We seem to be experiencing strange times in Southern California wherein a restaurant hasn't truly made its bones until it opens, not just in L.A., but also answers the demands of our high-earning neighbors to the South in Orange County. The path is being forged by Mozza, Pitfire Pizza, and Umami Burger while Tamarind skipped the whole L.A. part and opened directly in Newport Beach. Next, O.C. Register readies the way for Fig & Olive, Laurent Halasz's pristine, celebrity-preferred Mediterranean founded in New York seven years back. Last year, the restaurant took over a corner of Melrose Place and La Cienega in 2011 and has been packed ever since. Slated for 2013, the Fig & Olive next plans to take over a sizable space at Fashion Island, Newport's main draw mall that is actually, finally pretty fashionable after 45 years.
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