11 of the most anticipated restaurants to open in Orange County in 2022

An all-organic vegan through burger joint, an upscale Mediterranean Baja dining room and new locations of favorites like Sol Mexican Cocina, Zov’s and A Restaurant – there’s a lot to look forward to in 2022 for foodies looking for new places to try. Here’s a dashboard so you can keep an eye on these highly anticipated eateries.

Confinement and trust

Chef/owner Jason Quinn’s Playground transformed into two new concepts. Quinn will take on the advisory role. Bob Quinn, (Jason’s father), will remain his son’s business partner while Jarred Dooley, John Parker and Justin Werner will take on new roles running the operation.

A new concept called Detention will be led by Bob Quinn, Dooley and Parker, who already run Playground. The menu will change with the seasons, and the Playground bar will initially be a seating area offering “a cocktail omakase experience and bar snacks.”

Playground 2.0 has been transferred to Werner, who have developed an 18-seat chef’s table concept called Trust, which opens Friday, January 7 with tickets available through Tock. Werner had worked at Playground with Quinn before. Most recently, he was the chef at Porch & Swing in Irvine.

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

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Sol Mexican Cocina

Xperience Restaurant Group – 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 will be transformed into Sol, undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation.

The new Sol’s menu and pricing will be similar to the Newport location, with signature dishes like Taco Vampiro and Wild Fish on Esquites with almond lemon zest, roasted corn esquites, tomatoes, basil, lemon, avocado, and cheese cool cotija.

Sol is famous for its tequila cocktails including the restaurant’s margarita with fresh citrus juice, agave nectar, and tequila, and agave-based drinks like The Mezcalero, a recipe for mezcal shakes with passion , guava and lime juice.

Opening: February 14 at 1910 Main St., Irvine.

Solita Tacos & Margaritas is scheduled to open in Anaheim in February. (Artist performed with support from Xperience Restaurant Group)

Solita Tacos & Margaritas

Xperience Restaurant Group, which already has Solita locations in Valencia and Huntington Beach, announced in October that a new store is scheduled to open in Anaheim, near Angel Stadium.

The more than 6,800 square foot restaurant will accommodate 300 diners inside and 68 seats for an additional 68 outside. Favorites, such as the Pork Belly Dorado Taco and the Vampiro Taco, will be served alongside grilled corn, nachos, carne asada and more.

Solita’s bar will serve agave-based drinks including homemade sweet and sour margaritas and blood orange and vanilla margaritas.

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

Solstice, a restaurant whose whole concept is built around seasonal dining, is coming to Irvine in February. (Courtesy of Preen)


This research group progressive restaurant, whose concept is based on seasonal dining, includes culinary director Demetrio Zavala, who also oversees the restaurant’s second location in Newtown, Pennsylvania. He has entered and won several competitions on Food Network TV, including “Chopped: Grudge Match” and “Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay”.

He’ll be working with the venue’s executive chef Brittany Valles, an Orange County native who was most recently the chef at the Fashion Island Hotel.

Dylan Dinsmore, formerly of CdM Restaurants, will lead the libations with a wine list of approximately 150 American and global selections by bottle and glass. He will oversee a list of craft cocktails with an unmistakable mocktail ingredient.

Opening: February at the Irvine Boardwalk, 18555 Jamboree Road.

Sahara Sandbar & Pizza is planning to open this spring in Huntington State Beach. (Drawing by artist courtesy of Ocean Cont Contract, Bonnie Moore)

Sahara Sandbar & Pizza

This venue, inspired by the Sahara, daughter of volleyball lover Alicia Cox, will be close to volleyball courts and have a youthful feel – maybe even have roller skate servers delivering pizza , beer and shaved ice.

It is the latest in one of three grand openings by the Prjkt Restaurant Group to be revealed with California State Parks along a 3.5-mile stretch of Huntington State Beach as part of the Long-term partnership to elevate beachfront dining and entertainment experience. Huntington Beach House opens in July, and California Fork and Spoon is expected to open later this year.

Opening: Go to Huntington State Beach in the spring.

Crystal Bay

Just saying that Elvis Morales, the current head chef at CdM, will be head 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 the dining concept in Orange County Wednesday, is coming to Crystal Cove Mall.

The interior will blend “old Hollywood glamor and evoke chic New York and San Francisco style hotspots” with features such as “eye-catching bars, classy parties” and color palettes as beautiful as the beach. Expect a selection of top favorites from A Restaurant and CdM Restaurant including Spicy Yellowfin Tuna, Cacio e Pepe and Chicken Piccata.

Opening: Spring at Crystal Cove Mall, East Coast Highway 8085, Newport Beach.

Goldfinch in Irvine is on track to open this summer. (Artist’s drawings courtesy of Robinson Hill Architecture, Inc.)

The Goldfinch

Like The 908, its sister restaurant in Long Beach, The Goldfinch It is expected to host energy lunches and business dinners as well as a gathering spot for locals. This is the second restaurant for owners Juan Guerra, Ciaran Gough and Todd Miller.

Website 908 showcases the kitchen’s “Classic American Kitchen,” with a seasonal menu that includes steak, seafood, salmon, fried chicken, lobster mac and cheese, and other dinner dishes. The bar serves a selection of craft cocktails.

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

Pizza champions John Arena and Chris Decker will bring Truly Pizza to Dana Point this summer. (Artist rendering with Powerstrip Studio support)

Really Pizza

Teammate of the world pizza champion John Arena and Chris Decker will create a menu with pies and whole pizzas, as well as salads, sandwiches, char siu sandwiches, cheese platters, light serve desserts, regional craft beers and wines at prices.” Fit”.

Its visual features, by Ted Berner and Dayna Lee of Powerstrip Studio, include an exhibition 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 and wife team Ed and Gabbi Patrick (Chaak in Tustin and Gabbi’s Mexico Kitchen in Orange) will bring coastal Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine with one concept. new based Trend “Baja Med”.

The wine list will feature the best bottles of Mexican wine, and the wood stove will bring in the best local and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant will have a “coastal influence” and “cool indoor and outdoor dining spaces.”

Opening: Spring or summer in Old Towne Orange.

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

Amy’s Drive Thru

This location will serve burgers, milkshakes, fries, burgers and pizzas in an organic way, vegetarian take on classic American fast food, started in 2015 by the founders of Amy’s Kitchen.

There are three locations in Northern California, including one at the San Francisco airport, with a variety of attractions. Some items can be made vegan and all can be served gluten-free.

Opening: The new store is coming to Aliso Viejo later this year at 26641 Aliso Creek Road.

More to come in 2022

Not many details are known yet but Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana will bring its famous cakes to the space as Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa, Zov’s will open a new location in San Clemente and Patina Group alums Ross Pangilinan and Nicholas Weber will open Populaire, a “modern bistro with French influences,” in the South Coast Plaza.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/01/12/11-of-the-most-anticipated-restaurants-opening-in-orange-county-in-2022/ 11 of the most anticipated restaurants to open in Orange County in 2022 – Orange County Register

Andrew Schnitker

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