Hotel Irvine has transformed itself from a nondescript, cookie cutter hotel into a modern boutique hotel that will fool you into thinking you’re in Las Vegas or Los Angeles or NYC, certainly not Irvine – the #1 safest city in America! The former Hyatt hotel has undergone a total remodel that extends from the new pool and 6000 sq. ft. outdoor pavilion, Eats Kitchen & Bar, the adjacent Red Bar & Lounge and Marketplace, to the furnishings and amenities in each guest room.
As soon as you enter the chic contemporary lobby, a subtle scent of vanilla, lily and jasmine soothes the senses – yes, the Hotel Irvine has thought of everything – including aromatherapy in the form of a signature scent. Your eyes move from the striking wall of greenery to the graceful aerial sculpture over the reception area to the colorful, inviting curves of cheerful orange couches beckoning you to settle in.
With its bright colors, sleek lines and modern feel Red Bar and Lounge makes a grand entrance in the all new Irvine social scene as the perfect gathering spot for an after-work cocktail, weekday happy hour and weekend gatherings with friends – no matter what the occasion, Red Bar is the place to see and be seen in Irvine, Orange County. If you haven’t checked it out yet, there is no better way to ring in the New Year than at Red Bar with friends, dancing right in to 2015 from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Reservations are encouraged for New Year’s Eve, especially for large groups, but walk-ins are welcome. Call (949) 225-6757 for reservations and information.
For small groups up to 6 people: Booth reservations include personal table service for the evening, along with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a bottle of Kettle One. (Cost is $250, excluding tax and gratuities.)
For larger groups up to 12 people: Booth reservations include two personal servers for the evening, two bottles of Veuve Clicquot and two bottles of Kettle One. (Cost is $500, excluding tax and gratuities.)
A late night menu will be available all evening at Red Bar, offering a variety of light nourishing bites from EATS Kitchen and Bar where locally renowned Chef Jason Montelibano is happily remaking and remixing the gastropub concept.
Pork Belly Buns, Ceviche Shimi (LR) and Pickled Platter (LL)
Formerly reigning over the kitchen at Chapter One in downtown Santa Ana, Montelibano has arrived and he’s bringing some of his favorites to the table, like his sweet and spicy wings, pork belly buns, Filipino egg, chef’s kimchi, and pickled vegetable platter. Chef Jason serves up a regular late-night menu to complement your libation of choice – be it the “farm to bar” spirited cocktails, fresh-made non-alcoholic vintage sodas, craft and beer and wine. Hotel Irvine is designed with an emphasis on connectivity and community and EATS Kitchen & Bar has a relaxed ambiance with across the board appeal: business travelers, locals of Irvine and neighboring communities, millennials, hotel guests, and professionals looking for an inviting place to connect, catch up on emails, and talk biz over lunch.
“Chef Jason’s creative, fun and lighthearted personality brought the menu to life at Eats, and his constant desire to push the envelope makes each experience for our guests different from the next,” said J.D. Shafer, general manager at Hotel Irvine. “Aside from being innovative in the kitchen, he prides himself on a ‘farm-to-bar’ approach, which elevates the entire space, bringing culinary twists to the bar menu and introducing menu items that go hand-in-hand with the beer and wine offerings.”
Wild foraged mushrooms with goat cheese polenta, brown butter, slow egg.
So far, I’ve enjoyed Chef Jason’s unique talent for mixing Asian and American flavors and balancing sweet, sour, salty and umami in his pork belly topped with a crunchy fried jalapeño and chef’s kimchi wrapped in a doughy bao bun, a pickled platter of bright pink pickled eggs and equally vibrant vegetables, and his sashimi-like ceviche of the daily catch on a bed of frilly frisée with spicy pickled radishes. The luscious polenta and soft egg with four varieties of wild foraged mushrooms burst with earthy, buttery richness and savory umami. I can’t wait to see what he serves up for dinner!
Indoors or outdoors (my fave spot is the patio with cozy fire pit and cushy chairs flanked by large-scale white lamps/heaters reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland), EATS Kitchen & Bar and the Red Bar & Lounge is sleek, modern, bold and worthy of a night out. Mingle with fun-minded locals and fellow guests during themed happy hours or late night – possibilities abound and good times await! Red Bar’s hours are Sunday through Wednesday from noon until midnight and Thursday through Saturday noon until 2 a.m.
EATS Kitchen & Bar
Red Bar & Lounge
Reservations: (949) 225-6780 or (949) 225-6757