For 13 years, Chef Azmin Gharhreman has offered one of the most innovative, globally-oriented menus in Orange County. While I’m a fan of everything I’ve had the pleasure to try at Sapphire, I have to tell you this, straight up: If you’ve never tried the hot dog at Sapphire, you had better make haste.

I chatted with Sapphire’s beloved Chef Azmin last Sunday at Adam Bernstein’s fundraiser, and he told me, “Our last day of service will be Saturday, March 7th. Then, we’ll be moving and clearing through March 10th so that Russ and his team can take over from there.

New Owner/Operator Russ Bendel says that he and his team have plans for some minor rework in the interior dining room before a hoped-for opening of SapphireCellar. Craft. Cook. in mid-April.

“When Chef Azmin founded the restaurant in 2007, the community gained a real treasure, and we are thrilled to assume the stewardship of Sapphire,” Russ told me.

“Our plans are to polish the property and bring in touches from our other restaurants at Vine, Ironwood and Olea, but we’ll keep the hospitality and ambiance the same,” he said.

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