Quiet, not ultra expensive lunch, near UC Irvine campus
I grew up in Irvine (2nd grade thru 12, college and master's degree at UCI) so I know the area pretty well. But now that I've gotten my MBA and work in the area, I've yet to find a good lunch place that is nearby. I work at Jamboree/MacArthur, across from the new Lexus dealership.
I'm getting tired of hitting Wienerschnitzel, Burger King, Quiznos or Taco Bell everyday. Any nearby recommendations?
Both of the below locations on MacArthur/Main
I just recently went to Agora Churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ) and had a nice lunch there. Although it was company paid, their lunch isn't super expensive at $21/pp with endless meat brought to your table and salad bar. It's definitely quiet but bring some co-workers who love to eat meat and indulge once in awhile :)
In the same plaza as Agora is Russell's Seafood Palace where they have chinese lunch specials ranging from the $6.75-$8.25. I heard from a friend that they have good dim sum here, but I have not tried it yet.
There is a Lee Sandwiches, which is fast, casual and CHEAP right in the University Centre... :)
The options do open up quite a bit if you expand your driving distance to at least 5 miles. But here are some good options within 2 miles.
Kitayama's for decent Japanese/sushi.
Chicago's Best for great Italian beef sandwiches and the best French fries in the area (similar to In N Out fries, but bigger and tastier).
If you're willing to take a 5 mile drive, there are a large number of choices on 17th St in Costa Mesa: Beach Pit BBQ, Los Primos Cantina, Pizza Bakery, Frenzy Sushi, Plums Cafe
Taleo Mexican Grill for nice upscale Mexican/Southwestern.
Thai Spice for excellent pad thai or pad see ewe noodles. In the same shopping center is Haute Links, for Polish or Italian sausages and bratwursts.
Onotria for some excellent Italian fusion cuisine.
Also forgot to mention Philly's Best for some great Philly cheesesteaks and hoagies. Also, SuperMex is good quality Mexican food. The L&L Hawaiian chain is next door for some decent plate lunches.