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One of Orange County’s Best New Restaurants Isn’t Open to the Dining Public

Plus Wax Paper goes wholesale, and Freedman’s heads west

saline hotel joaquin
Food at Saline inside Hotel Joaquin
Hotel Joaquin [Official]
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Exclusive at a price

The Orange County Register has all the details on one of Southern California’s most interesting new restaurants: Saline. The Laguna Beach eatery sits inside the new Hotel Joaquin, but it is exclusively available for people staying at the hotel. The property’s operating license does not allow for a public restaurant, so Saline’s food is exclusively available for overnight guests, but critic Brad A. Johnson says that isn’t stopping the staff from creating one of the best dining experiences in the whole county.

For good

Crustacean in Beverly Hills is doing a Planned Parenthood benefit day today, with 30% of proceeds from both lunch and dinner going to benefit the important organization. The charity initiative came about after Planned Parenthood named Crustacean’s Helene An its 2019 Chef of the Year.

Weekday food

Dinosaur Coffee is switching up its weekday sandwich situation, adding new product from the Wax Paper team — including one sandwich named after KCRW’s own Evan Kleiman.

New titles

Downtown Italian restaurant Officine Brera has a new name: Brera Ristorante. The Officine is gone, but everything else remains the same. Sixth + Mill, the more casual offshoot next door, and Factory Kitchen, are unchanged as well.

Wine party

There’s a wine party happening up in Solvang on March 8, and it’s being led by some of the industry’s most powerful women. The winemaker’s dinner will run four courses and offer lots of wine tastings, with proceeds going to the Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County.

Moving across town

Silver Lake-adjacent sorta-Jewish deli spot Freedman’s is popping up inside Avec Nous at the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills this month. The one-weekend brunch run is being timed to coincide with the Oscars, and will run from Saturday, February 23 through Monday, February 25. Yes, there will lots of bagels, potato latkes, and smoked salmon available.

Ten years young

The Varnish is celebrating ten years in Downtown. The seminal cocktail bar has long led the conversation on high-end drinks in the city, and now to herald in the next decade they’re doing live music, champagne toasts, and more, with proceeds going to the Spirited Coalition For Change’s homeless initiative.