Viet Pham of The Recess Room

VIET PHAM
CO-OWNER | THE RECESS ROOM

The hospitality business has been ingrained in Viet since childhood. Some of his earliest memories are sitting in his high chair and watching his mother prepare endless amounts of food for her restaurant. Through his childhood, he was always in the kitchen-doing homework behind restaurant registers and managing his parents' restaurant at just 17. Through the experience, he gained growing up and the knowledge he’s developed, Viet has been able to open and co-own The Recess Room, a restaurant in Fountain Valley.

Viet has been lucky enough to have met his business partners very early on during his childhood. In fact, the name Recess Room was developed because he met all four of his business partners — Hoang Nghiem, Yahya Alwakza, Victory Nguyen and David Yi — during recess on his first day of elementary school. The concept of Recess Room is to unwind and relax and to enjoy the people you are relaxing with. Viet wants to make sure he always focuses on the customer first and wants Recess Room to be like Cheers, “Where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.” He and the rest of the Recess Room team want to make sure the guests that come in are always taken care of and served quality food and drinks. Viet will never stop looking for improvement and plans to continue to make daily progress for himself and the business.

Viet is excited to be part of Fountain Valley and provide the community with The Recess Room. His biggest goal is to provide excellent food and drinks, to really take care of the guests and hopes one day everyone knows everybody’s name!

Chef Sam Green

SAM GREEN
EXECUTIVE CHEF | THE RECESS ROOM

Sam Green is a very passionate chef and holds himself responsible for maintaining the integrity of the ingredients he works with. At the age of 14, he began working for a catering company starting at the very bottom, scrubbing pots and pans, and continued working in the field because he felt a fire inside him. While in high school, he was part of the culinary vocational program where he learned new techniques in a fast-paced restaurant environment. He loved it so much he continued his journey in New York where he attended the Culinary Institute of America. Through hard work and eagerness to learn more, he graduated after just two years and officially began his career in the culinary industry. He continued his journey in Hyde Park, New York and worked alongside executive Chef Jeff Raider where he was able to work alongside other young professionals, all eager to make it in the culinary field. At the age of 25, Sam traveled to Southern California, initially to visit family and to explore the restaurant scene in Orange County; however, he enjoyed the stay and restaurant scene so much, he made Orange County his new home. He began working in Laguna Beach under Chef Amar Santana, where he took a position as a line cook and eventually moved up to Sous Chef. Gaining experience and rapport for three years, he moved onto the Balboa Bay Resort under executive Chef Rachel Haggstrom, where he held the title of Chef de Cuisine, developing menus and operating kitchens for both Waterline and A+O in Orange County. Today, Chef Sam Green has found himself a new home at The Recess Room as the executive chef creating show-stopping dishes, like the 40 ounce Tomahawk steak with a Foie gras butter, herb gremolata and a Bulleit Rye reduction sauce.

Sam’s philosophy is to always create exceptional dishes. He believes if someone took the time to grow, raise, fish, pick, pack and ship it, then it is his full responsibility to maintain the integrity of the product and utilize the ingredient to its fullest potential. Passion is what drives him and with open mindedness and room to create, he wants to explore new techniques and continue to grow as a chef. He thanks Viet Pham and the rest of the staff at The Recess Room for the opportunity as well as the creative freedom they’ve given him.

As the executive Chef at Recess Room, Sam wants to provide guests with a top-notch dining out experience, where the food and drinks are equally as important as the company you surround yourself with. He hopes his guests are able to relax, recharge and fully indulge on his decadent and exciting dishes.

The Recess Room

LOCATED IN FOUNTAIN VALLEY

therecessroom.com | facebook.com/therecessroominstagram.com/therecessroom

CO-OWNER VIET PHAM
EXECUTIVE CHEF SAM GREEN

The Recess Room in Fountain Valley | photo courtesy of The Recess Room

The Recess Room in Fountain Valley | photo courtesy of The Recess Room

ABOUT

EAT. DRINK. PLAY!

Located in Fountain Valley, The Recess Room is bringing something a little different to the Orange County restaurant scene. Five lifelong friends met during recess one day on a Fountain Valley Playground, and they've shared a deep love of their hometown ever since.

"They dreamed of one day opening a restaurant together where they could share good food, good drinks and reminisce about good times... 
The Recess Room is their childhood dream come to life."

Co-Owner Viet Pham and his four friends are currently living their dream, all the while supplying Orange County locals with an ideal spot to wine and dine, and just enjoy each other's company. Aside from the ambiance, their executive Chef Sam Green is serving up some impressive food and drink to go along with it. Their menu is bold and rich, touting items line Bone Marrow Mac & Cheese and a Pork Belly BLT. Homegrown ingredients and the passion of their team go into every dish and cocktail, making The Recess Room experience, a memorable one. 

More About: Co-Owner Viet Pham
More About: Chef Sam Green

Bone Marrow Mac & Cheese | photo courtesy of 100eats

Bone Marrow Mac & Cheese | photo courtesy of 100eats

MENU

The Recess Room offers a menu filled with modern-American tapas and starters, as well as incredibly flavorful entrees boasting well-prepared proteins. Chef Sam Green utilizes home grown ingredients from the onsite garden, making his plates stand out in the freshest way possible. Come in and share a few starters like the Blue Crab Beignets and Charcuterie, or go big with dishes like their Bone Marrow Burger and Crab Pasta. Not to mention their 24 craft beers on tap (primarily sourced from local Orange County breweries), a great wine selection, a variety of premium whiskeys, and their impressive list of handcrafted cocktails. 

Specialty Cocktails at The Recess Room | photo courtesy of 100eats

Specialty Cocktails at The Recess Room | photo courtesy of 100eats

SPECIALTY COCKTAILS

Smoke & Mirrors: butter infused lot 40 whiskey, maple syrup, angostura, pecan bitters, served with big rock in a smoked old fashioned glass

Blackberry Bramble: plymouth gin, lemon, muddled blackberries, sugar, served in double old fashioned glass

Cupid's Arrow: strawberry infused reposado, pear brandy, beet root powder, honey, lemon, served in nick and nora glass

 Gin-Singh's Vesper: ketel one, notlet’s gin, ginseng infused lillet blanc, orange bitters, served in nick and nora

Barrel Aged Vieux Carre: bulleit rye, hennessy sweet vermouth, benedictine, peychaud’s and angostura bitters, served with big rock in old fashioned

All photos above courtesy of 100eats

MODERN AMERICAN TAPAS, INSPIRED ENTREES & MORE

Shishitos: blistered shishitos, thyme marinated mediterrian olives, feta cheese, orange zest

Sprouts: brussels, lap cheong, hazelnut, brown butter, lemon, pecorino romano

Spanish Octopus: 18-hour sous vide, chorizo, calabrese yogurt, celery, crisp potato, candied kumquats

Bone Marrow Mac & Cheese: oxtail marmalade, fontina, mozzarella, bechamel, candied jalapenos, trottole

Blue Crab Beignet: maryland blue crab, mascarpone, chipotle aioli

Fried Chicken: creole dry spice rub, house-made slaw, white bbq, pickles, brioche, beer batter fries

Bone Marrow Burger: akaushi beef, applewood bacon jam, arugula, brioche, beer batter fries

Pork Chop: seaboard farms 14 oz. bone in chop, bulleit rye maple, polenta, pickled leek, sauteed mustard green

Veal Dumpling: san marzano tomato, garlic, shallot, marsala wine, creme fraiche, pecorino romano

Steak: outside skirt, okra, baby bok choy, jalapeño, shitake mushroom, pickled ginger, tare, yolk

Crab Pasta: jumbo crab, squid ink tonnarelli, beurre blanc, pecorino romano, roasted chili flake

Kurobuta Pig Head: sous vide, roti, garlic paste, salsa roja, tiger sauce

Cereal Milk Creme Brulee: frosted flakes, cinnamon toast crunch, strawberry

Veal Dumpling entree | photo courtesy of The Recess Room

Veal Dumpling entree | photo courtesy of The Recess Room

BRUNCH AT THE RECESS ROOM - NEW!

Brunch at The Recess Room is unlike anything Fountain Valley has seen before. Chef Sam Green leads the way with innovative creations that make brunch at The Recess Room one of the most unique to be found in Orange County. One of the star menu items is their Smoked Salmon Benedict, made with a red wine poached egg, citrus hollandaise, and a squid ink english muffin. Their brunch menu also takes things to the next level with drink pairings. Plus, brunch just isn't brunch without bottomless mimosas - at The Recess Room, you can order them with a variety of juices including mango, lychee, and blood orange, to name a few. 

Smoked Salmon Benedict | photo courtesy of 100eats

Smoked Salmon Benedict | photo courtesy of 100eats

BRUNCH MENU ITEMS THAT ARE NOT TO BE MISSED

Cereal Crusted Stuffed French Toast: brioche, honey bunches of oats, blueberry and marscapone filling, hibiscus honey

Smoked Salmon Benedict: house-cured scottish salmon, red wine poached egg, citrus hollandaise, squid ink english muffin

Chicken & Waffles: panko-crusted chicken breast, 5 spice syrup, gochujong butter, kimchi waffle

Chilaquiles: slow cooked duck, sunny side up egg, fire roasted corn, pickled red onion, cilantro, crema, salsa verde, crispy corn tortilla

Avocado Toast: avocado mash, ricotta stuffed squash blosson, shaved asparagus, ninja radish, toasted hemp seed, 63c egg, grilled country bread

All photos above courtesy of 100eats

LOCATION

18380 Brookhurst Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 377-0398

Driving Directions via: Google Maps

Hours of Operation: 
Monday – Sunday, 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Happy Hour
Monday - Friday, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. is Recess Time!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Menu Pricing: $$ - $$$

Seating: Indoor, Bar Seating & Booth-Table Seating

Service: Full Service

Square Footage & Capacity
Capacity: TBD
Square Footage: TBD

Reservations:
Available through Yelp
Or by Phone: (714) 377-0398

Wine n dine together at The Recess Room | photo courtesy of @maieatingobsession on instagram

Wine n dine together at The Recess Room | photo courtesy of @maieatingobsession on instagram

SAMPLE COVERAGE

...coming soon!

 


 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Bobby Navarro at 100eats - Events and Promotions.

bobby@100eats.com

714.673.8117

100eats.com 

Roy Abi-Najm of West Coast Fish

ROY ABI-NAJM
CO-OWNER | WEST COAST FISH

At just 16 years old, Roy Abi-Najm fell head over heels for the fast paced, sometimes chaotic restaurant industry when his family opened a Lebanese restaurant in Orange. From then on, he couldn’t get enough of the networking, socializing and serving of guests, all while getting paid “a dream come true!” to him. With the continued passion and drive he’s felt since age 16, and now some experience under his belt, Roy has opened up West Coast Fish at The CAMP in Costa Mesa. West Coast Fish is a fast-casual eatery making waves in the scene of seafood. They only utilize the freshest ingredients, wild caught fish, and produce picked from local farmer’s market and The CAMP’s very own community garden.

Roy really got into his groove with seafood when he worked for a restaurant in Laguna Beach specializing in high end sushi with the company SBE and there met Chef Abel Vargas. With that connection, he was able to open up multiple venues for SBE and coordinated many on and off-site catering events. The fast paced aspect of the business is what kept Roy thriving and curating West Coast Fish. Not only does he love the organized chaos the restaurant business brings, but he loves to really cater to his guests and make them happy. He feels most proud when he sees the guests in his restaurant with big smiles enjoying the food he and his team produced. He takes pride in the food he created and does it all with love. He is extremely grateful for his brother and business partner Johnny; his first professional connection, Chef Abel Vargas, as well as his partner Chef James Reinhardt. Without them, West Coast Fish would not exist.

Roy hopes to provide Costa Mesa with the freshest fish and veggies, prepared by people who really care and love what they do day in and day out. Not only does West Coast Fish provide a quality product, but the personalities and techniques of the chefs behind it are what make the overall experience and atmosphere of West Coast Fish a memorable and delicious time.

Kevin Lee of Puzzle

KEVIN LEE
PUZZLE

Kevin Lee is a whiskey and cocktail enthusiast, an experimenter and curator of his own bitters, liqueurs, and Amaris, and a perfectionist when it comes to creating a cocktail at Puzzle. With these many talents and interest, he has implemented a cocktail program at Puzzle in La Mirada that is both delicious and perfectly handcrafted. With influence from movies, music, and pop culture, the cocktails at Puzzle utilize fresh and quality ingredients to enlighten guests with playful references that invite you to join the restaurant’s lighthearted (and enticing) atmosphere.

With 20 years of hospitality service in his family, Kevin is no stranger to the restaurant scene. At a young age, he began as a dishwasher and, like many success stories, worked his way up the ladder in the industry. With a knack for experimentation and a passion for libations, he took recipes from Italy and created his own bitters, liqueurs, and Amaris at home, perfecting his craft before taking his experiments to the bar. Kevin poured his heart and soul into creating and perfecting his libations; his philosophy was to make sure he’d put his life into the obsession of creating phenomenal cocktails. Once he was confident that he curated the right recipes, Kevin joined his brother Kenny at Puzzle to produce cocktails with ingredients that are homemade and sourced from the best quality produce, herbs and spices. Kevin has also developed the bartender training program at Puzzle, which includes lessons on hand carving clear ice — another emphasis of Puzzle’s attention to detail — mastering various bartending techniques, a cocktail history curriculum, and spirit tasting.

Looking to the future, Kevin hopes Puzzle will provide the community with a unique, fresh and delectable cocktail experience driven by a passionate and sincere approach to cocktail making. It strives to present new and innovative ideas without sacrificing quality, seasonality, and simplicity.

Hannah Leigh of McFadden Public Market

HANNAH LEIGH
BAR MANAGER | MCFADDEN PUBLIC MARKET

Hannah Leigh has taken the reigns of McFadden Public Market bar program. Hannah got her start in the hospitality industry when she was just looking for a way to pay bills. From slowly working her way up from local joints to big corporations, Hannah discovered her hunger to be creative and work in the realm of libations. With persistence (and a little white lie here and there), Hannah was able to gain knowledge and experience as a bartender and now runs the show for both bars at McFadden Public Market.

At 16, Hannah began waiting tables at a local mom-and-pop shop to make some extra cash. After a stint there, she moved on to a larger corporate chain restaurant that offered more stability and benefits as a server which allowed her to transfer to another location when she left for college out of state. With a few years of serving under her belt, she was interested in moving to bartending but lacked the experience, so she did what she could: lied about her knowledge and experience as a bartender. It worked, because Hannah got a job at the local downtown nightclub learning the ropes of making drinks tasty, strong, and fast. Fake it til you make it, right? During her time at the nightclub, she gained enough experience to become a craft bartender, where she could utilize her inherent creativity to create craft libations. Fast forward to today, and Hannah’s knowledge and passion have transferred back to California running the bars for McFadden Public Market.

Looking to the future, Hannah wants McFadden Public Market to be a respectable pillar of the hospitality community, offering a dining experience that appeals to many different demographics, and in doing so, wants to put Santa Ana on the map as a must-see city for everyone visiting, and living in Southern California.

 

West Coast Fish

LOCATED IN THE CAMP, COSTA MESA

wcfcostamesa.com | facebook.com/westcoastfishcostamesa | instagram.com/westcoast_fish

CO-OWNERS ROY & JOHNNY ABI-NAJM

Come and get your seafood fix at West Coast Fish | photo courtesy of 100eats

Come and get your seafood fix at West Coast Fish | photo courtesy of 100eats

ABOUT

Brought to you by Roy and Johnny Abi-Najm, brothers and business partners, West Coast Fish is a fast-casual concept bringing fresh seafood to The CAMP in Costa Mesa. Highlighting the freshest ingredients and most flavorful selection of fish, their menu boasts both simplicity and California-flare. Inspired by the seasonality of great seafood and produce, the list of menu items often shift but always deliver the best of the West Coast's offerings. They believe that if you do it with love, it'll taste that way too.

"West Coast Fish is looking to provide the freshest fish and veggies prepared by people who really care about and love what they are doing. Our product is great, but it's our personalities and techniques that make the overall experience memorable here. Great food, Casual setting, and good vibes." - Co-Owner Roy Abi-Najm

More About: Co-Owner Roy Abi-Najm

Get your hands on fresh-fish-filled wraps at West Coast Fish | photo courtesy of Marc Kharrat

Get your hands on fresh-fish-filled wraps at West Coast Fish | photo courtesy of Marc Kharrat

MENU

West Coast Fish desires to simplify what it means to have good seafood. Utilizing organic non-GMO herbs, original sauces and wild fish, their offerings are the definition of fresh. In addition, their menu items feature hand-picked produce fresh from farmer’s markets, as well as The CAMP’s community garden. Whether you fancy a wrap, poke, or a just a great fish taco, West Coast Fish has you covered. 

West Coast Fish at The CAMP utilizes only the freshest ingredients | photo courtesy of 100eats

West Coast Fish at The CAMP utilizes only the freshest ingredients | photo courtesy of 100eats

FRESH SEAFOOD-FILLED WRAPS, BOWLS, TACOS & MORE

Wraps: filled with corn, watermelon, pico de gallo and rice, with your choice of shrimp, crispy shrimp or mahi 

Bowls: filled to the brim with rice and veggies and your choice of salmon, mahi, tuna, yellowtail, or shrimp

Tacos: stuffed with your choice of mahi, grilled shrimp, crispy shrimp, bjorn battered fish, or veggies

Citrus Salad: wonton , orange, napa cabbage, sesame, mint plum, vin

Caesar Salad: tahini, sumac, anchovy, gem lettuce, frisee, baby kale

Small Plates: a few of the side orders include options such as crinkle fries, soup of the day, cauliflower, broccolini tuna poke, faux crab hand-rolls and more

All photos above courtesy of West Coast Fish

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

LOCATION

2981 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

714 549-2887
Driving Directions via: Google Maps

Hours of Operation: 
Monday - Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Square Footage & Capacity: TBD

Menu Pricing: $ 

Seating: Indoor 

Service: Counter

West Coast Fish's savory Crispy Shrimp Wrap | photo courtesy of Marc Kharrat

West Coast Fish's savory Crispy Shrimp Wrap | photo courtesy of Marc Kharrat

SAMPLE COVERAGE

 ...coming soon!

 

 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Bobby Navarro at 100eats - Events and Promotions.

bobby@100eats.com

714.673.8117

100eats.com

The Straw

LOCATED IN COSTA MESA, CA

www.thestrawoc.com | facebook.com/thestrawmilkshakes | instagram.com/thestrawoc

OWNER PATRICK NGUYEN

 

Get your hands on these modern milkshakes at The Straw | photo courtesy of 100eats

Get your hands on these modern milkshakes at The Straw | photo courtesy of 100eats

ABOUT

THE NEW TAKE ON THE CLASSIC SHAKE

The Straw is one of Orange County's latest hot-spots for cool treats. Serving up modern milkshakes made with unique ingredients and creative garnishes, The Straw has quickly garnished attention for foodies and families alike. Located in Costa Mesa, their storefront is simple and straight-forward, making the experience 'all about the shake'. Visit once to snap photos of their colorful offerings such as 'The Wonka' (featuring a variety of berries, pop rocks, confetti sprinkles plus a candy straw), but visit twice to get ahold of their addicting 'Donkey Kong', a banana and cookie butter shake with chocolate chips... served with a cannoli! Not to mention, many of their offerings are available dairy-free, as well as low-calorie, making it a spot for anyone and everyone to indulge at. Owner Patrick Nguyen and his team are bringing something truly different to the table for dessert, so grab your straw and get slurpin'!

Travel & Leisure Magazine's #1 spot for milkshakes in the US

More About: Owner Patrick Nguyen

The Straw's 'Storm' is a threesome chocolate shake with blackberries | photo courtesy of 100eats

The Straw's 'Storm' is a threesome chocolate shake with blackberries | photo courtesy of 100eats

MENU

Milkshakes at The Straw are unlike you've ever seen or tasted before. Their menu boasts flavor combinations ranging from earl grey tea-infusions, to deep fried bacon and maple syrup, to a jalapeno-pineapple creation. You'll also find shakes designated for the chocolate-lovers in your life, as well as the health-conscious, with their dairy-free and low-calorie modification options.  Stray from the ordinary at The Straw, and never look at milkshakes the same way again. 

Milkshakes at The Straw feature creative flavor combinations such as deep fried garlic + chocolate, strawberry + rose water and more | photo courtesy of 100eats

Milkshakes at The Straw feature creative flavor combinations such as deep fried garlic + chocolate, strawberry + rose water and more | photo courtesy of 100eats

MODERN MILKSHAKES & MORE

Donkey Kong: banana, cookie butter, & chocolate chips served with a cannoli

The Wonka: white chocolate milkshake made with raspberries, cranberries & blackberries, topped with pop rocks, confetti sprinkles and a candy straw. 

Mr. Grey: earl grey tea infused with honey milkshake. served with a shot of hot earl grey tea

Rosie Jetson: strawberry milkshake infused with rose water (D.F. option available)

Kevin: deep fried bacon and maple syrup milkshake

Bangkok Betty: thai mango sticky rice inspired milkshake made with mango and coconut cream (D.F. option available)

La Bella Dona: coffee milkshake made with an in-house made tiramisu

Stevie Wonder: made with blueberries, waffle cone, sweetened maple syrup and garnished with a waffle cone

Purple Reign:  made with acai, mixed berries, and honey. garnished with granola, coconut flakes and chia seeds   

Ivan Drago: fresh mint, lime, and ginger milkshake inspired by flavors of the moscow mule (D.F. option available)

Violet: blueberry milkshake infused with lavender (D.F option available)

Vampire Campfire: deep fried garlic and chocolate milkshake

Storm: threesome chocolate milkshake with blackberries, topped with a brownie crisp

Nitro Brewed Coffee: coffee served from a tap brewed from Ethiopian and Sumatran beans (make it a float with ice cream: add $1)

Dirty Horchata Coffee: horchata infused coffee on tap

Italian Smok'in Nitro Sodas: ice cold handcrafted soda topped with whipped cream and garnished with a luminous ice cube. select from flavors such as beyonce: fresh-squeezed lemonade flavored with lavender, side show bob: raspberry flavored & topped with cotton candy, and more

"Straw-cuterie": the dessert version of a charcuterie board. Dip these into your milkshakes and get creative with the flavors. includes: caramelized banana lollipops, fresh strawberries, "puff-tinis" with powdered sugar, coconut waffles and lychee waffles

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: grilled cheese sandwiches are served with a side of our tomato and basil bone broth for dipping. grilled cheese sandwich options include the jazz: cajun spiced butter grilled cheese, the popeye: spinach ravioli stuffed grilled cheese, the bellucci: beef and chicken meatball grilled cheese sandwich made with mozzarella, and more

D.F. - Dairy Free Option: Add $1 | L.C. - Low Calorie Option Whey Protein Powder: Add $1.5

All photos above courtesy of 100eats

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

LOCATION

1215 Baker Street Suite A
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

714-852-3772
Driving Directions via: Google Maps

Hours of Operation: 
Monday - Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday - Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, Closed

Square Footage & Capacity: TBD

Events at The Straw: Learn More Here

Menu Pricing: $ 

Seating: Indoor 

Service: Counter

The Straw, located in Costa Mesa, is straying from the ordinary with their modern milkshakes offering something unique for everyone to slurp on | photo courtesy of 100eats

The Straw, located in Costa Mesa, is straying from the ordinary with their modern milkshakes offering something unique for everyone to slurp on | photo courtesy of 100eats

SAMPLE COVERAGE

TRAVEL & LEISURE
Listed The Straw as the #1 milkshake in the U.S.

Additional Sample Coverage ...coming soon!

 

 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Bobby Navarro at 100eats - Events and Promotions.

bobby@100eats.com

714.673.8117

100eats.com

Lynette Le of The Blind Rabbit

LYNETTE LE
GENERAL MANAGER | THE BLIND RABBIT

Lynette Le, a self-taught successful bartender and go-getter, has a knack for making everything she puts her mind to succeed. Lynette didn’t grow up perfecting her craft of cocktails under a professional mentor; rather, she put a great deal of time and energy into the libation culture and has been able to curate innovative cocktails all by teaching herself. With her success, she’s been able to create and collaborate with the proprietors of The Blind Rabbit and make the menu unique, not only from the owner's standpoint, but also from her point of view.

From an early start, Lynette had the drive to be successful. Throughout college and beyond, she owned and operated a boutique in Orange County. From leading the buyer’s department to producing fashion shows, organizing charity events, creating progressive marketing plans for the store, and acting as the overall chief officer of the business, Lynette was able to build a strong work ethic and leadership skills. With her motivation, she was able to successfully lead her boutique for over ten years.

After her time in the retail world, Lynette wanted a change of pace, so she decided to get her feet wet in the hospitality industry. She started out where all great bartender’s start out -- as a barback. She worked hard, and within five months she was running The Blind Rabbit’s bar program. Their sales increased along with her growth in expertise, and it was there that she found her passion and began running wild with it, making innovative and exciting new cocktails. With all her success and hard work, Lynette is now the General Manager of The Blind Rabbit. Fun fact: she even grows her own herbs and produce to include in some of the cocktails on the menu. With her drive and passion, Lynette has had the opportunity to create a speakeasy lover’s dream come true with her passion for delicious libations.

 

Patrick Nguyen of The Straw

PATRICK NGUYEN
THE STRAW | COSTA MESA, CA

For Patrick, creativity has always been a passion. Before starting college, Patrick wanted to study art and make a career as an artist, although his parents weren’t too fond of the idea. Knowing his parents wanted him to study business he found a major that had the best of both worlds for creativity and business-marketing.

After graduating with a degree in marketing, Patrick worked menial jobs that weren’t giving him opportunity to grow into his full potential and after a while, realized the field of marketing wasn’t living up to the expectations and decided to leave the corporate world. To earn income while figuring out his future he worked at his family's restaurant. He helped out with the business side of the restaurant and used the other part of the time to find ways to add desserts to the menu. There was no space in the kitchen to bake up traditional Vietnamese desserts, so he tried his hand at experimenting with ice cream and created a Vietnamese version of the Italian affogato with Vietnamese coffee instead of espresso. With very traditional dishes on the menu, Vietnam’s Pearl Restaurant customers were not a fan of the Vietnamese affogato. Patrick didn’t want to give up, and experimented with ice cream and lime juice and found the mix of flavors were exotic, refreshing and really tasty. Excited, he put it on the menu but received negative feedback with accusations of not being authentic to the Vietnamese culture. He resolved that Vietnam’s Pearl Restaurant would stick to their roots-no dessert. Around this time the space right next to the restaurant became vacant; with money saved up and still having the passion to create, Patrick found an opportunity to take the space and create his own concept. Enter: The Straw.

With the concept of simple ice cream and lime juice, Patrick wanted to focus his creations around experimenting with nontraditional flavors like fresh mint, lime and ginger, or thai mango sticky rice as inspiration (spoiler alert: these are both milkshakes on the menu). With the excitement of new flavors, Patrick also wanted to change the way people experience dessert. He wanted to treat his milkshakes with the same respect as a really good cocktail and set up his spot as if you’re at your favorite speakeasy, but instead of libations it’s milkshakes! Patrick’s goal for The Straw is to be a place for people to go for dessert and entertainment, a place where artistry and flavor become one.