Just in time for New Year’s, the Main Street Bar and Grill is open in the Pierside Pavilion at Huntington Beach. Located on the second floor, the restaurant offers plenty of terrace seating and stunning sunset views. There’s a contemporary grill ambience with marble floors, granite tables and an exhibition kitchen with counter seating. The eclectic menu ranges from appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches to seafood and other main courses. And because the menu is served all day, you can have a dinner entree at noon or a salad in the evening. A la carte prices range from $6.95 for a salad to $29.95 for a certified Black Angus steak (the average price is about $15). Open daily for lunch, dinner and late supper at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway. (714) 840-6518.
Meanwhile, Maxwell’s, just across PCH, remains open during the removal of the Huntington Beach Pier; it, too, offers a grandstand view. (714) 536-2555.
Splashes has made a splash right on the beach at the Surf and Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach. Less expensive and more casual (but no beachwear, please) than the hotel’s glamorous Towers restaurant, Splashes accents contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. The a la carte menu includes such starters as shrimp and mushrooms wrapped in phyllo crust with arugula salad. Entrees include roast lamb with vegetable tart and tomato-coriander sauce, roast striped bass with fennel, and grilled rib-eye steak with Banyuls (a sweet fortified wine) sauce. There are 40 wines from the smaller wineries of Italy, France and California. Currently open nightly for dinner, Splashes will soon add breakfast and lunch. 1555 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. (714) 497-4477.
The popular Kim Wu, former chef at the now-defunct La Chinoise in Lake Forest, is now chef at Fortune in South Coast Plaza Village, Santa Ana. Does this mean we can go into Fortune and order Peking duck without giving 24 hours’ notice, as we did in the old days at Wu’s Peking Duck restaurant in Orange? “Absolutely,” he says. Reservations: (714) 850-9008.
Here’s consolation for devotees who miss Showley-Wrightson, which closed in Newport Beach last spring. Your favorite S-W salads now are available at Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store in Newport Beach. Sgt. Pep’s gourmand owners, Eastbluff residents Dave and Vivian Patterson, were fans and friends of the Showleys and they enticed Delia Hernandez, who made S-W’s salads for nine years, to join them. Four different salads are available daily from a repertoire of 11 (examples: Thai chicken salad, lemon basil pasta, Tex Mex potato) by the scoop or by the pound. Or order a deli salad platter--your choice of any three for $5.45.
Incidentally, the Pattersons (who recently sold their Irvine and Tustin stores to concentrate on the Newport location) also have introduced “California-style” pizzas to the restaurant: Thai chicken, goat cheese and Gorgonzola/walnut, to name a few. 2300 Bristol St. (714) 852-9500.