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Fax Food Is for Those Too Busy for a Break

We all know about fast food. But are you ready for fax food? The Irvine Hilton and Towers thinks so. If you’re so pressed for time at work that you miss breakfast or can’t shake loose for lunch or dinner, just fax your food order to the Hilton, anytime, day or night. Then pick it up, or await delivery within the hour. According to food and beverage manager Erich Steinbock, menus have been distributed to Jamboree Center offices. Employees and execs check off their choices and fax it in. Selections include six different sandwiches with salad for $3.95. For orders over $15, there’s no charge for delivery to office buildings adjacent to the hotel. Information: (714) 863-3111.

AWARDS TIME: The Southern California Restaurant Writers Assn. moves out of Orange County for the first time for its 15th annual awards banquet April 9 at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel. There will be a 5 p.m. reception in the Crystal Ballroom; the banquet and awards presentation will follow in the Biltmore Bowl, scene of early Academy Awards. Proceeds help fund scholarships in the culinary arts. . . . And speaking of awards, the Irvine-based El Torito was recently voted “Best Mexican Restaurant Company” in an annual survey by the trade magazine Restaurants & Institutions.

ANOTHER OPENING; ANOTHER RESTAURANT: Baci, featuring regional Italian fare, is new in Huntington Beach, with chef Angelo Parisi and Frank Leone co-owners. Parisi was sous-chef at La Palme in the Newporter Resort and executive chef for Mastroianni caterers. . . . The sign is up, major renovations under way for Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar, due for June opening in Costa Mesa at the site of Cafe Casino. Scott’s restaurants (There are seven in the San Francisco Bay Area) are designed as “veritable theaters--action-packed and fun,” with exhibition kitchens, according to partner Malcolm Stroud. Look for a dining room, adjoining greenhouse cafe, outdoor cocktail area, Italian wood-burning pizza oven, seafood bar and a menu emphasizing Pacific and Atlantic seafood and shellfish.

The restaurant in Anaheim once known as Shadrack’s, after changing owners and names several times, will reopen the end of April as Shadrack’s. A determined former waitress, Diana Huss, bought the restaurant and customers are pitching in to help. . . . A new Five Feet will rise in Fashion Island in July, and owner Michael Kang promises it will be enough different from his Laguna Beach restaurant that “You can have lunch in Newport and dinner in Laguna.”. . . McCormick & Schmick will debut at Main Street near Jamboree in Irvine the end of May, accenting seafood of the Pacific Northwest from the corporation’s own fish company. With its “San Francisco ambiance,” the restaurant will also feature a nightclub--Mick’s--with live entertainment.

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Gone from Corona del Mar is Ming Dynasty. In its place, Chez Pauline offers French/American fare. . . . South of Santa Fe in Orange closed March 22. But fans of El Cholo restaurants can still enjoy Mexican, Southwestern and American fare at Cafe El Cholo and The Cat & The Custard Cup in La Habra. . . . Gone, too, is the Metropolitan Grill in Irvine. Due for an April opening at that site: Giovani’s, which will accent “old-fashioned Italian fare” for lunch and dinner, with live entertainment beginning at 4:30. Sundays, the restaurant segues to a “nightclub theme” with no food service. . . . John and Hetty Robinson, owners of Amelia’s on Balboa Island, have opened a “smaller, more casual” restaurant, Papa Gianni’s, on the Santa Ana/Fountain Valley border. Moderately priced, catering to families with a trattoria atmosphere and food to go, it’s open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The accent is Persian at the Tea Room, Cafe Gallery at the Newport Golf Course, with displays by local Persian artists and weekly concerts of international folk songs by Persian entertainers. Chefs Khalil Nasseraddin and Carlos Amarquina blend their expertise in Persian and American cooking for lunch weekdays, dinner nightly and Sunday brunch.

THE WINE/DINE CIRCUIT: John Dominis, on the bay in Newport Beach, will feature Clos du Bois varietal wines April 4. The six-course dinner includes lobster and salmon quenelles, noisettes of spring lamb with fresh mint and rosemary sauce. $65 covers reception, dinner, wines, tax and gratuity. Call Dave or Gwen for reservations: (714) 650-1220. . . . A’la Carte Bistro in the Huntington Harbour mall will showcase the wines of Maurice Carrie of Temecula at a 9-course dinner, April 6. Menu highlights include salad of fresh asparagus with three-colored caviar, grilled lamb loin, fanned over port wine-red currant-peppercorn sauce. $65 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: (714) 840-8152. . . . Showley-Wrightson of Newport Beach will present an Italian-wine dinner April 14. Five courses (with Italian wines) include tre ravioli (lobster, spinach and prosciutto fillings), warm sea bass salad, Italian loin of lamb. Price for food and beverages is $60 per person, with prepaid reservations required. Phone: (714) 760-9700.

A complete vertical tasting of Caymus Cabernets, from ’73 to ’84, will be complemented by a three-course dinner prepared by Le Biarritz chef John Sharp at Hi-Time Cellars in Costa Mesa April 19. For reservations for this $75 affair, call Earl Foster: (714) 650-8463. . . . On Monday, the Cellar in Fullerton presents an evening of fine dining, wine-tasting and information on a special European tour. Five imported wines will accompany such courses as loup de mer, grille, beurre blanc Basilique. Restaurant proprietor Ernest Zingg will discuss a “tour for gourmands” that he will lead to Switzerland and France in September. Information: (714) 525-5682. . . . Speaking of tours, the Dana Point Resort, which will feature wines of Temecula from April 17 to 21, has put together a weekend package for April 23 to 24, highlighting a bus trip to the Temecula wine country. The cost is $194 per couple, which covers an overnight stay at the resort, room gifts, Sunday continental breakfast, escorted tour of several wineries and lunch in the Temecula valley. Reservations: (714) 661-5000.

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MEMO TO THE BOSS: April 24-28 is Secretary Week, and many restaurants plan special promotions. For instance, El Torito restaurants schedule daily drawings for luncheon for two. Salvatore’s in Anaheim offers a different fashion show each noon, with door prizes every half-hour, plus a ribbon corsage for each secretary.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The Royal Thai restaurant in Newport Beach transports guests to old Siam for a Thai New Year celebration April 9 at noon. The buffet will feature such delicacies as katang thong, beef satay, yum woon sen, Siamese catfish. Festively costumed girls will perform palace dances. $25 per person includes tax and tip. Reservations: (714) 645-8424.

HERE AND THERE: John Lopes, manager of Pronto Ristorante in Costa Mesa for many years, now manages JJs Bistro, Dana Point. . . . The Hacienda in Santa Ana recently introduced a Sunday Southwestern brunch buffet; $9.95 including champagne. . . . New at Monique French restaurant, South Laguna: gourmet dinners from its chalkboard menu for takeout, either to be picked up or delivered. . . . Mene’s Greek Terrace in El Toro now accepts dinner reservations. . . . Bernard Jacoupy, manager of Le Meridien Hotel in Newport Beach, will be honored for his continuing contribution to the United Cerebral Palsy Assn. of Orange County at the charity’s Award of Distinction dinner April 14 at the hotel.


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