The latest in modern food hall concepts — TRADE — will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow (Saturday, May 13, 2017). The open air hall houses nine businesses, with representation across a variety of cuisines, all under one roof.
Butterleaf – a vegetarian concept by Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish fame promises to bring excitement to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Try the Butterleaf Burger with sweet potato, kale, melted onions and kimchi sauce. The solid black bean and quinoa patty possesses really bold flavors.
Center Hub – if you think you’d have to settle for a soft beverage or just beer and wine, think again! Center Hub is a tantalizing bar offering some incredible cocktails, as well as craft beers – there are 10 – and even boutique-style wines. So stop by after a long day, kick your shoes off and sip on any of the signature cocktails Center Hub has to offer. Try the Bloody Mary complete with hot cheetos as garnish!
Dos Chinos – I’ve had a long history with Dos Chinos. We started following them when they were still riding on wheels, meaning, when they were still a food truck. Owners Hop Phan and Viet Tran were regulars at the weekly evening truck stop at Irvine Lanes, where we would feast on the creative fusion offerings off the menu. I remember the shrimp tacos best. Their MexiAsian cuisine sprouted a brick and mortar at Santa Ana’s food hall, 4th Street Market, and now, Dos Chinos brings their signature Stoner Fries to TRADE. Try the Lobster Elote, a decadent baked lobster topped with corn.
Gyro King – when I heard “healthy Greek cuisine” I immediately thought “hmm, healthy? Does that mean flavorless?” Boy was I surprised! The classic Gyro is savory and moist, while the falafels crispy yet soft on the inside. Hummus is well balanced and the right consistency. Good stuff!
Mega Don – from the creators of Dos Chinos comes Mega Don, a “bowl” concept. Don is the Japanese word for “bowl” and right now, there are poke bowls galore on the menu, but in the works are Hawaiian Garlic Butter Shrimp bowls, Spam Musubi bowls and Cali Moco bowls wth turkey patty.
Pig Pen Delicacy – Co-Founder Jason Trinh and his team launched Pig Pen Delicacy at 4th Street Market, and now, brings swine to TRADE. Their savory menu is packed with inventive burgers, gluttonous fries and nachos, sliders, and more. Try the popular Pork Belly Fries or Maple Bacon Jam Burger, however, it might just be the house-cured candied bacon that you keep coming back for. (photo courtesy 100eats)
Portside – pescatarians rejoice, there is a spot just for you here at TRADE. Portside is a fish-focused concept dedicated to serving the freshest of seafood. Try the shrimp burrito! It is lip-smacking good.
Sweet Combforts – the liege waffles here feature a variety of toppings and drizzles, plus ice cream to pair alongside. Sweet Combforts is taking this treat to a whole new level by serving the liege waffles on a stick, making them even easier to eat.
Two Birds – a chicken concept by Chef Andrew Gruel is simple! Chicken two ways, either fried or grilled, in the form of sandwich or salad, or just on its own. The most unique part of this simple menu however, is that Two Birds solely utilizes Jidori Chicken. Try Bird in the Hand a knock-your-socks-off chicken sandwich with pickle slaw, or, opt for the fried chicken which is so juicy and moist on the inside, but oh so crispy on the outside.
TRADE Food Hall
2222 Michelson Drive
Irvine, CA 92612