Off the Menu: Fabled Food and Gratitude Cleanse

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The fabled Michelin Guide did not award stars to California restaurants last year due to the pandemic, but it did select 25 restaurants in the state deemed worthy of a Michelin “Discovery” award.

Fable & Spirit in Newport Beach was one of those lucky restaurants, but it should come as no surprise to local diners who have been flocking to Fable & Spirit since it opened next to the Lido Theatre in mid-2019.

The Michelin Guide remarks on Fable & Spirit: “The comprehensive menu has it all and you’ll want to order everything (go ahead). The Guinness brown bread is an absolute delight, especially paired with plump P.E.I. mussels bathed in a thyme butter so heady that you’ll want to slurp up every drop. Not far behind, the cracked pepper bucatini—studded with clams and pancetta—is a glorious tangle of goodness. But don’t forget dessert since their options are well worth it. Imagine brioche bread pudding with blueberry compote and crème anglaise.”

Fable & Spirit skewers

I can vouch for the Guinness brown bread—it’s a must every time I’ve dined at Fable & Spirit. But there are so many creative dishes on the menu courtesy of Executive Chef David Shofner that it’s not easy making a selection. His burger is terrific, but so is his rabbit fricassee with truffle potato puree, and the wood fired octopus.

Now, Chef Shofner has added another element to his takeout menu: Fable Express, a fast-casual takeaway service featuring a charcoal-fired Yakitori grill that’s available on the restaurant patio Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., when the Fable Express menu is offered for takeaway.

“Our new Yakitori skewers highlight chicken, beef, seafood and vegetables, all of which are grilled to order over charcoal,” explained Chef Shofner. “Guests can watch as their skewers are slow-cooked over a specially designed charcoal grill that allows the meat to remain juicy while developing a crust that’s perfectly browned with just the slightest hint of char.”

Six different Yakitori skewers are available a la carte, priced from $4 to $6. Order two or more and you also get coconut-ginger fried rice, kimchi pickles, and tare dipping sauce (sweet & salty or spicy).

The Fable Express menu also features fresh salads and lighter starters, as well as a classic double cheeseburger, crispy chicken sandwich, Colorado lamb burger, and Chef Shofner’s famous fish & chips.

You can also order beer, wine, and craft cocktails to go. Visit the website at for details and to place an order.

Keto Cauliflower

Café Gratitude Offers VEGANuary Specials

If you made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, look no further than Café Gratitude on Westcliff Drive. The health-conscious restaurant has several January offerings to help kickstart a healthier lifestyle.

Start with Café Gratitude’s plant-based Meal and Juice Cleanse. This curated, nutrient-filled menu of breakfast, bowls, salads, pressed juices and herbal tonics is available as a 3-day or 5-day meal and/or juice cleanse, available for pick-up or delivery within five miles of Café Gratitude.

This meal plan includes highlights such as the “I am Patient” made with ginger tumeric overnight oats and mixed berries, and “I am Gracious,” a Keto cauliflower rice salad made with arugula, edamame, avocado, tomato confit and Green Goddess dressing.

Veganuary “I am Loving” special

Juices include “I am Cosmic”’ made with blue spirulina, chaga and reishi, and “‘I am Brave” made with lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and oregano oil.

The restaurant’s Veganuary menu special include the “I am Loving” Forbidden Rice Bowl made with maple brussels sprouts, roasted garnet yams, and smashed avocado.

Café Gratitude is open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit

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