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The Hit List: Eat Sheet

Can’t stand the heat? Then get out of the kitchen and into one of these great dining destinations to sample their summer specialties. Here’s a list of our faves.

Fleming’s filet mignon eggs Benedict

1. Wine and Dine
Oh, Fleming’s. You’ve won our hearts with your steaks and vinos, creative cocktails and always-buzzing happy hour, and now we’re crushing on your Wine Country brunch, too. That’s right, Newport Beach’s favorite steakhouse is filling bellies with its new a la carte brunch every Sunday from 10am to 2pm. A basket of fresh housemade biscuits is served while guests pore over the menu, which offers lighter bites and heartier fare. Start with the lobster bisque (sherry cream and lobster garnish) and work your way up to the filet mignon eggs Benedict. To wash it all down, a cocktail cart rolls through the resto, offering garden-to-glass Bloody Marys and other libations, all handcrafted tableside. Try the Sonoma Sparkler and sip to a Sunday brunch that can’t be beat. 455 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.720.9633, flemingssteakhouse.com

2. Crafty Matters
If you find yourself in Fullerton, be sure to stop by Hopscotch to throw back a drink from its seasonal cocktail menu. Libations Director James Wood has concocted seven new signature selections for the summer. The Blackberry Smash is a fruit-packed palate pleaser, with fresh blackberries, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, mint and Right Gin. The menu will be offered till Sept. 22, and we can’t wait to see what Wood is concocting for the fall. 136 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, 714.871.2222, hopscotchtavern.com

3. Shuck Oyster Bar
With a daily selection of oysters, sammies, soups, salads and bubbly aplenty, Leonard Chan and Noah Blom’s inspired concept at The OC Mix is filling a void on the Cali Riviera. Go in for the oyster po’ boy—and shuck an oyster or two. 3313 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.420.0478, shuckoysterbar.com

4. Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge
This local addition to the Patina Group’s arsenal of high-profile eateries is elegant and in an ideal spot for a pre- or post-theater meal, provided you allow enough time to order and eat. Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan makes lunch applause-worthy this summer with his weekly menu that dishes out globally inspired fare in a variety of themes. The week of Aug. 5 brings us burgers, while the following week serves up Asian bowls. 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.429.7640, patinagroup.com/caferouge

5. AnQi
The House of An (responsible for Crustacean in Beverly Hills) serves Asian fusion like the to-die-for takuwan maki sushi, which we order every single time we visit. We’ve also got our hungry eyes on the grilled pork sandwich and honey lemongrass shrimp salad—two new fresh, inventive selections on the summer lunch menu. Chef Helene An’s claim to fame, however, is her roasted crab. It’s prepared in a secret kitchen, and it’s served only on Tuesday nights and sells out early, so reserve an order now. 3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.557.5679, anqibistro.com