HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Need suggestions for birthday dinner in OC area.

We are taking our friend out for birthday dinner in Orange County. What would be a good place to go to? She likes French or Japanese cuisine.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Honda Ya in Tustin for Japanese. Gemmell's in Dana Point for French. Enjoy!

    1. I second Honda Ya and add Shin Sen Gumi in Fountain Valley.

      1. Honda Ya with the disclaimer that you dont bother with the sushi. French 75 and Chat Noir and both good french bistro type food.

        1. Honda Ya is terrible. Poor Fish Quality and Greasy Tempura. Kar won't even set foot in the place after the last disaster.
          Kappo Sui(SA Heights) is far superior for Higher End Japanese Dining.
          For French Dining in OC , Ambrosia, Pinot Provence, and a big favorite BASILIC.

            1. Thanks for all the advice. We went to Honda Ya a few months ago because of all the good reviews in Chowhound and we love the place. It makes us feel like we are in Japan. We order a variety of food and we like the skewers and dumplings the most. The fish is so so only though. I would not order that again.

              French 75 and Chat Noir are one of my choices to take my friend. I think they are owned by the same Group. Is one better than the other? Should I take my friend to French 75 or Chat Noir?

              1. If you want real French food, go to Tradition by Pascal or Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa. French 75 and Chat Noir are fun, trendy, and decent, but not what I'd consider authentic, by any means. If you do end up at one or the other, I prefer Chat Noir in Costa Mesa for a b-day celebration-French 75 Bistro in Irvine is more casual and family-oriented and French 75 in Laguna doesn't have a great chef working there (the food is typically just "ok" at the Laguna location).

                1. I would go to Pascal's on Bristol in Newport Beach for great French food. Bluefin by Abe in the Crystal Cove Promenade at Newport Coast is top notch for Japanese.

                  1. For French, I usually head to La Vie en Rose. It's close to home & serves a good french meal (I like their escargot & fr onion soup).

                    1. I'd pick Pinot Provence by far over Chat Noir and French 75.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: derekp17

                        depends on what atmosphere you want. Pinot is much more sedate and formal, though the food is great. Chat has a darker funkier vibe and the best french fries around (not to mention a great beer list).

                      2. Chat Noir gets my vote esp for a small group. Food and drinks are more than decent not to mention the decor is also fun and sexy, service has always been consistent... nice choice for a birthday dinner

                          1. I also recommend Pascal for French. It is top notch, but be prepared to spend quite a bit of money. Truly beautiful food.