ATTENTION!! On the left hand column, you will find links to search by cuisine or city. You will also find a restaurant index of all of the places I have written about on the column on the right. If you enjoy the site, please bookmark the site and tell a friend! You can also subscribe to be notified when the site updates by entering your e-mail address in the box on the left. Happy Eating!

Please visit our partner sites for info on OC restaurant openings and special culinary related events, Booze It Up OC for info on OC 21+ events and Brunch In OC for info and reviews on weekend brunches.

Griffin Eats OC's Fan Box

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Orange County Restaurant Week 2011

The time has come for Orange County Restaurant Week 2011. This year the Orange County Restaurant Association has limited participation to 100 restaurants. Special price-fixed meals will be available from Sunday February 27th through Saturday March 5th. Lunch will be available for $10, $15 and $20 and dinner can be had for $20, $30 or $40. Below is a list of participating restaurants. Click on the restaurant name to see the special prix fix menu that each restaurant is offering. Where will you be going for restaurant week? Leave a comment and let me know!

118 Degrees
230 Forest
320 Main
6ix Park Grill (Hyatt Irvine)
Anaheim White House
Andrei's Concious Cuisine
Antonello Ristorante
Auld Dubliner
Belacan Grill
Bluewater Grill
Brasserie Pascal
Canyon Restaurant
Capital Grille
Catal Restaurant
Cedar Creek Brea / Laguna Niguel / San Juan Cap
Cha Cha's Tacos & Tequila
Crystal Jade
Don The Beachcomber
Fire & Ice
French 75
GG’s Café Bistro
Giesha House
Harborside Restaurant
House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer
JT Schmid's Restaurant & Brewery
K'ya Bistro
K'ya Street Fare
Lulu's Café
Matador Cantina
Medieval Times
Melting Pot
Memphis at the Santora
Memphis Café
Mr. Stox
Nello Cucina
Newport Landing
Newport Rib Company
Nirvana Grille Laguna Beach / Mission Viejo
No Ka Oi
O'Neill's Bar and Grill
Orange Hill Restaurant
Original Mike's
Pablo's Cantina
Palm Terrace Restaurant (The Island Hotel)
Phans 55 Irvine / Fullerton
Pinot Provence
Pirates Dinner Adventure
Pizzeria Ortica
Prego Ristorante
Primecut Café
Quattro Caffé
RA Sushi
RAYA (The Ritz Carlton)
Rockin Baja
Royal Hawaiian
Royal Khyber
Rustica California Wine Bistro
Rusty Pelican
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse - Irvine / Anaheim
Sage Restaurant
Salt Creek Grill
Sandy's Beach Grill
Savannah Chophouse
Shades Restaurant (Hilton Huntington Beach)
Signature Kitchen
Simply Fondue
SOL Cocina
Sorrento Grille
South Coast Winery
Sparks Woodfire Grill
Splashes (Surf and Sand Resort)
Summit House
Sundried Tomato
TAPS Fish House & Brewery
The Beach House
The Californian (The Hyatt Huntington Beach)
The Catch
The Crow Bar
The Next Door
The Ritz Restaurant & Garden
The Rooftop Lounge
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Tortilla Jo's
Tradition by Pascal
Wildfish Seafood Grill
Zov's Bistro
Zov's Cafe Newport | Zov's Cafe Irvine

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cocoa Lounge at The Palm Terrace in The Island Hotel - Newport Beach

The Cocoa Lounge, inside
The Palm Terrace Restaurant, inside
The Island Hotel
690 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Toll Free: 866-554-4620
Phone: 949-759-0808

Death by Chocolate.... Ok, well maybe not "death" but even the most die hard chocoholic will likely have an out of body experience upon entering The Cocoa Lounge inside The Palm Terrace Restaurant at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. The third annual Cocoa Lounge opens tonight for a limited 3-week run. The lounge is open from 6-PM-10PM Tuesday through Saturday February 4-February 26th, 2010. Admission to The Cocoa Lounge is $18 per person and grants you the privilege of consuming as many gourmet chocolate delights that you would like. If you dine at the Palm Terrace restaurant first and order at least a 2-course meal, your admission to the lounge is free! Free admission to the lounge can also be obtained with the purchase of one The Island Hotel's special Valentine's Day massages packages or Valentine's Day "Him and Her" meals.

When you enter the lounge you find yourself surrounded by dozens of chocolate desserts. Below are photos of some of the desserts that will be available. Selections may vary.

Chocolate Fudge Cookie S'mores

Milk Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Cupcakes

Snickers Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Chocolate Pudding Cake with Gianduja Mousse

Vanilla Custard Filled Eclairs

White Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

White Chocolate Mousses Squares

Manjari Obsession

Banana Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Pot De Creme

Port Truffles

Fresh Fruit Tarts

Chocolate Caramel Tarts

German Chocolate Cake

Dining in The Cocoa Lounge is chocolate decadence at it's best. You'll find yourself wandering from table to table, unsure of what to pick up first. Everyone in attendance seemed to agree that the Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding and Pot De Creme were the best desserts of the night. I also liked the Pot De Creme, but I really enjoyed the German Chocolate Cake as well. This experience is any chocolate lover's dream. However, I would still highly recommend The Cocoa Lounge to anyone that even has a slight fondness for chocolate. Even if you are not a chocolate fanatic, you will find yourself loving these desserts. All of the desserts are presented beautifully and taste sinfully good. The only thing I found missing from The Cocoa Lounge was a nice cup of hot cocoa to wash everything down. For some reason, when I first heard the name "Cocoa Lounge" I envisioned people sitting in a trendy lounge sipping on gourmet hot cocoa. Since the chefs said that they are constantly updating the selections, I'm hoping they'll add this in the future.

Thank you so much to Marguarite Clark at MCPR for inviting me to this fantastic media preview event.