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Orange County’s Star Filipino Restaurant Irenia to Close After Four Years

Some future pop-ups are planned, but that’s about it

Staffers look over their shoulder at the pass, staring out at a busy restaurant.
Early service days at Irenia
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.

Sad news for Santa Ana diners down in Orange County: modern Filipino restaurant Irenia is going to close following service this weekend.

In a letter sent out to customers today, owners Ryan Garlitos and partner Sarah Mosqueda say that they are moving on from the four-year-old restaurant with their heads held high. Irenia helped to transform Santa Ana into a standalone culinary destination, and helped to push forward a conversation about modern Filipino food that is still being had at places like Ma’am Sir and Lasa in Los Angeles. Plus, it’s never an easy feat to go from being a roving pop-up to a full-fledged restaurant, even after Jonathan Gold gave his unwavering approval of the food.

We love owning this restaurant, working with our employees, and providing our guests with the best hospitality we know how to give. What we came to realize though was that the up and down nature of the business and the stress and pressure attached to it began to negatively impact the quality of our lives as well as the lives of our families. Ultimately, the risks were no longer outweighing the rewards.

As of now, the plan is to continue service through Saturday of this week, while running “a slightly trimmed down version” of the current Irenia dinner menu. From there, Garlitos, who previously worked at Taco Maria, and Mosqueda will use the space to revert back to a prix fixe pop-up menu for a limited time, until their lease runs out. What happens beyond that, both to the space and to Irenia as a restaurant idea, is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, reservations are available for the final few days of traditional service.

Update: Irenia has been flooded with reservation requests, and now says that they’ll be adding some extra service days. The full details can be found on their website.

Irenia. 400 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA.