TAPS Fish House and Brewery, a bonafide O.C. dining juggernaut, has just opened its first South O.C. location at The Market Place in Irvine.
The popular seafood, steak and craft beer establishment boasts an impressive 10,000-square-foot space, with a sweeping view of an expansive bar, oyster-charcuterie station, exhibition kitchen, 18-foot-high ceilings and massive doors to a private dining room. The Irvine location has an impressive 24 taps – 14 of them for TAPS seasonal and signature ales and lagers, the most offered at any TAPS location. An additional four guest beers on draft will be selected by Brewmaster David Huls. There will be six draft cocktails as well. Six premium wines, produced by some of the state’s top vintners, are featured on separate wine taps.
The new Irvine location also debuted its craft cocktail program, including this updated take on the classic Moscow Mule called the Siberian Mule ($16), with vodka, ginger beer, lime and sugar. The drink is prepared table side with liquid nitrogen for a dramatic, vapor-filled presentation.
The Ahi Tartare ($15) is a refreshing starter. Cubes of sashimi grade ahi tuna, along with avocado, red onion, cucumber and crispy wonton strips are great scooped in Baby Gem lettuce cups.
The charcuterie board at TAPS is also worth ordering: a beautiful assortment of ruby-hued cured meats, from chorizo to proscuitto, paired with great cheeses and housemade condiments like house-pickled rainbow carrots and maittake mushrooms for a tart contrast to the rich meats and cheeses.
In addition to TAPS’ classics such as miso-marinated Chilean sea bass, drunken mahi mahi and cioppino, the Irvine location offers whole roasted branzino (Mediterranean sea bass). Opah (Hawaiian moonfish) and char siu short ribs (Cantonese style barbecue pork) will be prepared sous vide.
The new TAPS underscores owner Joe Manzella’s commitment to tableside service with an expanded lineup of shrimp cocktail, sizzling Japanese hamachi, “smoking gun” beef carpaccio, Caesar salad for two, and Cobb and Veracruz lunch salads made or finished in front of guests. Dessert prepared at the table include TAPS’ liquid nitrogen ice cream sundae for two and crème brûlée.
Appetizers/salads at TAPS in Irvine range from $ 8 to $14, entrees from $19 to $35 and desserts from $8 to $12.
The new TAPS is located at The Market Place in Irvine at 13390 Jamboree Rd. Information: 714-619-0404. Hours are Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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