New concept offers quick-service dining for workplace community in a contemporary farmhouse atmosphere
IRVINE, Calif. (November 21, 2019) — Herb & Ranch, a micro-food hall concept serving breakfast and lunch by award-winning celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, is now open at UCI Research Park, the 185-acre workplace community adjacent to UC Irvine.
Blending a contemporary farmhouse design with a light and breezy Southern California vibe, Herb & Ranch looks like a traditional food hall, but operates like a fast-casual restaurant where diners order from five unique stations serving a wide-variety of menu options.
“The ‘sad desk lunch’ is a thing of the past. With an innovative, constantly changing menu, Herb & Ranch provides our customers and their guests with a Top Chef-like culinary experience,” said Tom Greubel, vice president of Irvine Company Office. “Throughout our workplace communities we’ve reinvented the lunch hour by bringing in new concepts to make weekday dining fresh and exciting.”
During breakfast hours, guests can order a multitude of items from The Grill Breakfast and Coffee Bar, including California or Veggie Burritos, Ricotta Toast with honey, blackberries, tarragon and smoked almonds, and Bacon or Veggie Hash with slow cooked eggs.
Lunch options include The Farmhouse station with grilled meats, seafood and roasted vegetables; The Press, a French sandwich style station serving cold or pressed options including Ham & Jam with prosciutto cotto, fig jam, Gruyère cheese, an Albacore Tuna Melt, Pork Banh Mi and more. A poke station dubbed Mahalo includes rotating poke bowls including Miso with edamame, sunflower sprouts & seeds, ginger, cherry tomatoes, shiso, Tamari Ponzu with sweet onion, cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, sesame seeds and lime zest, and more. Finally, the Greens and Grains station serves healthy salad bowls with combinations including the vegan-friendly Roasted and Raw with carrot, fennel, pickled golden raisins, cashews, and tahini sherry vinaigrette or the Roasted Chicken Curry with apple, currants, salted peanuts, curry and ginger dressing.
Herb & Ranch is located on the ground floor of 5301 California, adjacent to The Commons at UCI Research Park, a digitally-enabled, open-air venue for team collaboration. Its setting offers customers an inviting indoor-outdoor dining, meeting and event experience.
Herb & Ranch is the ninth restaurant concept, and the first outside of San Diego, from the Puffer Malarkey Collective, which is owned and operated by Malarkey, who rose to fame as a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef” series, and his longtime business partner and restaurant designer, Christopher Puffer.
“Our vision with Herb & Ranch was to establish a fresh perspective on work-week dining, giving customers access to a variety of unique and seasonal menu items,” said Malarkey, chef and partner of the Puffer Malarkey Collective. “With an emphasis on sustainability and indoor-outdoor gathering spaces, our location at UCI Research Park aligns perfectly with the dining and culinary experiences our team strives to create.”
Malarkey said the architecture for the different food stations at Herb & Ranch is inspired by a modern take on the traditional farmhouse. Changing materials at the stations will give each space its own unique feel. Batten board, corrugated metals, reimagined wood, marble and a neutral color palette will give the dining hall a sense of modernity that pays homage to farm culture, he explained.
UCI Research Park, adjacent to one of the nation’s top public universities, is home to more than 75 companies and more than 8,000 employees, including Cisco Systems, Medtronics, Acorns, LPA Skyworks and Toshiba America.
The workplace community boasts a state-of-the-art conference center with flexible seating for more than 100 attendees, and Irvine Company’s signature wellness amenity, KINETIC, a fitness and wellness movement that supports a healthy and balanced lifestyle, including group fitness classes and a private fitness center.
UCI Research Park is located off the 73 Freeway, minutes from John Wayne Airport, and a short drive from luxury apartment communities, Newport Center, Fashion Island Hotel and the renowned Resort at Pelican Hill.
Herb & Ranch is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and is located at 5301 California Avenue in Irvine, CA. Online ordering, take out and catering will be launching soon.
About Irvine Company Office Properties
As a long-term owner who continuously reinvests in its properties and services, Irvine Company has evolved the traditional office to something much more: vibrant workplace communities. A place where collaboration is encouraged, and creativity is enabled to elevate business success. The company serves more than 3,000 customers in 50 million square feet of premier workplace communities in Orange County, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and San Diego, as well as iconic trophy towers in Chicago and New York. Timeless design and quality craftsmanship is paired with Irvine Company’s permanent time horizon, customer-centric brand and pride of ownership.