"Island-influenced cuisine" made its debut in Orange County last week with the opening of Barbacoa on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach. This waterfront restaurant is yet another endeavor of David Wilhelm (Kachina in Laguna Beach, Bistro 201 in Irvine) and his West Coast Restaurant Ventures. The menu: Appetizers of rare blackened Caribbean ahi with papaya and bermuda onion relish, and steamed mussels with curry, red chilis and coconut; main courses include free range chicken with Jamaican barbecue sauce and wok-seared rock shrimp with jade basmati rice. The chef is Dan Worley, most recently of Five Feet in Laguna Beach and Five Feet Too in Newport Beach. Entree prices: $14 to $20. Reservations: (714) 646-6090.
So we gain one, but lose two: the Bouzy Rouge in Newport Beach and Ron's Supper Club in Laguna Beach have closed.
And closed at least temporarily are Il Ristorante Bagatta and Koto restaurant, both in Newport Beach. "For remodeling" is the word, but calls to the restaurants yield no further information.
Reuben's restaurant at 6060 Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach will welcome donations to the Toys for Tots drive, beginning Sunday, Dec. 9. That day, the restaurant will open at noon and two Marines will come at 2 p.m. to gather the toys. A barrel for later donations will remain until Dec. 15. (714) 842-5111.