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lunch recommendation near Discovery Science Center

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I'm looking for a casual good eatery around the Discovery Science Center. Going for the first time with 2 young kids. I know their website says they have Taco Bell & Pizza on site...which I'd rather not have. Somewhere walking distance would be much preferred. Thanks!

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  1. "walking distance" is subjective, especially with two young kids. But right next door is the MainPlace Mall which has a big food court (McDonald's Arby's chinese, japanese, mongolian bbq, hot dog on a stick, subway, etc.) and a california pizza kitchen and olive garden. You could probably walk to the mall, but it would be difficult with the kids. On the other side of the street is Pat & Oscars (great breadsticks!). A little further up Main towards Chapman is a brightly colored mexican restaurant - I can't recall the name, but it's supposed to be very very good.

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    1. re: kingkong5

      agreed on all points made by kingkong5. you'll definitely want to hop in the car, even if only for a few minutes.

    2. Those restaurants get very busy on the weekends. You can always bring your own lunch. With my kids, I frequently get some kid's meal from Ralph's and a sandwich for myself and eat our meals there.

      1. There's a Polly's Pies practically next door. Fairly run of the mill coffee shop, but great pie, and probably a good choice with kids.

        1. Just to provide more up-to-date information, Arby's is no longer at Santa Ana mall (unfortunately - I'm in the minority, but I love Arby's). And at least as of February 2013, McDonald's wasn't there either (maybe they closed temporarily for renovations or something, and may be back open by now - I can't imagine a mall eatery without a McDonald's). But there's still an abundance of other options there at that mall (I wouldn't go around lunch time because it's a pain in the butt finding a place to sit; you'd probably have to take your food outside of the eatery area and find a bench or table in the mall area). And really, the walk to the mall is nothing; maybe 10 minutes at best. And I've done it with two 7 year olds and a 10 year old and nobody complained. If the walk really is an issue, don't worry about trying to park close to the Science Center when you first get there; drive around to the back parking lot so that you're pretty much right between the Science Center and the mall. Done.

          A bit further North and across the street is a plaza with more restaurants (hamburger joint The Habit, Corner Street Bakery and others). Technically you could walk; it's just that you'd have to cross a major thoroughfare (Main Street) to get there, and it's probably about an equal distance. If you've got kids, the mall is probably the better way to go.