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Find a Celebrated Sushi Chef’s 16-Course Omakase Tucked Into a Luxury OC Hotel

Plus, Bon Appetit’s taco list, Chain’s newest pop-up, and more

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Sushi from Taikun at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.
Sushi from Taikun at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

The word is coming out about an accomplished Japanese chef’s new omakase pop-up tucked inside the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point; both the TimesOC and OC Register have covered the launch of Taikun. New York City-based chef Kei Yoshino has partnered with restaurateur Ryan Chadwick to serve a 16-course stunner of an omakase priced at a fairly modest $175 per person. Yoshino did a Nakazawa pop-up with Chadwick in Aspen in the latter’s Grey Lady space, and also did a successful pop-up in Miami, leading to this pop-up inside the Ritz in Dana Point that began on July 15 and operate until November 5.

Highlights of the omakase include A5 wagyu, zuke toro nigiri, Hokkaido uni, hay-smoked Spanish mackerel, and toro tartare with osetra caviar. Much of the seafood is sourced from Japan. There’s also a beverage pairing available for an additional $95 per person. Seatings are at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday, with reservations available on Tock. The omakase pop-up joins a vibrant Orange County scene that includes Michelin-starred counters and other luxury sushi experiences.

Chain’s next move with Pizza Hut

Pan pizzas from Chain.
Pan pizzas from Chain.

Chain, the pop-up from Otium chef Timothy Hollingsworth, is partnering with another chain restaurant: Pizza Hut. Called the Mutant Pizza, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired pop-up takes place on July 28 and 29 in East Hollywood with buttermilk-fried pickles, ranch-flavored ricotta, cheeseburger pizza, cured pineapple and anchovies, and pepperoni with spicy butterscotch honeycomb as an ode the classic cartoon.

Chain developed the pan pizza dough with Pizza Hut, which should provide that patented plush base for Hollingsworth’s nostalgic dishes, which purports to have a 20,000-person waitlist. Chain’s pop-up this weekend will have four individual pan pizzas plus plenty of swag and merch for sale. Go to the website or text (323-310-4642) for a reservation.

Top tacos from the editor of L.A. Taco

Bon Appetit spoke with L.A. Taco editor Javier Cabral to hear his expert taco picks from around Los Angeles. Picks include the more known Sonoratown and Mariscos Jalisco, plus Tacos El Cachetón for tacos al vapor and Birriería El Jalicience for goat birria.

Selva’s big one-year anniversary celebration

Colombian restaurant Selva in Long Beach is already one year old and will have specials celebrating the anniversary beginning tomorrow through Sunday, including all-day happy hour, the return of signature dishes like arepas con pollo, a “Let’s Cumbé” night on Friday with Colombian spirits and dishes, and plenty of partying on the weekend. Sunday marks the end of the anniversary celebration with a Colombian-style brunch, mimosas, and giveaways. Check Selva’s Instagram for more.

For the ’80s fans out there

The Ace Hotel in Downtown is hosting weekend movie afternoons at its adjacent theater beginning on August 6 with showings of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Ghostbusters, the Karate Kid, and Dirty Dancing beginning at 2 p.m. The idea is to come into the Ace’s Loam restaurant beforehand for brunch; those attending the movie get 20 percent off brunch and get free popcorn at the theater. Tickets for the movies cost $25 per person and $15 per child.