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New in the O.C.: Communal table and cult wines

August 31, 2011 |  3:30 pm

7a9b616 An ambitious new restaurant has just opened in Brea (for the geographically challenged, that’s north Orange County). It’s called Two 40 South after its address on Brea Boulevard, and it’s a safe bet to say these parts haven’t seen anything quite like it before. The owners and designer have made sure to bring in every one of the ubiquitous current restaurant trends. Dying to try communal dining or drinking? They’ve got a long onyx table just for that purpose. A trio of semi-private cabanas. And, yes,  an outdoor living room too, perfect for sipping high-end cocktails or California cult wines.

We’re talking 2008 Bryant Family Vineyards Cabernet, 2008 Screaming Eagle Cabernet or the 2007 Harlan Estate Proprietary Red wine by the ounce. That’s right. Eight of the slots in the 32-wine Enomatic wine system have been reserved wines most people have only read about in the pages of wine magazines but never actually tasted. 

Wine director Corby Hagan is pouring wine from a barrel straight from the winery. Right now it’s Summerland Winery Pinot Noir, but once that’s exhausted, he’ll move onto to something from another California winery.

The menu, at least at first glance, looks very much like standard-issue small plates, something that’s been fashionable in Hollywood for quite awhile. The chef is listed on the menu as Jacko, just the one name. He's Jack Ourfalian and has worked at some trendy places there, including the late White Lotus as well as at Granita in Malibu and as a private chef. 

What's to eat? Look for yellow and red Brandywine tomatoes with burrata and micro-basil or a red quinoa salad with heirloom tomatoes, avocado and pomegranate seeds, and crostini with different toppings. A couple of pasta dishes, eight or nine "artisan" pizzas and a flurry of small plates round out the menu.

Whether Two 40 South will be a hit remains to be seen. It all depends on how the food, wine, service, and crowd come together. Too early to call it. 

 Two 40 South Restaurant & Wine Bar, 240 S. Brea Blvd.,  Brea, (714) 912-1053, www.Two40South.com.


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Photos: Two 40 South dining room. Credit: Two 40 South.