Off the Menu: Wahoo’s Adds Chili, Olea Adds Spa Date, Moulin Adds Bistro

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Wing Lam

The phrase “everything old is new again” certainly applies to Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. The popular restaurant chain co-founded by Newport Beach resident Wing Lam is introducing two new menu items: the Kona Collection featuring chili made with American Style Kobe Beef, and Maria’s Green Salsa, a creamy jalapeno salsa.

The Kona Collection can be enjoyed either on top of fries, chips or as a bowl with rice. Maria’s Green Sauce is a vegetarian, non-dairy spicy jalapeno salsa, created by a long-time Wahoo’s employee, who’s secret recipe is inspired by her hometown of Guerrero, Mexico.

“In Hawaii, people love eating chili with rice—it’s a full meal,” said Wing Lam, who first had considered adding soup to the Wahoo’s menu but thought it was too limiting in scope. “We also did not want to do a bread bowl. Who wants to eat a loaf of bread with their meal? With chili, we realized we can also use it for chili fries and chili nachos. We’ve been testing it at our Huntington Beach store for the past three months, everyone said it was awesome.”

And awesome means success for Wing, who in addition to his business acumen is known for helping charitable organizations.

Wing was honored in November at an event called Kindness Comes to OC for his ongoing dedication and participation in a variety of Orange County organizations and charities including the Festival of Children Foundation, Share Our Strength, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation. Proceeds from the event went to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

Visit Wahoos.com.

Olea charcuterie

Spa Date with Olea Restaurant

I love the idea of dinner and a show, but dinner and a spa?

That’s the concept that Spa Gregorie’s and Olea Restaurant, both in Newport Beach, have come up with.

As Spa Gregorie’s notes, whether it’s the first date with a new friend or the millionth shared dessert with your long-time love, a creative date night is sure to be remembered. Now, you can get a massage and dinner with that date night.

The Spa Date package includes two 60-minute massages at Spa Gregorie’s, plus a special treat upon their dining experience at Olea: the Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie board. Dine Napa-style with a rustic board filled with artisan house cut meats and cheeses garnished with seasonal accouterments and warm grilled ciabatta. Valued at $23, the dish is complimentary with the Spa Date package.

The Spa Date massages can be enjoyed by two sweethearts or even best friends and mother/daughters. Gregorie’s therapists offer nine different modalities of massage including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Reflexology, Maternity, Oncology, Stretch, Thai, and Accupressure.

The Spa Date for two can be purchased at Spa Gregorie’s or online at spagregories.com. Valued at $251 the package sells for $223.

The same deal is available from the Spa Gregorie’s in Rancho Santa Margarita, and with Olea’s sister restaurants Ironwood in Laguna Hills or Vine in San Clemente.

I’ve dined at all three restaurants and love the Wine Country cuisine. My personal favorites are the Jidori chicken schnitzel with wild mushrooms, the terrine of duck liver with bacon and bourbon, and the wine country burger (one of the best in OC). Oh, and of course the cheese and charcuterie board, which is loaded with a variety of cheeses, meats, and more accouterments that you’d normally find on a cheese board.

Visit OleaNewportBeach.com and spagregories.com.

Laurent Vrignaud at Moulin

Moulin Opens Antique Store and Third Bistro

Customers rave about the Moulin cuisine, and about the authentic décor. From the tables and chairs to the artwork, Moulin is all French, all the time.

Now, you can take a piece of France home with you because Moulin owner Laurent Vrignaud has opened a French antique store adjacent to Vrignaud’s flagship location in Newport Beach (1000 N Bristol St.).

Vrignaud says the store will focus on “Art de la Table” and offer a curated collection of vintage French finds sourced from various markets across France including the famous Les Puces in Paris.

Focusing on brands like Maison Gatti, Tolix, and Fermob, I’m told the store will carry a variety of vintage furnishings and metal signage similar to those at Moulin. Everything at Moulin and the antique store has been hand-selected by Laurent on his frequent trips back home to France. To meet the high demand for catering inquiries, the antique store will also serve as a meeting space for prospective catering clients.

Vrignaud is also opening a third Moulin this March in San Clemente (his other bistros are in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach).

The new Moulin will open at the historic Casino San Clemente at 120 W. Avenida Pico, walking distance to San Clemente’s popular North Beach. Much of Moulin’s menu will be available to-go, modeled after cafes along coastal France.

For more information, please visit moulin.com.

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