu and prices will be similar to its Newport location with iconic dishes such as Taco Vampiro and Wild Fish on Esquites with an almond and lemon crust, grilled corn esquites, tomatoes, basil. , lime, avocado butter and cotija cheese.

Sol is well known for its tequila cocktails, including its homemade margarita with fresh citrus juices, agave nectar and tequila, and agave alcoholic drinks like Mezcalero, a concoction of shaken mezcal with passion fruit, guava and lime juice.

Opening: February 14 to 1910 Main Street, Irvine.

Solita Tacos & Margaritas is slated to open in Anaheim in February. (Artist’s performance courtesy of Xperience Restaurant Group)

Usual tacos and margaritas

Xperience Restaurant Group, which already has Solita branches in Valencia and Huntington Beach, announced in October the opening of a new store in Anaheim, near Angel Stadium.

The restaurant of over 6,800 square feet will accommodate 300 guests inside and 68 others on the patio. Favorites, such as Pork Belly Dorado Taco and Vampiro Taco, will be served with grilled corn elote, nachos, carne asada and more.

The Solita’s bar will serve drinks made with agave spirits, including a margarita with a homemade sweet and sour mix and a blood orange and vanilla margarita.

Opening: February 28 at 2438 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim

Solstice, a restaurant with a whole concept built around the practice of eating according to the seasons, arrives in Irvine in February. (Courtesy of Preen)


The team at this forward-thinking restaurant, whose concept is based on eating seasonally, includes Culinary Director Demetrio Zavala, who also oversees the restaurant’s second location in Newtown, PA. He has participated in and won several Food Network televised competitions, including “Chopped: Grudge Match” and “Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay”.

He will be working with the executive chef of this location, Brittany Valles, a native of Orange County who was most recently executive chef of the Fashion Island Hotel.

Dylan Dinsmore, formerly of CdM Restaurant, will lead the libation program with a wine list of approximately 150 American and world selections by the bottle and by the glass. He will oversee a list of craft cocktails with a zero-proof non-alcoholic component.

Opening: February at The Boardwalk in Irvine, 18555 Jamboree Road.

Sahara Sandbar & Pizza plans to open this spring in Huntington State Beach. (Illustration by the artist courtesy of Ocean Contracting, Bonnie Moore)

Sahara Sandbar & Pizza

This place, inspired by Alicia Cox’s daughter, Sahara, who loves volleyball, will be near the volleyball courts and have a youthful vibe – maybe even with roller skate servers delivering pizza, beer. and crushed ice.

This is the latest in one of three openings that Prjkt Restaurant Group has revealed with California State Parks along a 3.5-mile stretch of Huntington State Beach as part of a long-term partnership to to elevate beachside dining and recreational experiences. Huntington Beach House opened in July and California Fork and Spoon is slated to open by the end of the year.

Opening: Come spring to Huntington State Beach.

A crystal cove

Just say that Elvis Morales, current Executive Chef of CdM, will be Executive Chef when A Crystal Cove opens this spring. River Jetty Restaurant Group, known for A Restaurant and A Market in Newport Beach and CdM Restaurant in Corona del Mar, announced in July that its fourth Orange County restaurant concept will arrive at the Crystal Cove Shopping Center.

The interior will blend “old Hollywood glamor and evoke the chic hotspots of New York and San Francisco” with features such as “an eye-catching bar, lavish banquet” and a beach color palette. Expect a selection of favorite dishes from Restaurant A and Restaurant CdM’s ‘biggest hits’, including spicy yellowfin tuna, cacio e pepe, and chicken piccata.

Opening: Spring in Crystal Cove Shopping Center, 8085 East Coast Highway, Newport Beach.

The goldfinch in Irvine is set to open this summer. (Artist rendering courtesy of Robinson Hill Architecture, Inc.)

the goldfinch

Like 908, its sister restaurant in Long Beach, the Goldfinch is expected to be a venue for business lunches and dinners as well as a gathering place for locals. It is the second restaurant of owners Juan Guerra, Ciaran Gough and Todd Miller.

Website 908 touts the kitchen’s “classic American cuisine” with a seasonal menu that includes steaks, seafood, salmon, fried chicken, lobster mac and cheese, and other entrees. The bar serves a selection of handcrafted cocktails.

Opening: This summer, 2000 Main St., Irvine.

Pizza champions John Arena and Chris Decker will be bringing Truly Pizza to Dana Point this summer. (Artist rendering courtesy of Powerstrip Studio)

Really Pizza

World Pizza Champion’s teammates John Arena and Chris Decker will create a menu featuring whole pies and slice pizzas, as well as salads, paninis, cold cuts, cheese platters, moist desserts and regional craft beers and wines at “affordable” prices.

Special features of her look, by Ted Berner and Dayna Lee of Powerstrip Studio, include a show kitchen, garden, and rooftop space.

Opening: This summer at 24402 Del Prado, Dana Point.


Brothers Michael and David Rossi (The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim) and husband-wife team Ed and Gabbi Patrick (Chaak in Tustin and Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen in Orange) will bring together Mexican and Mediterranean coastal cuisines with a new concept based on the “Trend Baja Med.

The wine list will feature the best bottlings from Mexico and the wood-fired cuisine will bring out the best of local and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant will have “a coastal influence” and “airy indoor and outdoor dining areas”.

Opening: Spring or summer at Old Towne Orange.

Amy’s Drive Thru, a vegetarian version of a burger stand, will open later this year in Aliso Viejo. (Courtesy of Amy’s Drive Thru)

Driving Amy

This place will serve burgers, shakes, fries, burritos and pizza in an organic and vegetarian take on classic American fast food, launched in 2015 by the founders of Amy’s Kitchen.

There are three locations in Northern California, including one at the San Francisco Airport, with many tempting indulgences. Some items can be made vegan and all can be served gluten free.

Opening: New store in Aliso Viejo at the end of the year at 26641 Aliso Creek Road.

More to come in 2022

Not many details yet but Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana will bring its popular pies to the space that was Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa, Zov’s will open a new location in San Clemente and former Patina Ross Pangilinan and Nicholas Weber will open Popular, a “modern bistro with French influences”, in South Coast Plaza.

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