Hello Kitty Cafe and 11 other stores and restaurants to debut in new Irvine Spectrum wing on August 18 – Orange County Register

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  • The rendering of the Irvine Spectrum Center extension shows a two-story H&M. (Courtesy of Irvine Co.)

  • Christina Caceres runs a new cheese tea, an iced tea served with a cream cheese topping, at Panda Express Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

  • Hello Kitty Cafe is scheduled to open on August 18 at the newly expanded Irvine Spectrum Center. (Nancy Luna, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Amy Huynh from Panda Express Innovation Kitchen makes cheese tea, iced teas served with cream cheese topping, in Pasadena. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

  • Panda Express Innovation Kitchen is testing cheesecake tea, iced teas served with a cream cheese filling, in Pasadena. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

  • Panda Express Innovation Kitchen is testing cheesecake tea, iced teas served with a cream cheese filling, in Pasadena. (Photo by John McCoy, Contributing Photographer)

  • 2nd Street, a popular thrift store chain from Japan, has opened in Costa Mesa at Camp. Fashionistas can sell their neat clothes, which are then sold in the store. (Courtesy of 2nd Street)

  • 2nd Street, founded in Japan, opened on July 20 in Costa Mesa and took over the space once occupied by Active Ride Shop. (Courtesy of 2nd Street)

  • According to the company, a Tokyo-based division of GEO Holdings, 2nd Street in Costa Mesa, has some 10,000 items, including men’s and women’s clothing and fashion accessories. (Courtesy of 2nd Street)

  • 2nd Street, founded in Japan, opened at Camp in Costa Mesa. The brand brings together used and vintage clothing and accessories. The retail chain has two other locations in the United States, one on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and the other in Old Town Pasadena. (Courtesy of 2nd Street)

  • 2nd Street, now open at Camp in Costa Mesa, is known for curating second-hand clothing and accessories from fashion designers in the United States and Japan. Much of the store’s inventory comes from local fashionistas selling their clothes and accessories – if that happens. (Courtesy of 2nd Street)

  • Bakery products at 85C Bakery Cafe on Friday, March 30, 2018, in Orange East. This is the company’s 48th site in the United States. The popular Taiwanese chain, which opened its first American cafe at Irvine’s Diamond Jamboree mall in 2008, has grown rapidly in California, Texas and Washington state. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Cups available at 85C Bakery Cafe on Friday March 30, 2018, in East Orange. This is the company’s 48th site in the United States. The popular Taiwanese chain, which opened its first American cafe at Irvine’s Diamond Jamboree mall in 2008, has grown rapidly in California, Texas and Washington state. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • New at Pinkberry: Banana Bread Frozen Yogurt topped with Sliced ​​Bananas, Pecans, and Real Maple Syrup (PRNewsfoto / Pinkberry)

Prepare your walking shoes. Irvine Spectrum’s $ 200 million expansion will officially begin on Saturday, August 18.

Lots of new stores are also coming in, from Hello Kitty Cafe to H&M, Stance (the fancy sock guys from San Clemente) to 85 ° C Bakery Café (Taiwanese coffee and goodies).

Also on the new list: Gorjana (jewelry), Afters Ice Cream, Concrete Rose (fashion), Falasophy (Lebanese street food), Robata Wasa (premium Japanese cuisine and sushi), SoHa Living, The Denim Lab (custom-fit jeans), Ra Yoga and Unaffected (women’s clothing).

The mall, owned by Irvine Company, demolished an aging Macy’s in 2016, expanding the mall’s footprint to the adjacent parking lot. The expansion, one of the largest investments made at the Spectrum Center since it opened 22 years ago, includes four buildings.

A two-story H&M will be the Swedish fast fashion retailer’s largest store west of the Mississippi. San Clemente-based Stance, a sock brand for everyone from skateboarders to boardroom executives, is opening its first Southern California store in the new building.

Coming to the Spectrum later this year in 2019: Brigade LA, a luxury fashion boutique; Drybar, Irvine’s living room; Sephora and SST & C, an Italian brand of men’s clothing.

Savings come to the camp

A trendy thrift store has landed in the trendy Costa Mesa Camp.

2nd Street, founded in Japan, brings together used and vintage clothing and accessories. The retail chain has two other locations in the United States, one on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and the other in Old Town Pasadena. The Costa Mesa store opened on July 20 and took over the space once occupied by Active Ride Shop.

2nd Street is known for curating second-hand clothing and accessories from fashion designers in the United States and Japan. Much of the store’s inventory comes from local fashionistas selling their clothes and accessories – if that happens.

A “selling guide” provides advice on what can and cannot be sold on 2nd Street. A number of high fashion houses are not licensed, such as Fend, Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard Tiffany & Co. and others. You also cannot sell monogrammed coins, derelict items, replicas or fakes, school uniforms, pajamas, or underwear (to name a few).

“Our buyers with in-depth knowledge of the current fashion market will evaluate each item carefully,” the sales guide states. “We will determine a price based on current trends, seasonality and condition. Do not hesitate to bring your items for estimation.

According to the company, a Tokyo-based division of GEO Holdings, the store will carry around 10,000 items, including men’s and women’s clothing and fashion accessories. The assortment will include international brands such as Supreme, Vivienne Westwood and Burberry, and Japanese brands such as Comme des Garçons, A Bathing Ape and Hysteric Glamor.

Address: 2937 Bristol St., Unit D101; hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Telephone: 949-274-8585; online at 2ndstreetusa.com/

Will you be traveling for cheese tea?

Cheese tea is taking the country by storm, according to the Food Network. But to try it, people need to be able to find it.

Panda Express Chinese Kitchen makes this task a bit easier, at least for those who are nearby or want to get to Pasadena by car.

Until August 27, the fast food chain is serving the sweet drink, which it calls Cheesecake Tea, in its Innovation kitchen.

“This is really the space to test how far we can push innovation,” said Christina Caceras, brand manager for Panda Express, of the restaurant, which is in Hastings Ranch Plaza next to the hotel. ‘highway 210.

Cheese tea is an iced tea topped with a mousse made from cream cheese or other dairy products.

The drink is not new. Caceras said it has been popular in China and Taiwan for years and is available at a few other tea shops in Southern California. But it’s a little outside the comfort zone of some people.

Panda Express calls its version Cheesecake Tea to make it easier for customers. It is made with half and half cream cheese, sugar and a little salt. Most people mix the topping with tea, although many taste it first.

“It’s different, isn’t it?” Caceras said. “It takes you to a whole different space.”

The Panda Express recipe is slightly different from other stores, she said.

“I think the main difference between the stores is that some will be a bit tastier. Some will add a little more salt. For ours, it’s slightly sweet. It is also a little more velvety. It’s more of a cream than a mousse.

Panda Express develops its recipes at its headquarters in Rosemead but presents them to the public at the Innovation Kitchen, which opened in 2014. New creations remain on the menu for six to eight weeks. One of the current offerings is a seasoned pork belly dish.

It serves familiar dishes like Orange Chicken and Honey Nut Shrimp, but in a variety of ways, including salads and wraps. And it offers a wider choice of sides that includes quinoa fried rice; glazed carrots and Brussels sprouts; and sautéed kale, cabbage and broccoli.

From the outside, the Innovation Kitchen looks like most of Panda Express’s 1,900 restaurants. But inside, it has its own character with wood textures, electric candles, big-screen TVs, long communal tables and armchairs.

The Innovation Kitchen is home to a tea bar concept, called Panda + Tea, which has expanded to 35 locations in Southern California, including a second in Pasadena on Lake Avenue that also serves Cheesecake Tea.

Panda + Tea’s menu includes made-to-order milk teas, smoothies, lemonades, and a concoction called sparkling yogurt, which is a blend of drinkable yogurt, sparkling water, and fruit flavors. The prices are $ 3.20 to $ 4.25.

Panda Express Innovation kitchen

Or: 3867 E. Foothill Blvd, Pasadena

Hours: 10.30am-10pm every day

Information: 626-351-9128, www.pandaexpress.com

Panda + Tea

Or: 216 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Brunch yogurt?

With everything pumpkin-flavored on the fall food horizon, Pinkberry is moving forward with a new flavor: Banana Bread Frozen Yogurt.

The non-tart yogurt flavor will be available (today) from August 10 to September 27.

A waffle combo includes the banana bread yogurt topped with fresh sliced ​​bananas, pecans and real waffles with maple syrup and banana nuts.

“Brunch can last all day,” said Melissa Hubbell, marketing director for Pinkberry.

Hours: 10.30am-10pm every day

Information: 626-229-9180, www.pandaexpress.com


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