Several new restaurants have opened in Irvine, giving Irvine foodies even more options for fresh and healthy dinning. Here are three of my favorites:
Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill 6278 Irvine Blvd., Irvine
Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill offers guests a variety of authentic Mediterranean items with an emphasis on flavor, freshness and quality, as well as a healthy trans-fat free menu. Guests have the ability to customize every meal with items such as pita, laffa, falafel, shwarma, hummus, seasoned rice, sauces and dressings. All Garbanzo salads and sauces are prepared on-site daily, and the pita are made from scratch throughout the day in every restaurant. Additionally, several ingredients are bought locally and some are imported directly from the Mediterranean region.
What people are saying:
"Went here twice in one day! Food was delicious. Had the laffa (burrito) for lunch and the plate for dinner. This place is like the Chipotle of Mediterranean food so you can customize your meal to your specifications."
"The Chicken Shwarma and falafel were delicious! I also really liked the homemade chips and fresh pomegranate lemonade, and the service was excellent! It was fast, easy, and fresh!"
"The falafel, the steak, and the Portobello mushrooms were delicious! I love that it was so healthy too."
PdM Kitchen 5781 Alton Pkwy.(off Jeffrey Road), Irvine
PdM Kitchen, located in Irvine's Oak Creek Shopping Center, is the bigger bro of Pain du Monde fame. Not just a bakery, PdM Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The restaurant has bar seating with a view of the exhibition kitchen and everyone loves the patio for al fresco dining. There's a to-go counter, perfect for picking up morning coffee and pastries, or take-out for lunch and dinner.
Here's what they're saying about PdM Kitchen:
"We had breakfast. Smoked Salmon Benedict was exceptional. Fresh basil and asparagus, tasty little potato cakes in lieu of the traditional English muffin. Fresh fruit was diverse and high quality."
"My favorites are the summer salad with chicken and the salmon with mango salsa. Everything I've tried there has been delicious. Their pastries are the best too!"
"Their almond and cinnamon twists are out of this world, baked fresh throughout the day. The salads are some of the most generous in terms of ingredients I have ever seen. Lots and lots and lots of good stuff and not just a bunch of lettuce with a few things sprinkled on top. The Mango Chicken and Mediterranean Humus Salads are my favorites. But let's not forget the sandwiches, in particular the Bozeman Bacon and Southwestern Chicken, both made with freshly cooked chicken and with bread made from scratch."
Try PdM and enjoy an omelette with farm-fresh eggs, pastries baked fresh in-house each morning, salads, soup and sandwiches for lunch (available until 5 p.m.), and specialties such as Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Grilled Salmon, Lamb Sirloin Steak, Roasted Chicken or dinner (served until 9 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sundays.)
Crispa Crepes 3945 Irvine Boulevard (at Culver Drive), Irvine
Located in Northpark Plaza, Crispa Crepes started in the kitchen of a Frenchman living in Southern California. Irvine resident and owner, Hadrien Curs, believes fast food restaurants can serve authentic French food with that special homemade quality. Using high quality ingredients that bring out authentic flavors, Crispa Crepes creates innovative and delicious crepe creations. Savory crepes are accompanied with an organic salad dressed in a homemade vinaigrette. Sweet crepes are lightly dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a light whipped cream. Vanilla bean ice cream may also be added to any sweet crepe order.
What people are saying:
"The Savory Chicken crepe was fantastic. Vegetables were fresh and seasoned properly. The manager was very personable and wants the customers to be happy and satisfied. It is definitely a new neighborhood favorite. Great alternative to the fast food scene."
"Loved the overall décor of the restaurant & the ease of finding the place. Got the London (Raspberry jam, and a hint of shredded coconut) & the Crispella: classic nutella! Nom nom nom!!"
"It's a very contemporary way to serve crepes and they are delicious! Our favorite is the French (ham, swiss and thyme). Love that there is also side salad of mixed greens. We've met the owner and such a great guy who clearly shows passion for his love of bringing a little bit of Paris to Irvine. We have been coming back every week since!"