‘A’ New Restaurant Coming to Crystal Cove Shopping Center This Fall

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Jordan Otterbein and Joseph “McG” Nichol, River Jetty Restaurant Group partners. / Photo courtesy of River Jetty Restaurant Group.

It’s always news when a new restaurant comes to town, but the one planned for Crystal Cove Shopping Center this fall is noteworthy because of who is involved.

Hollywood producer Joseph ‘McG’ Nichol and Jordan Otterbein of River Jetty Restaurant Group partnered on the renowned A Restaurant and the adjacent A Market on Coast Highway in Newport Beach, and in the sister concept CdM Restaurant in Corona del Mar.

Now comes a fourth restaurant: A Crystal Cove.

“After a year of uncertainty, we’re thrilled to come out the other side stronger than ever and with a beautiful new location for our guests to enjoy an incredible culinary experience,” says Otterbein, managing partner for River Jetty Restaurant Group.

According to a press release issued by River Jetty Restaurant Group, this modern-American eatery will feature “an exceptional bar program to complement a greatest hits menu of favorite dishes from A Restaurant and CdM Restaurant including the Spicy Yellowfin Tuna, Cacio e Pepe and Chicken Piccata.”

Chef Vartan Abgaryan

Along with the new restaurant comes a new chef—who is actually the old chef.

Vartan Abgaryan returns to River Jetty Restaurant Group to lead the kitchen at A Crystal Cove as the new corporate executive chef. He was the former executive chef at A Restaurant from 2009 to 2012, and spent the last several years as executive chef at several notable Los Angeles-based restaurants including Public Kitchen and Bar in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Cliff’s Edge in Downtown LA, 71Above in Silverlake and Yours Truly in Venice as chef and owner.

A Crystal Cove’s ambiance will be, according to the press release, “lively and welcoming with genuine hospitality and an elevated, contemporary take on the culinary experience. The stylish interior will nod to old Hollywood glamour and conjure chic New York City and San Francisco-style hotspots featuring an eye-catching bar, plush banquets, and modern fixtures with a palette that embraces the seaside SoCal setting.”

Sounds impressive, and fun. It will be interesting to see what River Jetty does with the former Settebello Pizzeria restaurant space, which closed its doors prior to the pandemic. Settebello had a tree growing in the middle of the restaurant that extended through the ceiling. No word on if the tree will remain a focal point in the new A Crystal Cove.

Once A Crystal Cove opens, you can bet I’ll be there to check out the ambiance, and the cuisine. In the meantime, for more information about River Jetty Restaurant Group and its restaurants, visit www.RiverJettyRG.com.

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