A major ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Aug. 14 when Hubert's will debut at 2 Hutton Centre Drive in Santa Ana, where it replaces the Courthouse Restaurant. Hubert's will offer an eclectic mix of international cuisine, from Napa cabbage tacos of shrimp and sauce choron to lobster strudel with chive butter. The main dining room on the first floor will serve lunch Monday through Fridays, Sunday brunch, and dinner nightly (a la carte dinner entrees: $12-$16). Downstairs, Hubert's bar will offer quick lunches and hot and cold tapas , Spanish finger foods from grilled skatewing fish on beds of spinach to chicken and chorizo brochette with garlic cumin. The upstairs will contain two banquet facilities.
The guiding light behind the new venture is Hubert Walch, a native of Austria who trained there and in Germany. His career in America has included service with the Bel-Air Country Club and the Sheraton and Hilton hotel chains. Hubert's can be reached at (714) 545-5060.
Let's get oriented: Lotus Court opened last week at 181 E. Commonwealth Ave. in Fullerton, serving Hong Kong, Mandarin and Szechwan cuisine. There are more than a hundred items on the menu, but judging from the tanks of live lobster and crab, the accent is on seafood. Owner Pansy Law has redone the former Wonder restaurant in soft mauves with acoustic wall coverings and Oriental partitions, and has added a banquet room. (714) 738-3838. . . .
Tokyo Steaks, meanwhile, has brought Benihana-style teppan yaki fare--lobster, scallops, shrimp, beef filet and lemon-chicken--to Buena Park. There's also a sushi bar and a cocktail bar. It's all at 6890 Beach Blvd., where Imagi used to be. (714) 994-2730. . . .
A Kaiseki dinner, a multicourse Japanese dining extravaganza, can set you back $50, $75, even $110 in L.A. But at Horikawa in South Coast Plaza Village in Santa Ana, you can experience this high end of Japanese cuisine for as little as $40. Your server will present small portions, each representing a specific way of cooking, one at a time in beautiful containers. Like the tea ceremony, the Kaiseki originated as a formal ritual of Zen Buddhism but has become a party menu for times of celebration. (714) 557-2531. . . .
New chef in town: Gerard Vie of Les Trois Marches restaurant in Versailles, France, and consulting chef at Antoine in Le Meridien in Newport Beach, recently introduced Antoine's new chef de cuisine, Roy Breiman. Breiman--would you believe?--is a native Californian. After completing the curriculum at Le Cordon Rouge in Sausalito, he trained with such elite chefs as Vie, Bruno Tison in San Francisco and Christian Delouvier in New York, who passed on to Breiman what they had learned from such French masters as Roger Verge, Alain Chapel and Michel Guerard. Antoine is at 4500 MacArthur Blvd. (714) 476-2001.
Here 'n' There: Le Midi at 3421 Via Lido in Newport Beach celebrated its sixth year--and Switzerland's 699th--on Aug. 1 with an a la carte dinner of Swiss delicacies, Swiss wine and Swiss music. The restaurant recently introduced "Summer Night Grazing" with 17 appetizers (two make a light meal) and desserts at $5.75 each. (714) 675-4904. . . . Pascal at 1000 Bristol St. in Newport Beach has hopped on the good-for-you bandwagon with "cuisine sante," lighter, low-cholesterol, low-sodium specialties. (714) 752-0107. . . .
Ta Ta: The Good Earth lost its lease in Fashion Island and is closed. But the Good Earth in South Coast Plaza Village lives on.