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NEWSBITES / BENJAMIN EPSTEIN

Restaurants Cook Up Plans to Help the Needy Around Holidays

November 10, 1994|BENJAMIN EPSTEIN | Benjamin Epstein is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to The Times Orange County Edition. Information for this column can be faxed, (714) 966-7790, or phoned in, (714) 966-7700.

As Thanksgiving gets closer, thoughts turn to copious quantities of food and, for many people, going home. Thoughts also turn to those without food and a home. In coming weeks, local restaurants are among those doing something to help.

This week, West Coast Restaurant Ventures--which operates Bistro 201, Kachina, Saddlerock Ranch, Topaz Cafe and Diva--kicked off a Donation Exchange Program. Now through Dec. 24, lunch and dinner guests can exchange canned foods, toys and clothing for a dessert of their choice with their meal. Donated items will benefit local agencies, including Laguna Shanti AIDS Clinic, Share Our Selves and S.W. Community Kitchens.

Diva will also host the second of five "FOCIS on Dining" gourmet dinners sponsored by Friends of Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter on Monday. The three-course meal includes an entree of grilled salmon on a lima bean and spinach ragout with Cabernet sauce and crispy fried leeks. The series continues Jan. 17 at Gustaf Anders; Feb. 13 at The Ritz and March 15 at the Center Club. Each dinner is $90 a person. The shelter feeds, houses and counsels more than 2,000 people each year.

Last Mango in Newport is putting on a "Little People's Art Sale" Nov. 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The parking lot sale will feature works by Southland artists, and proceeds will benefit Little People's World, a Santa Ana shelter for abused children. Complimentary coffee and pastries will be served Nov. 19 from 10 to 11 a.m., and vegetarian appetizers will be offered at times both days.

Last and definitely least as far as cuisine's concerned, Antonello Ristorante will underwrite and serve up a "No-Lunch Luncheon" for community and business leaders Nov. 22. Guests will experience a meal of bread, soup and water--and what the heck, a glass of wine--at the event, which is hosted by the Food Distribution Center to underscore the local hunger problem and seek contributions.

Antonello Ristorante, 1611 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana. (714) 771-1343.

Bistro 201, 3333 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. (714) 553-9201.

Center Club, 650 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 662-3414.

Diva, 600 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa. (714) 754-0600.

Gustaf Anders, 1651 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana. (714) 668-1737.

Kachina, 222 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach. (714) 497-5546.

Last Mango in Newport, 2900 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach. (714) 723-5778.

Saddlerock Ranch, 3966 Barranca Parkway, Irvine. (714) 262-0864.

The Ritz, 800 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. (714) 720-1800.

Topaz Cafe, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. (714) 835-2002.

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