By Caitlin Adams

Irvine residents can look forward to some delicious deals as the city gears up for its Restaurant Week, which is slated for Jan. 14-20. Several local eateries are offering prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus exclusively for the event.

"Irvine Restaurant Week is an incredible opportunity to experience some of the best food the destination has to offer at a value you can't get at any other time of the year," said Wendy Haase, Destination Irvine's director of tourism and marketing.

There are no passes, tickets or coupons required for diners to enjoy the event; guests simply visit a participating restaurant during the week, and in addition to the regular menu, they have the option of ordering from a special menu offering two- or three-course lunches for $15-20, and three- or four-course dinners for $30-40 per person. Some restaurants are also including other special offers for the week.

Destination Irvine is coordinating Irvine Restaurant Week as a part of California Restaurant Month, designated by the state's Travel & Tourism Commission. More than 20 destinations throughout the state will highlight the best restaurants across a variety of cuisines.

Caroline Beteta, CTTC president and CEO, described California's food culture as a draw for tourism.

"California is the top U.S. destination for culinary travel, so with these deals there's never been a better time for foodies to visit California," Beteta said. "Since we produce 90 percent of American wine and more than 400 agricultural crops, we attract some of the greatest chefs who enjoy creating with the freshest ingredients - which whets visitors' appetites for more."

Beteta said that enjoying the "California foodie lifestyle" is a New Year's resolution "we can all stick to."

Participating restaurants include 6ix Park Grill at the Hyatt Regency, Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, Elements Sushi & Sake Bar at the Irvine Marriott, Il Fornaio, Kimera Restaurant Lounge, The Melting Pot, Meritage Wine Bar and Restaurant, Waterfalls Restaurant at the Atrium Hotel and Zov's Neighborhood Bar & Café.

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