United Culinary Artists (UCA) founder Parnell Delcham, along with acclaimed chef Conrad Gallagher, are thrilled to announce the opening of Ways & Means in Orange, California on Wednesday, October 23. Inspired by the oyster bars and fish houses that border the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, the restaurant will serve Gallagher’s seasonal menu of traditional and non-traditional seafood-centric dishes, a unique oyster selection, and classic cocktails. Located in a dramatically altered former Coco’s Bakery restaurant, Ways & Means will feature an inviting design with unique, coastal-inspired décor, and provide a neighborhood destination for the Old Towne Orange community.
Leading the team behind Ways & Means is Delcham, president of UCA, having previously captained Domaine Restaurant Group, Straits Restaurant Group, Nice Ventures, and China Grill Management in opening acclaimed concepts that include 25 Degrees, Public Kitchen & Bar, and Asia De Cuba. “As Orange County residents ourselves, our goal with Ways & Means is to create a place where the local community feels at home—somewhere with a relaxed atmosphere, honest food, refreshing cocktails, and a genuine warm welcome,” says Delcham. “We are extremely proud to be working with Conrad, and are excited to have the opportunity to introduce diners to his exceptional cuisine.”
Chef Conrad Gallagher, with an impressive international career that includes tenures at restaurants in London, Ireland, South Africa, and New York, brings his lauded culinary expertise to Ways & Means. “The Orange County food scene is thriving, and we’re honored to have Ways & Means be a part of it,” says Gallagher, who also now calls Orange County home. “We will provide locals and visitors with an exciting gourmet experience, and offer something for everyone, whether it is a full meal or a cocktail with a few oysters at the bar.” With a passion for high-quality product, evident through his early morning local dock trips to pick out fresh, sustainably caught seafood, Gallagher will present an inventive, ever-changing menu inspired by an array of global cuisines and seasonal Southern California ingredients.
Guests will delight in a rotating mix of East and West Coast oysters, as well as raw seafood cocktails and towers, paired with innovative accoutrements such as cucumber cocktail sauce or pons mignonette, which will be available at the restaurant’s centrally-located oyster bar. The dinner menu offers shared plates like Salmon Rillette with red onion, watercress, lemon aioli, and Guinness bread, and Crab Cakes with cilantro, Meyer lemon, and celeriac remoulade. Gallagher’s signature main dishes include Seared Ahi Tuna with wasabi sesame crust, served with wok-fried shiitake mushrooms, beansprouts, bok choy, enoki, and tofu wontons; Wild Salmon with red pepper couscous, “new style” ratatouille, saffron aioli, and zucchini flowers; as well as grilled premium steaks, fish, and lobster, served with a choice of sauces. Guests can also enjoy side dishes such as Charred Brussels Sprouts with capers, red onion, and Serrano ham, or Corn on the Cob with smoked chili butter and cilantro.
To complement the menu, Ways & Means’ cocktail program celebrates elevated takes on classic “vacation” cocktails such as Mai Tais and Daiquiris. In addition to a selection of premium beers, the restaurant’s carefully curated wine list will offer an accessibly priced choice of global and coastal wines.
Much like the restaurant’s menu, Ways & Means’ design, as imagined by Parnell and his wife Jennifer Delcham, and partner Dena Mathe, aims to capture the coastal-casual décor of quintessential East Coast waterfront seafood shacks with a West Coast twist. Maintaining the building’s original A-frame structure, the space features vaulted exposed beam ceilings, reminiscent of a ship, as well as antique white walls, handscraped hardwood floors, hand-tufted red leather booths, and handmade glass pearl chandeliers and wall sconces. The 4,700-square-foot space offers a large dining room with booth seating, a stunning oyster bar, and cocktail bar. Adding to the warm, inviting atmosphere is a community chalkboard, where guests are welcome to share their thoughts with their friends and neighbors.