Opah Restaurant & Bar - Fresh Seafood

26851 Aliso Creek Road #C
Aliso Viejo, California 92656

(949) 360 - 8822


About the company

Marc A. Cohen is a talented and formally trained artist. His breadth of work has been praised by some of the toughest critics, and he’s had the pleasure of creating masterpieces for a number of celebrity clients. However, unlike the stereotypical beret wearing, easel toting artist, Cohen is at his most creative while under the toque armed with an apron full of spatulas, whisks and cleavers. Marc A. Cohen is better known as Chef Cohen, partner and culinary director of four award-winning Orange County, California, restaurants: 230 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach; Opah Restaurant & Bar in Aliso Viejo, Irvine and Rancho Santa Margarita.

Growing up along the Eastern Seaboard in Maryland, Cohen became interested in gastronomy as a teenager when his next door neighbor, an executive chef, took him under his wing. He enrolled at Johnson Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he earned an Associate of Culinary Arts degree, as well as a double Bachelors Degree in Education and Management. In 1992, in the midst of his studies, he was tapped by Chaine des Rotisseurs, a 55-year-old international gastronomic society founded in Paris, to become part of the organization’s Culinary Olympic Team. Not only was he one of the team’s most enthusiastic participants, he was also the youngest. He and his fellow chefs returned home carrying several gold medals.

Upon graduation, Cohen worked his magic behind some of the nation’s most prestigious kitchen doors, including the Dunes Club in Narragansett, Rhode Island and the Sutton Place Gourmet’s Blue Point Grille and in Washington DC, where he was lauded by Washington Magazine as being among the “Top One Hundred Chefs” working in the nation’s capital. In 1994, Cohen was lured to the California coast by his current partners who enlisted his expertise in the opening of 230 Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach. The restaurant, with its dramatic ambiance and fusion cuisine, was an instant success. With each plate serving as a blank canvas, Cohen’s culinary presentations were lauded as edible works of art as noted by the LA Times “…every dish bears chef and co-owner Marc Cohen’s distinctive stamp, one informed by a particular love of Mexican and Pacific flavors and an artist’s flair.”

Not one to sit idle for long, Cohen persuaded his partners to open a second restaurant in 1999 in nearby Aliso Viejo. Opah Restaurant & Bar, named for the moonfish once viewed as a symbol of good luck by the ancient fisherman who caught them and gave them away as a goodwill gesture, was a departure from his first restaurant venture 230 Forest Avenue. Its modern and streamlined design, eclectic fare and bustling martini bar is both inviting and innovative, prompting Cohen and his partners to expand the concept with the opening of two additional locations in Rancho Santa Margarita (2002) and Irvine (2004).

Recently honored with the prestigious national Silver Plate Award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association in May 2005, Chef Cohen was named one of the 25 Hottest People in Orange County by OC Metro Magazine, and for seven consecutive years has been named among the Best Chefs of Orange County by the Kidney Foundation. In addition, Chef Cohen has been a member of the Tyson Leadership Network for the past seven years. The thirysomething Chef Cohen considers his wife of 11 years and his three children among his greatest achievements. A resident of Mission Viejo, California, Cohen enjoys spending time with his family, going to baseball games and golfing during his spare time.