If Arc restaurant has shown the "dark side" of Noah and Marin von Blom — Costa Mesa's award-winning duo of restaurateurs behind the DirtySexyHappiness Hospitality Group — their newest venture, Restaurant Marin, proves there's a lighter side as well.
The intimate, diner-inspired venue adjacent to Arc in Costa Mesa's South Coast Collection will officially open Monday after hosting soft openings in March. But unlike Arc's dark but cozy living-room atmosphere, Restaurant Marin's decor is bright and airy — coastal California meets Parisian cafe, with blue and white accents.
The roughly 1,000-square-foot space seats 30 — 20 inside, 10 outside.
French pendant lamps hang from the ceiling, and three chandeliers adorn the display kitchen.
"There aren't many kitchens that insist on chandeliers throughout them," Noah said with a smile.
The booths are blue stingray leather; the tables are made of pressed sea glass. Silver mirrored panels line the walls, with Art Deco-inspired ceiling panels above.
"We wanted to show that we have other ideas than just dark and sexy Arc," said Marin, the new restaurant's namesake. "We wanted to show that we have a light, bright, fun side."
Unlike Arc, Restaurant Marin will serve plenty of seafood, from lobster rolls to house-smoked salmon.
Like Arc, Restaurant Marin will use a wood-fired oven, though Marin's maintains a lower temperature than Arc's, which allows it to cook seafood and other items such as bread and desserts.
Noah said Restaurant Marin was inspired by an experience he had years ago while eating at an unpretentious diner in Kansas. He had "bacon, eggs and three pieces of pie."
"It was the best meal I can remember having," Noah recalled.
He wants Restaurant Marin to be "a diner of the most ridiculous quality."
Hours are 7 a.m. to midnight, with breakfast, lunch and dinner service.
The von Bloms are particularly excited about the breakfast part — it's going to be served all day.
"A lot of times, people enjoy breakfast at lunch," Marin said, "or you might want to have eggs for dinner. Normally, you can't go get a great breakfast any time."
For Jordan Gamart, the restaurant's in-house marketing and public relations coordinator, The Muffin stands out.
The Muffin is comparable to a breakfast sandwich, with fried egg, aged cheddar cheese, shaved bacon and spinach tucked inside. It sells for $22.
"It's like a biscuity goodness," Gamart said.
For lunch, selections include a grilled Shrimp Louie salad and a slow-roasted short-rib dip sandwich.
Dinners include classic meatloaf, fish and chips, and stroganoff with filet mignon.
Desserts, available all day, include various pies and crumbles.
Koire Rogers, who created Arc's award-winning cocktail program, has made a new drink menu for Restaurant Marin, along with nonalcoholic selections such as house-made root beer, hot chocolate and craft juice blends.
Like Arc, Restaurant Marin has a no-tipping policy. Hospitality is included in the menu pricing.