David Wilhelm, who's captured such a following at Kachina in Laguna Beach, isn't finished yet: He has three new restaurants up his sleeve. He's developing concepts and overseeing construction and design, first, for the transformation of the Metropolitan Grill in Irvine into Bistro 201, which will present contemporary bistro food in an "avant-garde ambiance." Craig Ferreira of Chanteclair will be general manager and John Sharpe of Le Biarritz, executive chef. Look for a June unveiling.
In August, Wilhelm expects to debut another restaurant. On the water in the former Tokai Bank building in Newport Beach, this one will feature California cuisine accented by wood-fired cooking. And in October he'll introduce southwestern dining in the Crossroads Center in Irvine. This "downscale Kachina" will be a prototype for others.