Anyone who's done serious eating in and around Orange County's South Coast Plaza knows that the well-heeled mall's food offerings go way beyond your basic Hot Dog on a Stick. (PS: Anyone who thinks that only the ladies can wear the iconic rainbow-brite outfits, check out Frank Furter, below. Does it work for him? And is he right about using hot dog batter as a facial mask? Friends of Squid Ink, let us know what you think.)
Ah, but we digress. We were discussing the fine dining at the South Coast Plaza and Village, which even long ago was home to the late, great Gustaf Anders.
These days, we might slip into the mall's Marché Moderne, which celebrates its second anniversary tonight and tomorrow night. Co-owners Amelia and Florent Marneau are planning a multi-course menu with two seatings. In addition to the $75 meal ($35 with paired wines), "select purveyors" will sell their wares (it is at a mall, after all), at a rooftop market just for the occasion. Vendors include Newport Meats, West Central Produce, and Santa Monica Seafood.
The Penthouse at South Coast Plaza (level three), Costa Mesa, (714) 434-7900 or www.marchemoderne.net.
More OC news: When the almost-doomed Disney's California Adventure opened a few years ago, the choice of on-site food sellers made some nods to our local bounty and heritage, even if the Fairfax Market section is surreal. Perhaps most important for some, it gave the over-21 mouse-ear-wearing crowd the bonus of booze. The park's Food & Wine Festival improves the eating situation. Peruse the website for full listings and details about the tastings, demonstrations, seminars and hands-on cooking classes for kids scheduled over the next six weeks through June 7. Yes, there's a dedicated gift shop. And if we're lucky, Imagineers will put out a suggestion box for a California food themed major attraction. Or please feel free to share your suggestions with us in the comments below.
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Matador Cantina in historic downtown Fullerton has been open since the beginning of April. Co-owners Mario Marovic, David Bailey and Rob Hallstrom brought in Executive Chef David Dennis to curate a selection of traditional and contemporary eclectic Mexican food. Located within what's apparently the oldest building in the area, the Matador's going for the whole cushy evening cocktail lounge thing, while being amenable to daytime diners' needs. It's open for weekday lunch and weekend brunch.
111 North Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 871-8226 or www.thematador.com.
The Cannery in Newport Beach encourages families seeking exciting "staycations" to consider its $900 private helicopter dining package for two, or a meal at sea that includes a tour of the channel and Back Bay. In this economy, you gotta get creative, right? The restaurant is also extending a 50% food discount to all restaurant industry employees on Monday nights from 4:00 p.m. until closing.
3010 Lafayette Rd., Newport Beach, (949) 566-0060 or www.cannerynewport.com.