Downtown Santa Ana just keeps getting better & better. I’ve lived in Santa Ana for almost 10 years now (with a brief interlude to Rome, Italy for a couple of those), and I’ve loved watching our town thrive during the time I’ve lived here. New restaurants, bars and specialty shops are popping-up everywhere, adding to the ever-growing, constantly-evolving culinary scene in Orange County. Many of these new Downtown Santa Ana spots are owned & run by chefs who can give some of the best LA, NYC & San Fran chefs a run for their money. The latest of whom is Chef & Butcher Michael Puglisi who will be moving into the soon-to-launch 4th Street Market in Santa Ana’s East End with Electric City Butcher this Summer.


Most recently the Sous Chef of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills, Chef Michael honed his butchery skills at The Butcher Shop in Boston, MA and Fountainebleau in Miami Beach. And last Thursday, January 23rd he teamed-up with Chef Jaime Carrano of Seal Beach’s 320 Main and Chef Max Hirsch of The Playground for a mind-blowing Pop-Up Dinner at Chef Jason Quinn’s ‘Playground 2.0’ culinary theater in Downtown Santa Ana. Entitled, “Like a Knife in the Ribs,” the 6-course interactive meal explored the tastes, textures & versatility of the legendary beef cut: The Prime Rib.


Feast your eyes below on a play-by-play through photos of the evening’s courses. And then be sure to catch Chef Michael’s upcoming Pop-Up Dinners over the coming weeks, which will include dinners both this upcoming Thursday, January 30th & on February 27th at Playground 2.0 (click HERE for tickets & info) and at 320 Main in Seal Beach on February 10th (click HERE to sign up to receive info on this dinner, which will feature a collaboration of Chef Michael Puglisi of Electric City Butcher, Jaime Carrano of 320 Main, Chef Seakyeong Kim of Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s and Chef Eric Samaniego of Little Sparrow).

Also, stay tuned to Playground 2.0’s calendar for info on Chef Michael’s soon-to-launch Butchery Classes & Cooking Demos that will take place on Sundays at 2.0 starting in March. And be sure to follow Electric City Butcher on Facebook for updates on their opening, scheduled for this Summer 2014.

Follow Anne Watson Photography on Facebook & on Twitter/Instagram @annewatsonphoto.

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1. Shaved Rib Eye – Flatbread, Roasted Grape, Beef Fat Butter, Pickled Pearl Onion, Watercress

2. Rib Eye Tartar – Capers, Quail Egg, Parsley, Fried Pickled Shallot

3. Rib Eye Cap – Celery Heart, Hedgehog Mushroom, Parsnip Puree, Truffle Vinaigrette

4. Beef Rib – Soft Polenta, Cippolini Onion

5. Eye of the Rib – Rutabaga Terrine, Brussels Sprouts, Beef Jus

6.  Beef Fat Tart – Braised Pear, Butterscotch, Spiced Mascarpone