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A Hello Kitty Cafe Owner and Din Tai Fung Chef Are Now Making Dumplings in Irvine

Plus a Silver Lake pop-up and a Beverly Hills closure

Din Tai Fung xiao long bao soup dumplings.
Din Tai Fung dumplings

Dumplings and smiles

The LA Times is reporting that Allan Tea, the man responsible for those popular Hello Kitty Cafe pop-ups across Southern California, has partnered up with a onetime Din Tai Fung chef to open a new restaurant down in Irvine. Called Paper Lantern, the project kicks off early next month at Diamond Jamboree Plaza off Alton Parkway.

The decision by Tea to partner with Kenny Lim (whose family owns Mama Lu’s Dumpling House) means that soon Orange County will have a pair of experts working to bring Paper Lantern to life. Lim comes with experience in the xiao long bao and beef roll world, while Tea knows more than a thing or two about crafting a quality dining experience. Paper Lantern opens September 4 at 2730 Alton Parkway in Irvine.

Millie’s for dinner

LA Weekly takes a look at a new pop-up happening at Millie’s in Silver Lake. The long-running breakfast and lunch space is turning out a new vegetable-focused evening affair called Of Aire, by chefs Dave Martinez and Greg Arnold.

Coffee galore

Things seem to be coming along for Sachi, a new coffee and retail shop along Centinela in Mar Vista. Construction is ongoing, as shown below, so expect more news this fall. 4574 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles.

Beverly Hills space struggles

It’s another flip for what should be a prominently-located space in Beverly Hills, as Toddrickallen reports Couscous A Go Go has turned off the lights. This is roughly the same block that also offers the new La Colombe (along with decent foot traffic) but traffic congestion and parking woes seem to make spaces struggle.

Food trucks for dinner

App Bistro Planet, which is trying to codify the sometimes haphazard food truck market by letting customers pick and order meals ahead of time, is going residential. The company launched a new weekly program last month at Brio Apartments in Glendale to give customers easy access to dinner options right downstairs; just order from the app and pick up in the parking lot.

Blacksmiths has opened

Fancy new Downtown dinner and drinks spot Blacksmiths has opened, right in the former home of The Must. The New American eatery debuted dinner earlier this week, and is keeping hours from 5 p.m. to midnight or later.

Towne Park comes to party

The latest craft beer brewery to hit Orange County is Towne Park Brew. The operation lands inside a giant 20,000 square foot facility in Anaheim, and is already well-funded enough to jump into big production (20,000 barrels a year) and canning. The taproom at 1566 West Lincoln Avenue will officially open to the public on September 22.

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