The cool cocktails are flowing this summer at The Blind Pig Kitchen and Bar at its second location in the Yorba Linda Town Center. Along two of Orange County’s longest roads—Rancho Santa Margarita Parkway and Imperial Highway—you can find two locations for The Blind Pig, named for the speakeasies of the 1920s during the times of prohibition when an officer of the law was paid to turn a blind eye to the surprising activities behind the door. The new architectural concept, designed by Malibu-based Bitton Design Group, provides 3,000 square feet of space with exposed brass pipes and brick with wooden details while staying within the prohibition-era aesthetic.
The Blind Pig is manifesting a brave vision in Yorba Linda, rising up to greet the wave of foodies with distinguished tastes. The restaurant, owned by Tony Monaco together with executive chef Karl Pfleider, features extensive culinary offerings for lunch and dinner with an emphasis on dry-aged steaks and exceptional craft cocktails. A unique feature of the Yorba Linda location is an intimate chef’s table for four with a full, up-close and personal view of the open kitchen which allows Chef Pfleider to create customized menus for advance bookings.
Chef Pfleider’s new American menus have earned The Blind Pig numerous accolades, like a coveted spot on Brad Johnson’s list of the "Top 75 Restaurants for the Orange County Register." The menu changes seasonally, promising something for everyone with eclectic and imaginative choices as well as classic mainstays.
"We knew we wanted to educate customers in a restaurant that was not just a bar," Tony says. "We don't focus on turning tables. It's all about the guests having a great time."
While waiting for a table, diners can enjoy a sprightly cocktail while listening to live music on the patio or watch multiple sports channels on large screens throughout the restaurant. The bar can seat more than 20 guests, and the restaurant can seat up to 110 indoors and 20 outdoors.
The success of The Blind Pig comes from its growing reputation for having some of the best food, drink and customer service you can find in Orange County. The atmosphere is classy but not pretentious. It’s the kind of place you can take your favorite uncle for his birthday or your office colleagues for a celebratory dinner. You can raise a glass at The Blind Pig whether you’re wearing sandals or Italian wingtips.
The cocktails and draft beers selected by bar manager Ryan Autry will rotate regularly and range from classic to crafty. Ryan creates all the syrups and shrubs for the bar in-house and works closely with Chef Pfleider to create new cocktails that pair perfectly with the cuisine, which are implemented seasonally. The mixology offerings at The Blind Pig have established the restaurant as the top craft cocktail bar in South County. New cocktails, like "The Diplomat" (Venezuelan rum, mezcal, elderflower, pistachio, lemon and mole bitters) which tastes tart, mildly sweet and smoky, are pushing the envelope with unique house-made ingredients.
Tony and his team aim to satisfy healthy appetites with solid meals served with style and taste in mind. A special umami treat is their vegetarian “XO sauce” found in several of their Chinese fusion plates. XO sauce is a traditional Chinese condiment typically infused with dried meat and seafood, which can easily overpower the food. The depth of flavor comes from the chilis, garlic, vinegar and herbs that are signature to The Blind Pig’s version of XO sauce.
Tony talked about his dreams for expansion a few years ago as he looked ahead for the right opportunity he eventually found at the Yorba Linda Town Center.
“I always want to keep expanding and growing," Tony says. "It's been a great ride so far."
The Yorba Linda location will have extended hours, open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. It's an extension of the Rancho Santa Margarita location hours which is open 6 days a week, with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations in both locations are recommended.
4975 Lakeview Ave., Yorba Linda