Love is in the air regardless of the budget with this selection of Valentine's Day (and weekend) offerings:
Chef Ryan Carson brings his Los Angeles-based pop-up restaurant, 'Pri-ve, to the Taco Asylum restaurant in The Camp, 2937 S. Bristol St., B102, in Costa Mesa for select nights this month. Valentine's Day is booked, but Sunday, Monday, Feb. 19 and 20 were available as of press time. Future dates might open up as well.
'Pri-ve has popped up at more than 10 locations in the Los Angeles area. After his most recent pop-up at Chateau in Santa Monica, Carson said he was homesick for Orange County, where he got his start as a chef.
"The brotherhood of the chefs in Orange County is better than anywhere else I've worked," he said. Carson is a colleague and friend of Taco Asylum partner and Executive Chef Greg Daniels.
"He welcomed us with open arms; it was really nice to come back to Orange County so quickly," Carson said. He hopes to give 'Pri-ve a permanent home this year, either here or in the Los Angeles area, so the local pop-up seemed like a natural fit.
"We just wanted to showcase what we're trying to do, and see what O.C. and L.A. diners really like," Carson said. "When we thought about the menus and what we were going to do, our first thought was of nostalgia, from our childhood or from other people's childhoods. We're bringing in obscure products to the general public by making them identifiable, approachable."
Carson will offer guests an 11-course "postmodern American" tasting menu for $99 per person, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity. Menu items include a fun Otter Pop-inspired intermezzo, a modern take on trout Amandine, "all things oyster," "octopus mosaic" and much more.
For reservations, give your name, party size and reservation date at (909) 576-9210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pair it up with a "Taste of Monaco" at neighboring eateries like Marché Moderne, Pinot Provence, Leatherby's Cafe Rouge, Antonello Ristorante, Quattro Caffé, Nello Cucina and Antonello Espresso Café.
In addition, partake in a memorabilia exhibit on the cultural heritage of Monaco and Princess Grace's contributions to the arts at South Coast Plaza's Jewel Court. Information: (800)-782-8888 or southcoastplaza.com.
Four Courses for $45
Join Shades Restaurant at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, 21100 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, for a bargain Valentine's Day dinner deal from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The prix-fixe menu, $45.95 per person, includes a first course of bruschetta of lamb sausage, white bean ragout and stewed tomatoes; a second course panzanella salad with fresh Burrata cheese, pan croutons, pickled onions, tomato and basil oil; an entrée choice of seared Arctic char with paella risotto and saffron aioli or prime New York strip loin, yucca fritters and watercress salad tossed with horseradish vinaigrette; and for dessert, a warm chocolate and raspberry tart with homemade vanilla bean ice cream.