Zov’s, the renowned restaurant that has been delighting diners for 35 years with its unique Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, is celebrating multiple milestones this year – its 35th anniversary and expansion into San Clemente. What began as a catering company in 1987 has become one of Orange County’s most iconic multi-unit mainstays, continuing to make waves as it expands throughout Southern California.
Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, Zov’s has been a staple in Orange County’s dining scene, earning numerous awards and accolades for its flavorful dishes, warm hospitality, and elegant ambiance. The Armenian immigrant credits family support as the foundation and inspiration throughout her culinary career. Her son, Armen, now leads the brand’s expansion as Zov’s CEO, and her daughter, Taleene, envisions its creative direction.
Zov Karamardian is credited with introducing Mediterranean cuisine to Orange County in the ‘80s and is revered for trailblazing a career that has shaped Southern California’s culinary landscape. She’s authored two cookbooks, Zov: Recipes and Memories From the Heart and Simply Zov; hosted dinners at the prestigious James Beard House on numerous occasions; cooked alongside Julia Child at her Tustin bistro; and was honored by the State of California as the 2004 Chef of the Year, among countless other awards and accolades.
As Zov’s marks its 35th anniversary, Karamardian and her family look back on the restaurant’s journey with pride and gratitude for the loyal guests and dedicated staff who have supported its growth.
“It’s been an incredible journey. My dream was fueled by my passion for cooking and a desire to bring Mediterranean-inspired cuisine to Orange County,” reflects Zov Karamardian. “Our loyal customers have been the driving force behind our success, and we’re excited to continue to serve them and new diners in the years to come.”
Following the footsteps of its flagship location in Tustin, Zov’s expanded to locations in Newport Coast and Irvine in 2007, each offering a unique dining experience with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and creative, healthy dishes. In 2021, the brand debuted a sister concept, Roxy’z, in Anaheim, offering playful and modern American cuisine with a touch of Zov’s culinary artistry.
In celebration of their 35th anniversary, Zov’s restaurant is proud to partner with the UCI Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute. A collaboration between Chef Zov Karamardian and UCI Samueli Institute’s Executive Chef Jessica VanRoo, the menu is a celebration of a shared commitment to the transformative power of the culinary arts to our health.. Beginning in May, Zov’s will offer a special 3-course menu for $35 complete with Roasted Beet Dip with tahini swirl and toasted pita, Pan Roasted Sea Bass, with seared zucchini cake and toasted feta in a lemon caper sauce, and for dessert, Chia Seed Yogurt with turmeric and fresh mango.
Looking forward to the next chapter, the restaurant plans to expand with a fourth Zov’s location in San Clemente, set to open early next year. The new restaurant will feature the same signature dishes and warm hospitality that have made Zov’s a beloved institution in Orange County.
“As a family-owned business, we are thrilled to be celebrating our 35th anniversary in Orange County,” said Armen Karamardian, CEO of Zov’s. “As we expand into San Clemente, our team provides a memorable dining experience with fresh, healthy ingredients and exceptional service. We can’t wait to share our passion for food and hospitality with the South Orange County community.”
Zov’s San Clemente will feature a modern, elegant ambiance with indoor and outdoor seating, and a full bar. The menu will offer a range of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including Zov’s famous Mezze Platter, Short Rib Pappardelle Pasta, and Pistachio Roasted Sea Bass, as well as vegan and gluten-free options.
As Zov’s celebrates its 35th anniversary and looks to the future, the restaurant remains committed to its core values of excellence, innovation, and community. In addition to the upcoming opening of Zov’s San Clemente, the restaurant is planning a grand anniversary celebration this fall and several impactful charitable partnerships to honor the community that has supported it for over three decades.
Zov’s currently has three locations in Orange County, including Tustin, Irvine, and Newport Beach, and a sister concept, Roxy’z, in Anaheim.