Prime Chef’s John Tesar Goes California Seafood at OC’s New Outer Reef

Chef John Tesar, identified for his a number of James Beard Basis award nominations, his time on Main Chef, and penchant for (ahem) talking up, is formally coming to Orange County. Tesar has been promising — or on the very least loudly hinting at — a coastal OC job for a few years, and now the huge, nationally identified establish is listed right here.

This month, Tesar will open Outer Reef, his long-discussed seafood cafe contained in the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Trip resort & Spa in Dana Degree. Although carrying a brand new title and totally different imaginative and prescient, the place is meant to behave as an homage to Tesar’s earlier Spoon Bar & Kitchen, which operated out of Dallas nearly a ten years in the past. Tesar’s different Texas initiatives, most famously his meaty restaurant Knife, proceed being well-known within the bigger Dallas space.

Like Spoon, Outer Reef is all in regards to the bounty of the ocean, transferring from quite a few raw preparations like a razor clam tartare, geoduck sashimi, and dry-aged tuna, to grilled objects and higher mains. There can be a shareable location prawn ramen, roasted 50 % lobster, kimchi-glazed halibut, and a black cod milanese to go along with housmade pastas and on the very least an individual steak. And though Tesar will oversee the restaurant, chef Jayro Martinez (beforehand of MhZh in Silver Lake, and the opening govt chef of Mayfield in San Juan Capistrano) is talked about to be on as chef de delicacies.

Live scallop with shallot brown butter and truffles.

It isn’t hyperbole to say that Outer Reef has been swimming in opposition to the tide for many years now. The duty was 1st introduced once more in the summertime time of 2018, and was lastly scheduled to open in 2020. The pandemic further flooded these folks designs, so now the restaurant will open on April 29, a part of a extra substantial multi-million-greenback renovation of the Dana Degree lodge property it is going to help to anchor. Depend on h2o sights, a lot of coastal ambiance inside, and meal solely to start.

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The technique, lastly, is to extend Outer Reef into lunch and breakfast assist, with a separate menu for the bar and lounge spot as nicely. For now hrs run from Thursday to Sunday solely, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations will be constructed on OpenTable.


Some inside decor at Outer Reef.

A wide, largely white dining room with ocean scenery beyond at a new restaurant.

Coastal sights.

25135 Park Lantern, Dana Problem, CA 92629