The Recess Room – Fountain Valley – September 2019 – 3 yr – Anniversary

September 29 marked the opening of this contemporary restaurant.


One fateful day three decades ago, five boys picked up a game of handball during school recess on a Fountain Valley playground. They grew up together, became life-long friends and pursued their own ambitions. But they shared a deep love for their hometown and dreamed of one day opening a restaurant together where they could share good food, good drinks and reminisce about good times.

The Recess Room is their childhood dream come to life.

It’s a place where guests can feel at home and take a recess from life.

The Recess RoomThe menu features Modern American tapas. When the cocktail program launches, there will be 24 craft beers on tap with a strong emphasis on local breweries, a wine selection highlighting the California coast, premium whiskeys, and handcrafted cocktails featuring locally sourced and homegrown ingredients from the on-site herb garden.

The Recess Room brings modern American tapas-style cuisine, (and when the cocktail program launches) locally focused craft beers, handcrafted cocktails and a serious fun, rustic, old-school design to the boys’ beloved hometown of Fountain Valley.

The Recess Room TapasThe restaurant’s throwback style with a hopscotch twist was designed by Kenneth Ussenko Design (The District, Crustacean San Francisco, The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens), best known for creating spaces where every wall has a story. Special design features include: a ceiling resembling a 1960s redwood basketball floor, a chain curtain mimicking playground swings, tables using 100-year-old wood from a Kentucky tobacco farm, and a hostess table that was formerly a 1900s European newspaper shear.

Who’s “on the playground?”

·        Co-owner Viet Pham, who grew up in the restaurant industry, partnered with his childhood friends to create a destination where guests feel at home and take a recess from life

·        Chef Sergioivan Ortega (Social, Arc, Providence, Cucina Enoteca) helms the kitchen

·        And manning the bar, with cocktails featuring locally sourced and homegrown ingredients from the on-site herb garden, is Carlo Navarro (Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace, Wynn Hotel, Kahunaville at Treasure Island)


The Recess Room

18380 Brookhurst St.

Fountain Valley, CA 92708


For more information, visit

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