It happens only once a year and it's already begun!
and it's your chance to try 100 top area restaurants with special prix fixe menus, ranging from $10 to $40 per person for lunch or dinner.
“We have more than 100 talented Chefs who demonstrate so much skill, creativity and passion during Orange County Restaurant Week, and without them, this grand culinary celebration wouldn’t continue to grow in excitement every year,” said Pamela Waitt, president of the OC Restaurant Association. "We’re showcasing these top Chefs at the county’s best restaurants, so diners can expect to be presented with a truly special event with the county’s crème de la crème offering great incentives during this one week. After all, the goal is for everyone involved to have fun!”
This weeklong event runs through March 3.
Here are a few of my recommendations for restaurants to try out this week:
118 Degrees: If you're a vegetarian or curious about the raw food movement, check out 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa, located at The Camp behind the gas station. They have a lunch special for $10 and dinner for $20.
Charlie Palmer: Located in South Coast Plaza at the ritzy fashion retailer Bloomingdale's, this is a swanky date night spot and my favorite place to hang out for happy hour.
Cucina Enoteca: This is a new addition to the Irvine Spectrum located across from the theater. The hipster decor and the modern trendy dishes will impress you and your date. This is a hot and happening spot in south OC.
Lucca: This cozy European bistro is quickly becoming my favorite spot in Irvine. Located in Quail Hill, it's a great romantic getaway and Chef Cathy treats each guest like they're in her home.
Lumberyard: Located in Laguna Beach, the Lumberyard had me at "Go Green." This refreshing take on a classic mojito is the perfect way to start your evening. On the outside, the restaurant looks like a hobbit house, but the warm wooden decor is the perfect setting for any lunch or dinner.
SOL Cocina: With breathtaking views of the beach and Chef Deb's mouthwatering street tacos, you can't go wrong with SOL Cocina. Chef Deb's cuisine was also recently featured in "O" magazine. I would recommend coming here for lunch and grabbing a window booth.
The Rooftop Lounge: If you're not familiar with Laguna Beach or never been, this lounge can be hard to find. Spot the Hotel La Casa del Camino, take the mystery stairs and you'll be at the Rooftop. Since most of the appeal is the scenary, take the lunch deal and bring a date or a friend.
All participating restaurants can be found online at OCRestaurantWeek.com.