From South Coast Plaza

The Hall Global Eatery to Open at South Coast Plaza

Much-anticipated dining collection from Santana-Labbate partnership offers diverse options for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a dynamic indoor-outdoor setting

The Hall Global Eatery, a bright and vibrant dining experience highlighting Mediterranean flavors and imaginative seafood in a unique, contemporary setting, will open at South Coast Plaza on January 2, 2020.

The highly anticipated new concept is from acclaimed chef Amar Santana and restaurateur Ahmed Labbate, the culinary artisans behind dining landmark Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and Spanish cuisine haven VACA, located by Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The nearly 10,000-square-foot dining and patio space is unlike anything created before by Santana and Labbate, who originally partnered in 2008 as opening chef and general manager for the debut of Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza.

The Hall Global Eatery is a one-stop global dining collection with something for everyone.

“This is our most ambitious project to date, bringing together a pâtisserie, a fast-casual concept, an upscale bar and fine dining.” Labbate said. “We drew inspiration from the broader Mediterranean region, from Morocco, Lebanon and Greece to France and Italy, reinterpreting our design and culinary finds to create a variety of dining options.” 

Designed as a bustling food hall with a vast array of selections for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Hall offers the options of fast-casual, grab-and-go, or leisurely dining. “We want guests to be excited and fully understand the concept is all about choices,” Santana said.

The ethos of the modern Mediterranean design for The Hall Global Eatery celebrates the spirit of sharing a meal together in an energetic, warm, and inviting setting. Silicon Valley-based Studio Padron created the light-infused, modern décor.

The signature architectural element is a ceiling inspired by the market halls of Europe and the vaults of their roof structures. The ceiling, handmade from white oak, serves as a unifying element that achieves a balance between one space and several culinary offerings. 

Arabesque-shaped tile is a recurring background motif in The Hall Global Eatery. “Tile has such a rich legacy of decoration, texture, pattern and color in the Mediterranean and Middle East,” Labbate said. “We wanted to find a contemporary way to draw from that heritage and use graphic tile as a key brand element.” 

The Pâtisserie will initially serve house-made pastries and cookies, paninis, sandwiches, salads, gourmet coffee, and fresh-squeezed juices and shots.

The fast-casual Mediterranean Grill selections include Mediterranean combo plates and wraps. Vertical rotisseries showcase hand-carved schwarmas of chicken, beef and a savory lamb infused with apricot leather. Kebobs are also available, all served with a choice of grain and two sides.

For lunch and dinner, guests can enjoy delicacies from around the world at the full-service Crudo, including the freshest of seafood interpreted into creative crudo plates as well as chilled shellfish. Hot dishes will come from the kitchen.

Charcuterie at Crudo consists of house-made pâtés as well as other offerings. Diners can choose from 40 rotating cheeses from all over the Mediterranean, as well as select domestic cheese from small farms.

The Hall’s retail space features provisions such as Amar’s house-made jam, coffee, wine, olive oil, vinegars, pickles and chocolate.

Beverage Director Michael Rooney has placed a focus on non-North American spirits, in line with the global theme.

The 21-seat bar will feature eight signature cocktails such as the Ori-Sun, a Japanese whiskey flavored with iris root syrup, smoke and salt bitters. Wines highlight lesser-known Mediterranean varietals from Portugal, Greece, and Morocco. Local craft and international beers will be available.

The Hall Global Eatery will officially open January 2, 2020. The first month, the Pâtisserie and Mediterranean Grill will operate from 10:30 am to 9 pm; Crudo and the bar will be open from 11 am – 11 pm. Breakfast at the Pâtisserie will begin in February. For more information, visit or call 714-515-5544.

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The Vaca Group, helmed by chef Amar Santana and restaurateur Ahmed Labbate, strives to be a leader in culinary indulgence. The two originally partnered in 2008 as opening chef and general manager for the debut of Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza. The passion to create their own restaurants led to the 2011 opening of Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach. Fueled by the success and desire to return to the South Coast Plaza area, the duo unveiled VACA at Park Tower in late 2015, next to Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory.  The “culinary artisans” brought master mixologist Michael Rooney aboard to serve as beverage director in 2016.  Their latest venture, The Hall Global Eatery, will open at South Coast Plaza in early 2020. With unparalleled service and standards, the Vaca Group provides a world-class dining experience touched with flavors from all over the globe.

Renowned as a leading international shopping destination, South Coast Plaza is home to more than 250 prominent boutiques, critically acclaimed restaurants and the adjacent celebrated Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Orange County Museum of Art. It is the West Coast’s premier shopping experience, with its proximity to beaches and John Wayne Airport, customized concierge services, and unparalleled collection of diverse retailers — from Gucci, Hermès, Cartier and Harry Winston to Saint Laurent, The Webster, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and more. South Coast Plaza is located in Orange County, California, in the city of Costa Mesa. Information: or 800.782.8888.