Greer's OC: Restaurant Week returns Sunday

Orange County Restaurant Week, seven days of foodie heaven, will be returning Sunday through March 3. The culinary celebration gives diners an opportunity to experience amazing prix-fixe menus from Orange County's top restaurants.

More than 100 talented chefs have created special three-course menus so that you can try new culinary creations, discover new restaurants and eat your way through the county. Special menus will be set at $10, $15 and $20 per person for lunch, and $20, $30 or $40 per person for dinner. You can search for your favorite restaurant by city, and see the entire list at

A sold-out party to celebrate the launch of OC Restaurant Week will take place at the Newport Beach Lexus dealership on Saturday. The bash will benefit Share Our Strength, which is dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the U.S.


Celebrate at Roy's

Celebrate any event of the season with Hawaiian-fusion cuisine at one of our favorite restaurants, Roy's Newport Beach.

Ever since Chef Roy Yamaguchi founded the first Roy's in Honolulu in 1988, each Roy's Restaurant continues to serve his beloved culinary creations, combining the freshest local ingredients, European sauces, Asian spices, and with a focus on fresh seafood. Yamaguchi has mentored and attracted top chefs, like Chef Edgar Agbayani at Roy's Newport Beach, who takes pride in serving Asian-inspired cuisine and unforgettable signature cocktails such as martinis made with 100% pure, natural fruit purees.

Favorites include the crunchy, golden lobster pot stickers with spicy togarashi miso butter sauce, tender braised honey mustard grilled beef short ribs, and seared Hawaiian ono with white bean and shiitake mushroom ragu. For an indulgent finish, save room for Roy 's classic melting hot chocolate soufflé with a molten hot center served a la mode.

Join Roy's for Aloha Hour, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. nightly in the bar area. Enjoy specialty cocktails, glasses of select wines and menu items for just $5.

Roy's is at 453 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach. The restaurant is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 5 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call (949) 640-7697 or visit


OC Music Awards Finals

After seven weeks of free live music events throughout Orange County, the OC Music Awards Showcase Series Finals will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Samueli Theatre in Costa Mesa.

You can see the "best live band" finalists, including Midnight Hour, Slime Kings, Robert Jon & the Wreck, Railroad to Alaska and "Farmer John Fan Vote" winner We Are the Arsenal. The show at the theater, which is part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, will be free and open to all ages. For more information, visit


Defying gravity

At the new Defy Gravity in Corona del Mar, co-owners Shannon Barbadian and Laura Fox have created a one-of-a-kind studio that combines two forms of exercise, blending the high energy level of spinning mixed with the lengthening and toning of Pilates.

Clients can also choose separate classes of spinning and Pilates as well. The Pilates room features five Allegro reformers and five EXO Chairs for a variety of exercises. The spin room is equipped with 10 Schwinn AC Performance bikes with resistance bands above each bike for upper body work toward the end of spin classes.

The Pilates/spinning studio is offering Greer's OC readers a special: take any three classes for $45 and receive the first class free, for a total of four classes. Regular pricing is $33 for Pilates and $23 for spinning.

Defy Gravity Studio, at 3100 E. Coast Hwy., offers a fantastic workout.

For more information, call (949)719-2900, or visit


Hop on by for griddle cakes

Don't forget that Tuesday is National Pancake Day. All IHOP restaurants will be offering a free short stack of its famous buttermilk pancakes, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

IHOP is on a mission to raise awareness and funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and Children's Hospital of Orange County. Guests are asked to leave a small donation for either charity. IHOP is at 3125 Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa; 200 Main St # 116 and at 18782 Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach; and at 18542 MacArthur Blvd and 5301 University Drive in Irvine.


Fine wining and dining escapade

On March 1, experience an intimate winemakers' dinner at the Loft in Montage Laguna, featuring Napa Valley's Fritz Hatton of Arietta Winery and Lee Hudson of Hudson Vineyards.

This is a rare occasion to attend an exclusive dinner limited to 40 guests, which will feature a prepared tasting menu of pork from Hudson Ranch paired with wines from Arietta Winery and the Hudson Vineyard.

Chef de Cuisine, Casey Overton, created a special menu that includes tête de porc, Hudson Ranch omelet, belweather ricotta crostini, ginger-scented chawanmushi, acorn pasta tortellini, sous vide pork belly roulade, pork loin en crepinette, and for dessert, elderflower crème fraiche tart.

The cost is $145 per person, plus tax and gratuity. The reception starts at 6 p.m.; dinner starts at 7 p.m. The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach is at 30801 S. Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach. Reservations can be made at (949) 715-6080.

GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of, a free daily email service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed at and she can be contacted at

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