From a pre-soccer game lunch to falafel in Irvine, here’s what’s happening in our food and drink world.
All the things
Food halls are like Disneyland for the indecisive eater. Can’t decide between a fried chicken sandwich and a burrito? Get both. The food hall model — large, open spaces with multiple vendors — has been thriving in Orange County for close to a decade, and Los Angeles is just catching up. There’s the venerable, recently revamped Grand Central Market in downtown L.A., and now, there’s the Fields LA, open next to the Banc of California Stadium near the Los Angeles Coliseum. And some of the city’s best chefs and restaurants are popping up inside. Tim Hollingsworth, who helms the kitchen at Otium restaurant, has a fried chicken sandwich spot called C.J. Boyd’s Fried Chicken, named after his grandfather Cecil Boyd. Barbara Jean restaurant chef Jason Fullilove has opened an outpost of his soul food restaurant. Burritos La Palma is serving its birria, tinga and chicharrón-filled burritos, and there’s Nayarit-style ceviches and cócteles from Coni’Seafood. Chi Spacca-alum Chad Colby is behind Piccolo Antico Pizzeria, where he’s making Roman-style pizza and sandwiches on foccacia bread. And “Top Chef” star chef Shirley Chung is making dumplings, noodle bowls and fried rice at Ms Chi. Nick Meyer and Julian Cox are behind the cocktails served at the hall, Taylor Parsons curated the wine list and James Mhaoir chose the local craft brews. Although it will undoubtedly be a great place to eat before and after games, the Fields LA will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, no Los Angeles Football Club tickets required. 3939 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, thefieldsla.com.
Falasophy (yes that’s the actual name) is opening a restaurant at the Irvine Spectrum Center. Falasophy started as a food truck in 2014, opened its first bricks-and-mortar at the 4th Street Market food hall in Santa Ana in 2017, and is now expanding to Irvine. The idea is Lebanese street food translated as spicy falafel tacos with a zigzag of cilantro garlic sauce, lamb pita sandwiches with hummus and pomegranate dressing and bowls of crunchy salad covered in chicken tawook kebab. Falasophy is just one of the new stores and restaurants expected to open at the center this summer. 670 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, falasophy.com.
Lisa Vanderpump, the dog-loving star of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” is expanding her empire with the opening of Tom Tom in West Hollywood. The restaurant and bar are on Santa Monica Boulevard just down the street from her restaurant Pump and next to the soon-to-open Bottega Louie. Restaurant partners Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz are stars on her other reality TV show, “Vanderpump Rules.” Vanderpump and the two Toms tapped “Food Network” celebrity chef Penny Davidi and Bryan Saure, chef at Vanderpumps’ Bevelry Hills restaurant Villa Blanca, to create the menu. Highlights include a grilled farmers market vegetable board and cauliflower wings in a brown-sugar citrus glaze. 8932 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 360-0963, tomtombar.la.
After spending nearly a decade as executive chef at Studio restaurant at the Montage Laguna Beach, chef Craig Strong is opening his own restaurant, Ocean at Main, in Laguna Beach in October. The 4,500-square-foot restaurant is located in the former Laguna Federal Savings building. Details on the menu remain slim, but Strong is teasing fresh seafood, seasonal produce and flatbreads. 222 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.
The Vegas Strip, with its myriad of places to eat and drink, seems the perfect place to open a food hall. The Cosmopolitan, which already has a location of Alvin Cailan’s Eggslut and David Chang’s Momofuku in the hotel, has announced plans to open the Block 16 Urban Food Hall on Aug. 31. And the participating vendors are serving some of the most sought-after plates in the country: Hattie B’s Hot Chicken will serve its Nashville hot chicken; Pok Pok Wing with serve chef Andy Ricker’s lauded fish sauce wings; Portland, Ore., chef Rick Gencarelli has opened an outpost of Lardo at the hall; and there will be a location of the New Orleans restaurant District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, (702) 698-7000, cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/block16.