SOUTH COAST METRO, Calif., May 12, 2020 – The talented chefs who work in South Coast Metro’s many renowned dining establishments know there are many ways to prepare a fine meal. In fact, there are more than 100 restaurants located within a one-mile radius of South Coast Plaza with approximately half of them now doing takeout and curbside services.

Many of these restaurants have now implemented creative new ways to keep serving their guests despite challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis where there is no playbook for best practices.

Here is how some of the restaurants have responded. “There was really no other choice for us, so we actually closed that first week, then got the team together and opened for curbside pickup the following Monday,” said Ahmed Labbate, CEO/Partner of Vaca Group. “Adding cocktails to the Vaca menu really helped spike the orders. The community is very supportive and appreciative that we are serving the community and at the same time saving jobs.”

David Sadler, general manager of Karl Strauss Brewery, located in Metro Pointe at South Coast, said “We’ve changed the menu to include a section called ‘Meals at the Ready’ which includes pork chops, chicken breasts, steaks, Mahi tacos, and salmon platters. Also included are our two most popular items – mac and cheese and wings by the pound. Our beers are now listed on the take out menu and we have tripled the varieties we offer. Most popular are our Crowler fills – a 32-ounce can of beer that we fill from any of our 24 taps to order and seal at the bar. Customers have been overwhelmingly supportive during this time, and are commiserating with us and thanking us for being open. We’ve adapted by having three transaction areas at the bar that are socially distant. We’ve put in rows of beer displays that serve to create a line to keep everyone socially distant.”

Phillip Patterson, director of sales at Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa hotel where the Silver Trumpet is located, says the restaurant has adopted an excellent menu to fit all his guests’ needs and is taking orders from 7am – 10pm daily. “Some of the best breakfast sellers are the Silver Trumpet classic and the lobster omelet.  Lunch and dinner offerings start at 11am and we have our famous roasted beet and goat cheese salad, along with our very popular New York steak entrée and rigatoni Bolognese entrée. In addition to our guests at the property, we are receiving many orders from residents at 580 Anton and the Plaza Tower. We’ve closed the dining room for all public seating and had to adapt to a 100% take-out model.  We’ve also escalated the operations of third-party platforms to further support sales and assist with online ordering.”

At Morton’s the Steakhouse ~ South Coast Plaza Village guests are happy that they are still able to get their favorite steaks and sides to go, though it’s not quite the same as a full dining experience inside the restaurant.  All have been very understanding that this has become their new norm and are happy to support the take-out model to keep the restaurant in business.

Many restaurants have been delivering orders themselves or working with services like Postmates, DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Fantuan and others to go from door to table.

A comprehensive list of restaurants and their contact information is available at https://southcoastmetro.com/dining/ Diners can also check the social media feeds of their favorite places.

In general, restaurant patrons continue to order from their favorite places and provide constructive feedback so the restaurants can better understand how to adapt during these trying times.

“Let’s all support our local eateries during these challenging times with takeout orders and purchasing gift certificates,” said South Coast Metro Executive Director Diane Pritchett. “They’re doing their absolute best and appreciate everything the community is doing for them and the people affected.”