New Little Onion Mexican Restaurant Coming to Irvine This Fall

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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Little Onion Mexican Restaurant announces its second location coming to Irvine’s Walnut Village Center, scheduled to debut Nov. 19. The new 4,240-square-foot casual Mexican eatery, owned by Lori Reich Rowe, follows in the footsteps of the original 1963 Little Onion.

“With the addition of Little Onion, Irvine’s eclectic and large inventory of restaurants continues to offer diners diverse cuisine options,” said Wendy Haase, vice president, Destination Irvine.

The newest interpretation of Little Onion – located at 14429 Culver Dr. in the former Bank of Hope building – will feature small batch, made fresh daily, locally sourced fare at reasonable prices. It will seat 150 guests on the 738-square-foot patio and in the dining room and bar, including 45 guests in the semi-private dining room.

“Over the years, Little Onion has gained an enduring reputation as the place to go for good, authentic, Mexican food, and I am thrilled to carry on this family tradition over five decades later,” Rowe said. “Our newest eatery will feature beloved traditional Mexican cuisine, as well as creative twists to the classics, including vegetarian options.”

Chef Agustin Bruno will helm the newest Little Onion’s kitchen – bringing eight years of industry experience including his last two years as sous chef at Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea. Beverages will include local craft beers, crafted cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks, and a carefully selected wine list.

Architect Amy Steiner – principal of Steiner Studio – concentrates on designing sustainable spaces and has created rustically casual “Spanish Hacienda style” interiors for the dining room, expansive bar, and upstairs.

The Little Onion brand has deep Southern California roots. Founder Lorin Reich saved his money after years of restaurant work and bought a Red Onion location in Hawthorne, renaming and transforming it into the hugely popular “Little Onion” brand. The Hawthorne location closed in the mid-1970s, and his daughter Lori bought the Santa Ana eatery from her father in 2010.

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