From soft serve to hot pot: Explore the newest spots to debut in Irvine

Somi Somi. | Photo: Alice L./Yelp

Ready to find out about the freshest new spots in Irvine? From a coffee shop to a Japanese-style soft-serve spot to a Chinese eatery, read on to see the newest destinations to open near you.

BLKdot Coffee

Photo: Heather K./Yelp

Stroll past 924 Spectrum Center Drive in the Irvine Spectrum and you'll find BLKdot Coffee, a new spot to score coffee, tea and more at the Irvine Spectrum.

The coffee joint -- with additional locations in Laguna Beach and Irvine -- specializes in VTM "crack" coffee, OC Weekly reports, as well as Vietnamese-style sandwiches, artisan bagels and other pastry varieties.

Beverage offerings include classics such as flat whites, cappuccinos and caramel machiatos, as well as specialty iced drinks like Thai tea and sea salt coffee. (See the full menu here.)

Somi Somi
Photo: Tiffany L./Yelp

New to the Irvine Business Complex, Somi Somi specializes in Japanese-inspired ice cream. You can find it at 2700 Alton Parkway, Suite 125.

The dessert shop -- with additional outposts throughout Southern California -- serves soft-serve ice cream nestled within a taiyaki, a fish-shaped waffle. According to its business site, the company has plans for future expansion, with locations in Torrance, Glendale and Cupertino currently in the works.

On the menu, expect to find an array of customizable options, with flavors, fillings and toppings like matcha, black sesame, cereal and Nutella. (Check out the full assortment here.)

Hi House
Photo: Norm L./Yelp

New to 6638 Irvine Center Drive is Hi House, a restaurant serving up Chinese and Taiwanese specialties in East Irvine.

On the menu, expect to find a range of starters and sides like chicken dumplings, crispy green onion pancakes and Sichuan wontons. A variety of noodle dishes are on offer as well, such as the eatery's award-winning soup made with beef shank, tendon and tripe.

Yelper James L., who reviewed the spot on Aug. 9, wrote, "I've tried their dry hot pot and it was on point! Also, their beef noodle was really good as well! I highly recommend this place if you are looking for a Chinese/Taiwanese restaurant."
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