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Global Gastronomy for the Tastemaker

Irvine is an oasis for food connoisseurs seeking authentic global cuisine. From Michelin recognized restaurants to sushi straight from Japan, Irvine’s selection of restaurants will please even the most discerning of palates.

Brazilian

Agora Churrascaria

1830 Main St., Irvine, CA 92614

Enjoy the sumptuous taste of South Brazil’s “Rodizio” style dining at Agora Churrascaria, where servers in Gaucho attire move from table to table carrying skewers of succulent meats, carving up to 16 different cuts. Upon being seated, every guest is given a green and red-sided circular chip to signal the servers whether they want additional servings or not. Agora Churrascaria roast their meats to perfection in their custom-designed, 100% wood charcoal grill, and season them with rock salt to enhance individual flavors.

Hot Pot, Korean

All That Shabu

15315 Culver Dr., Suite 145, Irvine, CA 92604

All You Can Eat shabu-shabu, with an extensive selection of meat from angus beef brisket, filet mignon, signature beef ribeye and more. Start by selecting you own broth from beef bone, miso, spicy beef, vegetarian and original house. You can mix and match for a unique flavor suited to your taste! The buffet area is abundant with seafood and includes a salad and sauce bar!

Korean

Baekjeong Korean Barbecue

14160 Culver Dr., Irvine, CA 92604

Baekjeong is widely recognized by food critics as the gold standard and industry leader in Korean barbecue. Marinated beef, kimchi pancakes, bibimbap, and ramyun is the hallmark of Baekjeong’s outstanding Korean cultural dining experience.

American

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

18169 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, CA 92612

With over 300 select bottles of whiskey, bourbon and scotch and a private whiskey room, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations is a whiskey connoisseur’s delight and more. Serving tasty American comfort food, its Saturday and Sunday brunch has gained a loyal following. Share a pork belly poutine or pig candy kimchi in rye whiskey caramel and toasted sesame, topping it off with New Orleans style beignets complemented with pb&j dipping sauces.

Brunch

Breakfast Republic

4213 Campus Dr., Irvine, CA 92612

For a hearty brunch, try Breakfast Republic, located at UC-Irvine’s town center. Packed with shrimp and Portuguese linguine sausage, the breakfast jambalaya is a flavorful alternative to your usual bacon, egg, and cheese. The pancakes come in different flavors, so order their Flight of 3 and share the sweetness.

Korean

Chan Chan Chicken and More

14250 Culver St., #A, Irvine, CA 92604

Curious to try Korea’s famous kimbap? Chan Chan has them in different varieties from grilled beef, sweet pork, kimchee, and more! Choose from sweet garlic, sweet chili and honey for their juicy chicken tenders. The selection of rice cake is a delicious substitute to your usual rice topping, with seafood, kimchi, cream cheese and spicy squid options.

Japanese

Coco Ichibanya Curry House

2710 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606

At Coco Ichibanya, everything tastes good with curry. Dumplings in curry? Meatballs? Sausage pork? Spicy teriyaki fried chicken? You name it! Let your imagination run wild! You can adjust the spice level to your tastes. Since curry is best enjoyed with rice, you can also double up, triple up your rice servings!

Chinese

Dun Huang

2710 Alton Parkway, Unit 117, Irvine, CA 92606

Dun Huang is a New York based restaurant serving northwestern style Chinese cuisine. A typical Lanzhou beef noodle soup is described to be “1 clear, 2 white, 3 red, 4 gree, 5 yellow” to signify clear aromatic soup, white radish, red chili oil, green cilantro, and yellowish hand pulled noodles. Dun Huang serves slurp-worthy traditional Chinese noodles.

Lebanese

Falasophy

920 Spectrum Center Dr., Suite 920, Irvine CA 92618

Falasophy is a Lebanese Street Food Fast Casual restaurant, located at the Irvine Spectrum. The menu is focused on Lebanese Food favorites, along with accompanying sides and salads. Everything served is made from scratch and all natural using the best possible ingredients we can find. When not cooking falafel, Falasophy enjoys reading ancient texts, pontificating, and listening to podcasts of Socrates’ teachings.

Asian Fusion

Gui BBQ

4860 Irvine Blvd., Suite 101, Irvine, CA 92620

For an authentic selection of Asian street food, Gui BBQ have plenty to choose from. Make your skewers a variety of lamb kidney, A5 Wagyu beef and Hokkaido scallops, and pair it with Kyoto Matcha IPA. Their signature dishes include stir-fried duck tongue, pork intestine, and spicy frog.

Cuban

Habana

708 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618

For a bona fide Cuban fare, Habana’s tasty empanadas, ropa vieja, shrimp ceviche, medianoche, and sweet plantains are methodically prepared to capture the intense flavors of Pan-Latin America. with Irvine being one of six locations around the country.

Chinese

He’s Noodle Zone

14210 Culver Dr., Suite G, Irvine, CA 92604

Tucked away at Irvine’s Heritage Plaza, He’s Noodle Zone’s popular dishes include the Sichuan braised beef noodle soup and Dan Dan noodles. Portions are generous and here’s an insider tip: Free noodle refills!

Japanese

Hello Kitty Grand Cafe

670 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618

Hello Kitty Grand Cafe is the latest evolution of the Hello Kitty Cafe experience and the first cafe of its kind in the US, offering an expanded menu featuring freshly baked cakes, cookies, donuts, seasonal goodies, and handmade hot and iced drinks, along with a selection of Hello Kitty Cafe merchandise and a sweet seating area to enjoy the experience. Additionally, special Afternoon Tea and evening Cocktail Service are offered via reservation at The Bow Room at Hello Kitty Grand Cafe.

Japanese

Hiro Nori Craft Ramen

2222 Michelson Dr., Suite 234, Irvine, 92612

HiroNori is the #1 destination in California for craft ramen and received Michelin’s Bib Gourmand recognition. Their tonkatsu broth is simmered for 24 hours accompanied by artisan crafted noodles. For the perfect shoyu ramen, they only use soy sauce barreled for 2 years, where the barrels have been used for more than 300 years at one of the oldest soy sauce factories in Japan.

Italian

Il Fornaio

18051 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, CA 92612

Step inside Il Fornaio and take an award-winning culinary journey through Italy. Using the freshest ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, specialties include house made pastas, wood-fired pizza, grilled fish, authetic risotto, and rotisserie meats. Il Fornaio offers a wide variety of great wines and cocktails.

Chinese

Irvine China Garden

14825 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine, CA 92618

Irvine China Garden prepares truly authentic Mandarin and Szechuan cuisines. Popular for their daytime dim sum, arriving early or ordering in advance is recommended. Begin with the traditional shumai, bean curd roll and har gow. For the main course, treat your tastebuds to the intense flavors of their Peking duck and lobster noodles and for a delicate balance of sugar and puff, try their egg tart or sesame balls for dessert.

Chinese

Ja Jiaozi

13776 Jamboree Rd., Suite 13776, Irvine, CA 92602

True to its Chinese roots, Ja Jiaozi extends its menu beyond their notable signature dumplings. House specialties include plums braised pork belly, braised beef brisket with quail eggs, and plenty more. Ja Jiaozi’s well-trained chefs intentionally prepare dishes in their open-concept kitchen, for guests to witness the art in their food preparation.

Vietnamese

Little Sister

896 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618

Little Sister is Vietnamese cuisine redefined, infused with Dutch and British colonial influences, mastered with French techniques. Start your meal with “goi du du” green papaya salad with Vietnamese beef jerky, grilled prawns, peanuts and chili lime vinaigrette and their signature imperial rolls with shrimp, crab, pork, taro root, glass noodle, roasted peanut, and chili lime sauce. The grilled lemongrass chicken banh mi is served with a spread of house-made egg yolk mayonnaise and salt and vinegar shrimp chips to complete the explosion of flavors.

Italian, Korean

Marble Steakhouse and Grille

6436 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA 92620

Marble Steakhouse and Grille is another venture of renowned restaurateur, Andrew Kim. Located at Irvine’s Woodbury community, the establishment is divided into two. One area serves steaks and traditional Italian pasta, while the other offers a luxury Korean BBQ experience. True pasta aficionados will delight in their bolognese sauce, simmered to perfection for more than 10 hours. As for their Korean BBQ selection, a must try is their prime, marinated, boneless short rib A5 Wagyu.

Asian Fusion

Noodle St.

3963 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA 92602

Noodle St. has mastered ways of creating several shapes and sizes of noodles. Choose between a chewy, standard round, similar to spaghetti or the chewier knife cut, which is approximately 3/4 inch wide. Their best seller is the beef noodle, with sliced beef shank, radishes, cilantro and leeks!

Italian

North Italia

2957 Michelson Dr., Irvine, CA 92612

Transport yourself to Italy at North Italia, where they serve pasta handmade from scratch. Excite your tastebuds with the glazed short rib cavatelli, topping it off with the salted caramel budino. The Chef’s Daily Pizza is a constant new creation, surprising diners at every visit.

Japanese

Ootoro Sushi

2222 Michelson Dr., Suite 246, Irvine, CA 92612

Ootoro Sushi’s methods of preparing first-rate dishes from the freshest fish selection directly imported from Japan every morning, has earned it a following with sushi aficionados and a place in the Michelin Guide. Their exceptionally trained Sushi Chefs give an expressive, artistic performance and will carefully guide you through its 5-star Omakase menu. Feast on live abalone, trios of tuna, duos of salmon, seared shima aji, eel drizzled with unagi sauce and A5 Wagyu.

French

Pandor Artisan Bakery & Cafe

13124 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, CA 92602

Pandor Artisan Bakery is founded on family history, cherished recipes, and exceptional ingredients. With imports from France including the restaurant’s founder and chefs, Pandor serve guests superb authentic French bread and pastries through artisanal baking process. French artisan bread, viennoiseries, pastries, tartines, paninis, and salads are made fresh daily in-house.

American

Porch and Swing

2010 Main St., Irvine, CA 92614

Porch & Swing is an homage to the cuisine of Charleston, South Carolina. Coastal southern fare with a true farm-to-table approach. Headed by Executive Chef, Alan Sanz, the menus change seasonally to showcase the freshest, local produce. Reservations are highly recommended.

Italian

Postino Park Place

2981 Michelson Dr., Suite E, Irvine, CA 92612

Postino WineCafe’s location at Park Place has a vibrant atmosphere where both well-versed and novice wine lovers can gather and enjoy the restaurant’s award-winning wine program and its bestseller bruschetta board, which is offered in a variety of toppings including mozzarella, tomato, basil; salmon pesto and more.

Mexican

Puesto at Park Place

3311 Michelson Dr., Irvine, CA 92612

Puesto’s 5,000 sq. ft. Park Place location, exemplify the vibrant art, culture and energy of Mexico City. Relish in a trio of mix and match tacos. The braised free range Jidori chicken al pastor, marinated filet mignon and crispy tamarindo shrimp – all wrapped in handmade, organic, non-GMO corn tortillas, make for a perfect taco trio.

Japanese

Silverlake Ramen

511 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618

Located at The Spectrum, Silverlake Ramen serves delicious buns, gyoza, rice bowls, rolls and of course, ramen! The marinated pork belly bun and handmade grilled pork gyoza are must-try appetizers! For first timers, the garlic truffle ramen is a blend of creamy pork and vegetable broth, garlic, truffle oil, kale, mushrooms, black pepper, seaweed and seasoned egg – served with thick noodles.

American

Solstice

The Boardwalk, 18555 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, CA 92612

Solstice is a modern-American, seasonally-focused, and ingredient-driven restaurant, featuring fresh, craveable food, including steak, seafood, pasta, and more paired with delectable desserts, craft cocktails, and award-winning wines with elevated service in a friendly and approachable environment.

Coffee

Sootha Coffee

4840 Irvine Blvd., Suite 111, Irvine, CA 92620

A local staple, Sootha Coffee is a Korean-owned coffee shop serving 100% organic coffee, smoothies, sandwiches and muffins. With friendly service and ample seating, it’s the perfect spot to grab an early morning breakfast.

Japanese

Taiko

14775 Jeffrey Rd., Suite K, Irvine, CA 92618

A staple in Irvine for over 40 years, Taiko has been serving innovative Japanese fare. Combine the freshest selection of sushi with shrimp tempura and unlimited rice. Aside from their sesame chicken and specialty rolls, Taiko’s generous rewards program keep guests coming back for more.

Asian Fusion, Japanese

Ten Sushi + Cocktail Bar

18177 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, CA 92612

During the day TEN is ideal for business lunches, both formal and casual; and at night transitions to a sexy, chic dining experience with unique sushi creations and takes on traditional Asian dishes. The decor features large, indoor cherry blossom trees, high ceilings, recessed party pink lighting and street art throughout.

French

The French Avenue

668 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA

From the moment you step through the doors, you’re greeted by the warm aroma of freshly baked bread and the tempting sight of a glass display overflowing with delectable treats. The French Avenue offers a symphony of flavors to tantalize your taste buds. Delicate croissants boasting flaky layers, glistening pain au chocolat bursting with rich chocolate, and an assortment of vibrantly colored macarons – each bite is a celebration of French culinary artistry.

American

The Goldfinch

2000 Main St., Suite 200, Irvine, CA 92614

A classic American cookery, with seasonal fare complemented by an exemplary bar offering in an upbeat yet elevated setting. Open your appetite to The Goldfinch’s goat cheese stuffed artichoke flowers, followed by their savory house butchered ribeye.

Chinese

Tim Ho Wan

2700 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606

Tim Ho Wan, the Dim Sum specialists, hails from Hong Kong where they have been awarded a Michelin Star for nine consecutive years and where they earned the title of the world’s most inexpensive Michelin starred restaurant. Since gaining popularity around Asia, Tim Ho Wan expanded into the United States.

American

Twenty Eight Restaurant and Bar

19530 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, CA 92612

Twenty Eight features Executive Chef Jay Lacuesta’s seasonal menu consisting a wide selection of specialty meats cooked over wood-fired grill using American Red Oak wood. Twenty Eight sommelier’s handpicked wines have garnered the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 4 years in a row. You’ll never go wrong with their prime tomahawk ribeye, angus beef chateaubriand, and American wagyu.

To submit your restaurant, please email the information with a high-resolution photo to ericka@destinationirvine.com.

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