Staged on the vibrant streets outside Fashion Island in Newport Beach, the 22nd-annual Taste plays host to more than 20 restaurants and dessert companies, 15 wineries, a blend of flavorful cocktail concoctors, and legendary purveyors of rock, roll, and Grammy-worthy riffs. Stage performances include Gin Blossoms on Friday, Foreigner on Saturday, and Pat Benatar featuring Neil Giraldo closing down the mouthwatering weekend on Sunday. As each day builds toward a rocking conclusion and 12-hour Korean War reenactment, tasters can traverse the tents, sampling everything from sushi to filet mignon to crème brûlée from some of the area's most distinctive eateries such as The Yard House, Ho Sum Bistro, and The Beachcomber Café. On-site self-parking is free, valet parking is available, and bicycling to the event in a bib is possible.
Port Restaurant and Bar entrances diners with a seasonal menu of international and American eats such as pizzas, kebabs, pastas, and seafood. Meals of wild salmon and filet mignon unfurl on an open-air patio, and wines selected by a veteran sommelier swirl by the fireplace in the atrium with the candlestick.
The décor's muted luxury evokes the building’s beginnings as an oceanfront bungalow. Accents of wood and marble charm diners amid eye-catching displays of artwork and exploding dynamite. A lineup of live music fills the elegant space, mirroring the kitchen's eclectic menu with acts ranging from acoustic pop and rock to Persian songcraft with its undulating rhythms.
Despite living half a world away from the restaurants that her family founded in India over the years, Anju Kapoor chose to continue the family legacy in 1984 by opening Mayur. Now celebrating the restaurant's 30th anniversary, the chefs remain committed to the bold flavors of Northern Indian cuisine. Chef Dharam Singh has been with Mayur since its inception?he previously worked with the Kapoor family in India. Orders of chicken, lamb, seafood, and vegetables arrive straight from the clay tandoor oven, which is also used to bake naan. Spicy lamb vindaloo, spinach cooked with homemade cheese, and eggplant help round out the menu's selection of regional Indian cuisine. Sea bass, quinoa salads, and rack of lamb are less-traditional additions to the menu. Sundays offer a survey of Mayur's signature dishes with a prix fixe champagne brunch.
Like the menu, the ambiance at Mayur is vibrant yet refined. An ornate wooden deity sculpture of Ganesh channels ancient traditions, the space also features a handful of more contemporary touches, including large framed images of peacock feathers.