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OC-Where should I eat this weekend?

I feel like going out to eat this weekend. Nothing too fancy, it's not a special occasion. I was thinking of trying Blue Coral, but I usually try to avoid new restaurants until they sort everything out, and I do not even know how much it costs. Maybe Roy's in Newport, Anjin in Costa Mesa, Wildfish in Newport? Newport Seafood in Santa Ana, but I think that would not be too good for only two people. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I live in South OC, so nothing much farther north than Santa Ana

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  1. Banderas or Landmark @ Corona del Mar

    My all-time favorite in Laguna Beach - 230 Forest AVe

    1 Reply
    1. re: ml22

      Dear God! Do not go to Landmark. I refused to believe that it was as bad as I heard. It is.

      Banderas, Flemings, Quiet Women, Gulfstream and Bungalow are all better by far in the immediate vicinity.


    2. I would skip landmark. I've only heard lukewarm comments. Banderas is a great option and I had the pleasure of eating my friends left over ribs from their last week which were melt in your mouth tender.

      There have been some good reviews on Wildfish though I havent been.

      What about Zovs in Tustin? Not too fancy but still a nice meal in an upscale setting. Right off the 55 on 17th street.

      1. Avoid Landmark... Bungalow & Banderas are good. Gulfstream has excellent crab cakes (on Sat night), but I'm never that excited or impressed by the rest of the menu. I like Wildfish, but it is very loud & party central - which can be a good thing, depending on your mood. I still think the original Sage is the best place for fish in Newport. Bluefin is excellent in Crystal Cove. Certainly 230 Forest is great, but wait for the Pageant crowd to leave - ie. eat around 8ish. Cafe Zoolu for fantastic swordfish in Laguna. Zov's is excellent, but further than Santa Ana.

        1. Agorra Churrscaria for Brazilian meat in Irvine.

          Or Yardhouse. It's a restaurant chain, but the food is very good for a chain.

          1. Agree with everybody on Landmark; horrible. Bungalow is good for steaks. Also, Oysters in Corona del Mar is good for seafood. For sushi/sashimi, I'd definetly go to Bluefin by Abe in the Crystal Cove Promenade. Nesai in Newport Beach is a small place with excellent food; we love their pork tenderloin and boneless short ribs.

            1. Wow I'm lucky to have a memorable dining experience at Landmark. Sorry you guys didn't.

              Bayside has great food, but service is spotty/inconsistent.

              1. For Mex consider Taleo in Irvine (limited choices but good mole, cool digs, somewhat tame but tasty chow) & Taco Rosa in NB (nice seafood, open air casual atmosphere, friendly service, interesting takes on trad Mex)

                1. Not my usual part of town but last year I had Persian at Darya in a shopping area that is adjacent to South Coast Plaza. I was surprised to find it right up with the best we have in the Persian area of West L.A. (i.e., Javan). Decor is fancy but the prices were reasonable and the service was excellent, especially considering I was a five-o-clock-shadowed single male waiting out the traffic after a conference. Ample portions of chicken, lamb, or beef with the best rice in the world, if you go for a kebab.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Lee by the Sea

                    In the Iranian community, Darya is regarded very highly (for good reason)

                  2. Last time we ate at Darya we found it over priced and the quality has gone down.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: mrsjoujou

                        We like Ferdussi up the block at Macarthur & Bristol for friendly & tasty Persian at reasonable prices. Stick to the buffet at lunch or lamb dishes otherwise.
                        For the best value Persian chow and most bizzaro experience try takeout from Wholesome Foods at Culver & Michaelson to consume on their outdoor patio. And line up for freshly baked Sangak hot from the oven in the organic bakery section. Pure heaven and exotic to boot. Even if Persian is not your thing then go for the most decadent gyros ever or else decent Indian chow. You won't be sorry.

                      2. This post inspired me to have a dinner date at Bandera saturday night. We arrived at 9pm and was seated at 10pm. It was quite alright because we killed time drinking refreshing mojitos at the bar.

                        The food did not disappoint. We ordered ahi appetizer (real fresh!) with generous bits of mango and guacamole. The beef ribs was very tasty and the meat fell off the bone. Service was excellent and the wait was worth it. After my 2 jack and cokes and red wine for my date, our bill was $112. ouch.

                        They have limited choices in the menu, but after trying almost everything in the past visits, I'd say quality of food is consistent and i'd take quality over quantity any day.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ml22

                          Glad to hear that you had a good meal there, and that the place seems to be consistently good.

                          Personally I like the fact that the menu at both Bandera and Houston is limited, I like the idea of a place doing only a relatively few items, but doing them well ! Kind of like In'n Out

                          Also I really like the wine lists at Bandera and Houston, I love that they tend to again limit them, and have interesting and eclectic choices at a reasonable mark-up.