Chef Peter Lai oversees the seasonally changing menu development for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch at Oak Grill, boasting one of the largest patios for alfresco dining in Newport Beach for all-day dining and socializing. In addition, he is in charge of creating the popular shareable bites featured at chic Aqua Lounge – also known for its handcrafted cocktails, vibrant entertainment and after-work and late night vibe. Responsible for all culinary operations, Lai will work in tandem with Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge General Manager Kevin Morales, a successful relationship they have enjoyed together in the past.
Lai describes his cuisine as simple modern American. He is devoted to purveying the finest ingredients and handling them with respect to prepare simply delicious dishes. He will continue and expand on Oak Grill’s tradition of using locally sourced products. A proponent of sustainable trends such as root-to-stalk vegetable cooking, he especially enjoys featuring seafood dishes on his menus. Continuing Oak Grill’s popular special wine, beer and spirits dinners and participating in offsite culinary events for Oak Grill and Island Hotel are on his list of future professional activities.
Lai got his start at an early age in his family’s traditional Chinese restaurant and graduated summa cum laude from Texas Culinary Academy. For the last nine years, he has worked with Hyatt Hotels in New Mexico, Texas and California. Most recently, he was chef de cuisine at Watertable, the signature restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, Calif., where he supervised 15 chefs and cooks.
Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge are located across the street from Fashion Island inside Island Hotel Newport Beach and are easily accessible through a pedestrian entrance along Newport Center Drive, along with complimentary valet available at the hotel entrance.
Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge are located at 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Reservations for Oak Grill can be made by calling 949-760-4920 or visitingwww.oakgrillnb.com, and for Aqua Lounge by calling 949-760-4342 or visiting www.aqualoungenb.com.