An Incubator for Newborn Restaurants

Santa Ana is reinventing its old downtown with a new "East End" area that has unique shops, art galleries, and creative restaurants. The 4th Street Market opened there and sounded unusual, so we went to investigate. It’s an old building that has been converted into a low-rent space for 16 tiny new restaurants, with tables and chairs in the hallways where customers can sit. Each restaurant has a small menu with fewer than 10 items, each about $8 or less, and customers can easily watch the entire preparation of the food.

It’s a way for new restaurants to test the market without big investments or risks. You’ve seen food trucks before … This situation is like 16 food trucks in one indoor area, without the trucks. These are some of the restaurants; there is also a coffee bar and a wine bar.
Ink Waffles:
unique waffle dishes
Noodle Tramp Asian noodles
PFC reinvented fried chicken
Ice Cream Cookie sandwiches
Radical Botanicals: innovative cold-pressed juices
At MAR we shared pretty good Korean Japchae Noodles: sweet potato noodles served with shrimp and chorizo (smoky pork sausage meat from a fancy nearby butcher shop). And at Dos Chinos, we enjoyed chicken with Thai coconut curry. Downtown Santa Ana already had many unique new restaurants that we enjoyed before, so we’ll certainly go back.
MAR seafood dishes
Dos Chinos Latin-Asian Grub