At Two Birds, Gruel is following an indulgent trend: fried chicken. The limited menu features grilled or fried Jidori chicken served as a sandwich or salad for $9.
“I don’t think we’re reinventing the wheel. We are definitely trying to take advantage of chicken being hot,” Gruel said.
The rest of the TRADE restaurants are expected to open next week or by the end of the month, including a second brick-and-mortar outlet for Hop Phan’s Dos Chinos.
Like Slapfish, the Vietnamese and Mexican fusion eatery started out as a food truck. Phan parked the concept at 4th Street Market two years ago. Now, he’s taking it to Irvine, along with new concept Megadon, a Latin, Asian, Mexican and Hawaiian fusion eatery.
Pig Pen Delicacy, which debuted last year at 4th Street Market, is a pork-centric eatery from the creators of Afters Ice Cream and GD Bro Burger. It recently opened at SteelCraft, a Long Beach food marketplace built from shipping containers. Popular offerings include Pork Belly Fries, Maple Bacon Jam Burger and the MacAttack Burger. The latter is served on fried mac ‘n cheese buns.
Other TRADE food stalls: Portside, a seafood shack serving fish and chips, calamari and fish tacos; Gyro King, Greek sandwiches, gyros and plates; Sweet Combforts, a whimsical twist on a classic Belgian-style liege waffle. And, yes, that’s how you spell it because the dimples on the waffle form a honeycomb pattern. The waffles, infused with pearl sugars, are served on a stick and dipped in a variety of cookie butter flavors.
Following the one-bar-serves-all philosophy of Recess at 4th Street Market, Center Hub will provide all the libations for TRADE’s eight restaurants. Expect simple, classic cocktails, boutique wines and 10 taps of craft beer.
*Article originally appeared on the OC Register.