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Time for Recess!


The Recess Room has to have one of the most heartfelt backstories of any restaurant in Orange County. It was founded by five childhood friends who met during school recess on a Fountain Valley playground.

They shared a deep love for their hometown and dreamed of one day opening a restaurant together where they could share good food, good drinks and reminisce about good times. The Recess Room which opened last year in Fountain Valley is their childhood dream come to life. A place where guests can feel at home and take a recess from life.

With their new Chef Nikko Marquez, a high school friend of one of the restaurant’s founders. Nikko last served as Chef de Cuisine at Portland SuperBite under James Beard Award-winning chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton. Previously, he worked as Chef de Cuisine at the highly-acclaimed Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles. He infuses The Recess Room menu with some flavors reminiscent of his childhood.

Specialties include modern American tapas such as snacks like House-Cut Fries, triple-cooked potatoes with Vadouvan aioli; Blue Crab Beignets with Maryland Blue Crab and Chipotle Aioli; Fried Chicken Skins with Shin-Cup Seasoning, Yuzu Kosho Ranch; Bone Marrow Mac & Cheese; and the must-order Tomahawk to share with 40 oz. of prime Angus Steak, Ponzu Butter, Charred Red Onion, Grilled Cabbage and Crispy Potatoes.

The cocktail program includes 24 craft beers on tap with a strong emphasis on local breweries, a wine selection highlighting the California coast, premium whiskeys, and handcrafted cocktails featuring locally sourced and homegrown ingredients from the on-site herb garden.

The restaurant’s throwback style with a hopscotch twist was designed by Kenneth Ussenko Design (The District, Crustacean San Francisco, and The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens), best known for creating spaces where every wall has a story. Special design features include: a ceiling resembling a 1960s redwood basketball floor, a chain curtain mimicking playground swings, tables using 100-year-old wood from a Kentucky tobacco farm, and a hostess table that was formerly a 1900s European newspaper shear.

Watch for upcoming updates to The Recess Room, including a kitchen renovation that will include a viewing window so guests can watch the chefs at work, a bar upgrade, and the addition of a fire pit outside.

Open 5 to 10:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday; 5 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

18380 Brookhurst St. in Fountain Valley. 714.377.0398.

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