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The Eat Index: OC: Is this Tustin’s best Italian restaurant?

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Papardelle with shrimp, prosciutto, tomatoes and white wine at Centro Storico Spaghetteria in Tustin (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Tustin’s Centro has grown quite a bit from its humble beginnings as a tasting room for a winery and micro brewery with food served on plastic plates with plastic utensils.

The restaurant graduated to real plates and silverware and more recently has taken over the former Tustin Bar & Grill location. It’s now Centro Storico Spaghetteria and Cafe. The cafe serves coffee and pastries; the Spaghetteria is a full-service restaurant that serves freshly crafted pastas.

Brad A. Johnson says Centro may end up being the best Italian restaurant in Tustin. Read more. 

 

Tijuana-style queso tacos with mesquite-grilled carne asada and guacamole, takeout from Bandito Taqueria in Santa Ana (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

A taco for Dwight Schrute

Brad A. Johnson says the carne asada tacos at Bandito Taqueria in Santa Ana taste as good as they smell. The meat is deeply infused with mesquite smoke and tender. The fresh corn tortillas it comes in are a pretty pink because they’ve been colored with a vegetable that would make a certain character from “The Office” happy. Read more. 

 

Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store will bring a third restaurant to Irvine in May, which joins the Newport Beach and Aliso Viejo locations already established in Orange County. (Courtesy of Sgt. Pepperoni’s)

It’s wonderful to be here

OC, you’re such a lovely audience. Fast-casual pizza spot Sgt. Pepperoni’s is expanding again, this time with a 2,500 square-foot restaurant in Irvine. That will bring the total number of locations in the county to three. Anne Valdespino has more. Read more. 

 

Newport Beach Restaurant Week offers 14 days of meal deals throughout the city starting Monday, April 19 including fine dining rooms like Fable & Spirit. Amber Tobias, right, and Melody Conour Chat with General Manager Reggie Robinson while eating inside Fable & Spirit about an hour after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the immediate resumption of indoor dining for Orange County in Newport Beach, CA, on Tuesday, Sept., 8, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

A double dose of deals 

Newport Beach had to move its restaurant week this year due to the pandemic, but now the deals running longer. Specials will be available at more than 50 locations until Sunday, May 2. Read more. 

 

Ramen & Tsukemen Tao has opened a second O.C. location in Orange. Seen here, Vegetarian Ramen. (Courtesy of Ramen & Tsukemen Tao)

A different kind of top ramen 

When we say top ramen, we’re not talking about the dorm staple that feeds many a hungry college student that has top in the name.Ramen & Tsukemen Tao — ranked No. 2 on Brad A. Johnson’s top 10 Japanese ramen restaurants in Orange County in 2020 — has opened a second O.C. location. Read more. 

Smoked Salmon Rolls filled with mascarpone, chives and capers are topped by leaves of arugula for serving. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

Cathy Thomas says smoked salmon rolls are perfect appetizers, not only for their cheeky appearance (they remind her of the hats women wore to the royal wedding), but also for their taste. The salmon encloses an herb-enriched mascarpone and is garnished with arugula. Let’s Cook!

 

Masala Papad features corn, cucumber, radish, olive oil and served atop toasted poppadums. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

Cathy Thomas is ready to take you on an adventure through some recipes that may sound unusual but are actually very tasty, including a twist on a popular Indian dish that incorporates avocado and a zucchini carpaccio. Let’s Cook! 

 

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