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Irvine Blog - Posts from Local Experts

Posts for June 2015

Filed In: Dining

Tender Greens at The Spectrum Center Celebrates Summer

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Monday, Jun 29, 2015

Tender Greens at The Spectrum Center celebrated summer by hosting a pig roast and crawfish boil dinner.


The outdoor patio was the perfect place to spend a balmy Sunday evening, sampling the fresh fare from Tender Greens and sipping on local brews from Barley Forge Brewing Co. of Costa Mesa, who had taken over the taps for the night.

It was a dream pairing of fresh and local; Tender Greens with its passion for providing farm-to-table meals and Barley Forge, one of Orange County's best new breweries operated by guys who grew up in Irvine.

A refreshing glass of Mango Hefeweizen was the perfect match for Chef Andrew Bent's classic crawfish boil, piled high with spicy "mudbugs" and veggies. But the star of the show was the whole pig, that had been roasting in Bent's personally-constructed, cinder-block oven since 5am that morning. Tender to perfection, the smokey meat was an excellent partner for Barley Forge's Coconut Rye Stout.

"We wanted to do something special tonight," said Bent. "We wanted to show the best of what local producers can do. When I first came to Irvine, I looked for the best local farms and the best local beers. Today is an example of what can happen when you put those two together."

Farm to Table is more than just a marketing concept at Tender Greens, it's a way of doing business, according to Bent.

"I call up my farmer at 7am to find out what's best and then I'm serving it by 11am,"

It's a freshness not usually found in a mall setting, but then the Irvine Spectrum Center is not an ordinary mall.

And even though the name, Tender Greens, implies a wonderful selection of salads and veggies, the menu is full of hunger-satisfying protein as well. Like salt and pepper roasted chicken, herb-brushed albacore and a good, old-fashioned backyard steak.

"We have a lot of great competitors here," said Bent. "We work hard to provide the best local ingredients, in our own creative style. It's slow food done fast. That's what we do best."

Tender Greens 
Irvine Spectrum Center 
530 Spectrum Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 679-9135
Barley Forge Brewing Co.
2957 Randolph Unit B
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 641-2084 
Filed In: Events

Irvine Summer Concert Series

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Friday, Jun 26, 2015

Free Weekend Concerts All Summer Long

It's that time of year again....when lazy weekend afternoons are capped off with concerts under the stars.  

Irvine has a full schedule of Free Concerts scheduled at various venues around the city. From vintage tribute bands to soul, from classical to country.. Irvine summer concerts has something for everyone.

The City of Irvine is hosting the Sizzlin' Summer Concert Series Sundays at Mike Ward Community Park in Woodbridge.

Local Food Trucks will also be on hand with proceeds benefiting local nonprofit organizations.

Sizzlin' Summer Concerts

5:30-7:30 p.m. 

Sunday, July 12 - Paperback Writer - The Beatles Experience
Sunday, July 19 **Pacific Symphony
Sunday, July 26 - Savor - Santana Tribute
Sunday, August 2 - King Kruk - Elvis Tribute
Sunday, August 9 - Hot August Night - Neil Diamond Tribute
Sunday, August 16 - Bella Donna - Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute
 Kelly Rae Band

The Woodbridge Village Association will host concerts by the North lake for residents again this summer. Bring a lawn chair, a picnic dinner and enjoy!

Woodbridge Concerts By The Lake

5:30 - 7:30pm 

Saturday, June 27th       Stone Soul

Saturday, July 18th         Kelly Rae Band


OC Parks will also host free, midweek concerts in Irvine this summer.

OC Parks Summer Concert Series

6:30 - 8:30pm 

Mason Regional Park

Thursday, July 30     Tom Freund with Downtown Country Club

Irvine Regional Park

Thursday, August 13   Venice with Quinn Archer 



Ride the NEW Irvine Spectrum Giant Wheel for FREE!

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Friday, Jun 12, 2015

Did you shop, dine or enjoy entertainment at the Irvine Spectrum the last few months and wondered why the Giant Wheel was engulfed in scaffolding? If you've driven by or been to the center recently, you may have noticed that the Giant Wheel received a major, and dazzling facelift. Compared to it's original 12,000 standard bulbs, the wheel has been replaced with more than 52,000 energy-efficient LED lights capable of a magnificent 16 million different color schemes.

Come see it for yourself and enjoy a complimentary ride this weekend only, Friday June 12 (10am-11pm)- Sunday June 14 (10am-9pm). Just follow the signs for the complimentary ride and hop into a gondola. You get to go twice around and see Irvine's beautiful landscape. 

670 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine

Also, take part in the Irvine Spectrum's giveaway:

Enter to win a $100 gift card and be featured on Irvine Spectrum Centers social media pages by snapping a picture of the Giant Wheel from June 12th-14th and tag on instagram @irvinespectrumcenter and use #SpectrumGiantWheel for your chance to win. Don't miss out on this exciting event! 

Header image Cornerstone Communications
Filed In: Events

Shakespeare OC Kicks off Summer Season with Star Studded Gala June 13!

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Sunday, Jun 07, 2015

Shakespeare Orange County is kicking off the 2015 season in blockbuster fashion on Saturday, June 13th, with a gala event hosted by Producing Artistic Director John Walcutt. The centerpiece of this fast-moving and hilarious night will be a live 1930's radio broadcast-style performance of Kaufman and Hart's classic American comedy You Can't Take It With You, featuring live sound effects and music, vintage commercials, and a marvelous list of celebrity guest artists from Hollywood and Broadway.

Check out all the celebrities you can meet! Wanna have dinner with Robert Hayes?  You can! Wanna sip cocktails with JoBeth Williams?  Go for it! Fundraising ticket prices are $25 to see the show, $75 for the show and afterparty. The catered dinner will cost a bit more, but hey, it's a fundraiser, so raise the roof and make your celeb sighting dreams come true!

Last year's cast included Academy Award nominee James Cromwell (Babe, L.A. Confidential), Robert Hays (Airplane!, Homeward Bound), Jerrika Hinton (Grey's Anatomy), Emmy nominee Gregory Itzin (24, The Mentalist), Tamlyn Tomita (The Joy Luck Club, Revolution), Michelle Krusiec (What Happens in Vegas, Saving Face), Hrach Titizian (Homeland, Broadway's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Rene Auberjonois (Benson, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)... and more! This year's show promises more of the same.

Buy a VIP Dinner ticket and dine with the celebrity cast onstage before the show. A catered meal, drinks, and the best seats in the house. Photos, schmoozing, autographs and laughter are highly encouraged. You don't want to miss out on selfies with these fun and funny celebs!

You can also purchase a ticket that includes admission to the cast after-party, open bar and finger food, so there are several options you can choose.  I'll be there for sure!

There will also be a prize-packed silent auction and other prize opportunities to support the SOC season and educational summer program. Tickets start at just $25, so come support the Arts in OC by kicking off the SOC summer season with a BANG!

Mendocino Farms Opens in Irvine

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Sunday, Jun 07, 2015

Known for their delicious sandwiches and sustainable, green practices, Mendocino Farms is opening their next location at the University Town Center across the street from the University of California, Irvine. The grand opening is this upcoming Monday June 7th and they have a special offer for the first 250 guests, which you can see more details on their flier below. Mendocino Farms doesn't just make sandwiches, but also serves up soups and salads, and does so while promoting seasonal and local eating by incorporating local produce into their menu, as well, beer and wine will be served at this location.

This Irvine location has a great patio dining area and quirky and modern inside dining area featuring a kids dining area. Come in and see (and taste) for yourself!

Mendocino Farms

4175 Campus Drive, Suite B.
Irvine, CA 92612

11:00am-9:00pm Mon-Sun
Catering Available All Day

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck at the Irvine Spectrum

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Thursday, Jun 04, 2015

The Hello Kitty Cafe truck posted up at the Irvine Spectrum Center on Saturday May 23, 2015 offering merchandise and treats featuring our favorite kitty character. Although when I stopped by, the truck had sold out of it popular strawberry lemonade, I and my friends were able to purchase chocolate bow-adorned macarons and donuts. The treats costed a pretty penny but the truck doesn't frequently stop in Irvine; and we at least did not have to wait for over an hour to get to the front of the truck. Visit the Hello Kitty Cafe website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram to see where their next stop will be. Also, if you've visited the Irvine Spectrum or driven by within the last couple of months, you may have noticed that the Giant Wheel is under construction and recently was testing out an exciting light display.

The Giant Wheel will be officially unveiled soon with an exciting line up of programming, check back on the Irvine Spectrum Center Events calendar for more!

Also check out Destination Irvine's event calendar for fun things to do in the area!

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