With Marc Cohen’s culinary empire expanding, we were curious to see if his first venture, 230 Forest Ave., has been able to maintain its quality, as many restaurateurs these days have been stretching themselves too thin, like Wolfgang Puck and Daniel Bouloud. With Opah in Irvine and Aliso Viejo, and now Watermarc in Laguna to claim his attention, he’s got a lot on his plate. Yet, he still seems to be cookin’ with gas.
Mark Singer’s contemporary architecture still retains its hip, cool vibe. Starting with the welcoming sidewalk patio and the glass wall that reveals the happening scene inside, one is tempted to enter and enjoy. The sleek décor with its cement and wood elements is accented with a rotating exhibition of art.
David Flores has been cooking with and for Marc since the restaurant began in 1994. Since our last review four years ago, the menu has had only a few changes. What hasn’t changed is the warm crunchy baguette served in a paper bag with olive butter. However, on the night we dined, it tasted better than ever, punchy with olives and particularly “buttery.”