Skyloft’s Lobster Bake with two lobster tails and steamed crawfish baked with dynamite creole sauce and served atop dirty rice, black beans and house-smoked chicken andouille sausage

If you’re a foodie, you already know what I’m about to tell you because you’ve been looking forward to this week for … ehrm … 51 weeks since it last occurred.

O.C. Restaurant Week returns March 5th – 11th for seven days of significant feeding at 100 Orange County restaurants that span from La Habra to San Clemente.

You can check out all the restaurants participating by city at OCRestaurantWeek.com but, given that Laguna Beach is considered the culinary mecca of Orange County, I figure you have plenty of discovering to do right here in your own backyard.

Fourteen of Laguna’s restaurants are jumping into the foodie fray, most of which have produced both lunch and dinner prix fixe menus at pricing well below their everyday pricing. (One of my favorites, Starfish, chose to feature about half of its menu instead of working it into prix fixe – no complaints here!)

Dinner reservations are a must for Restaurant Week, and the sooner you can make them the better.

 

The Best Week To Try Something New

This is a fantastic way to get back into a favorite restaurant that you may not have frequented recently. And, it’s an even better way to get to know the new chefs on the block who arrived after last year’s Restaurant Week, particularly the chefs at Moulin Rouge, Charles Imbelli at The Ranch’s Harvest restaurant, and Arthur Ortiz at Skyloft who’s receiving one accolade after another since taking over the kitchen at Skyloft this summer.

Along with well-loved best sellers, you’ll find some of the more adventurous chefs trying new items that haven’t yet landed on their spring menus.

“I’m featuring the Butter Brisket and Lobster Bake on the Restaurant Week dinner menu to give people a taste of what’s coming on my new menu this April,” says Skyloft’s Ortiz. “We featured both items in holiday menus recently, and they went over so well that I figured they needed their own little debut party,” he says with his usual grin.

You can find menu details at the OC Restaurant Week site, but here are the participants and their menu pricing:

 

$15 lunch

Lumberyard

Tortilla Republic

 

$20 lunch

Harvest at the Ranch

Maro Wood Grill

Moulin Laguna Beach

Mozambique

O Fine Japanese

Skyloft

Splashes

Starfish

Tommy Bahama’s

 

$20 dinner

Moulin Laguna Beach

 

$30 dinner

Nirvana Grill

Tommy Bahama’s

Tortilla Republic

 

$40 dinner

Harvest at the Ranch

Lumberyard

Mozambique – steak and lobster

Skyloft

Starfish

 

$50 dinner

370 Common

Maro Wood Grill

O Fine Japanese

Selanne Steak Tavern

Splashes

 

$80 Luxe Dinner

Selanne Steak Tavern