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Jan 16, 2008 03:51 PM

One night in Irvine for Chicago hound

I will be staying in Irvine for one night at the Hyatt. Any recommendations for dinner? I will have a car, and am open for everything from cheap local food to higher end; just something that is in the area and tastes good.


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  1. I live in Irvine, so to narrow it down will be tough. Just at the top of my head, near you, there's Houston's which has one of the best French dips around...pricey at about 10-15 bucks, but good.

    I have other recs, but for simplicity here's my blog. Look at the right side menu or Dining Out and see if you find anything that interests you in my city.

    1 Reply
    1. re: elmomonster

      I believe the restaurant inside your hotel is 6ix Park Grill, and our own Chubbypanda seems to like it!

      If you're feeling adventurous, there is a brazilian gaucho bbq place called Agora which is nearby and offers an all you can eat meat fest, where the food comes to your table and is carved onto your plate.

      Since you have a car, and if you're up for it, after dinner you can probably drive down to either the Newport Beach Pier or the Huntington Beach Pier, walk up and down the main drag until you find the loudest, rowdiest bar, walk in and have a good time. I like Sharkeez down in Huntington, and Mutt Lynches in Newport.

      If you're interested in more ethnic foods, Little Saigon is not too far away. Being Vietnamese myself, I can give you more details on where you'd want to go if you were to travel there (about 15 minute drive from your hotel), let me know.

    2. Marche Moderne (next to Nordstrom's 3rd floor, South Coast Plaza) , some of the best food in OC and reasonably priced. Just had dinner there a couple of days ago. Been 4 times in the last month. About 3 miles from your Hotel and you can walk around the Mall after dinner.

      1 Reply
      1. re: russkar

        Moderne is fine if you're into somewhat adventurous food (French-based) and don't mind navigating the mall scene to get there. We just had a wonderful night at Tradition/Pascal which isn't in Irvine but nearby in Newport Beach. We stayed in a Hotel near yours and got there in less than 10 minutes. Also, in the Westin at South Coast Plaza is Pinot Provence. Surprisingly good despite it being a Patina Group place, and reasonably authentic Provencal cuisine . Don't be in a hurry or expect great service, though.

      2. Sounds like you're solo, yes ? If so, I would recommend a place with a bit of a "scene" with a bar/counter, because for me when I'm traveling, I like to sit at the bar so I'm not sitting alone at a two-top off in the corner somewhere. Hence, I'd recommend a new, cool place called The Crow Bar & Kitchen, in Corona del Mar (not far at all -maybe 4 or 5 miles - from the Hyatt in Irvine). I was there last Saturday with my wife, and we had a nice time, and the food was very good, we thought. A good portion of the room is occupied by the bar area (they call themselves a "gastropub"), so it's fun people-watching !

        P.S. The duck-fat fries with the truffle "allioli" were outrageously good. The sweet-potato fries were good too, and no doubt healthier, but hey, live a little !

        2 Replies
        1. re: mikester

          Agreed. Crowbar's one of my new favorite places.

          Here's a review:

          1. re: mikester

            If you go and you like full-flavored beers, go for the Craftsmen "Edgar's Ale", it's made in Pasadena and is excellent - smoky, dark and delicious, reminded me of a really good porter with more of a smoky quality than usual.

            I had a Craftsmen and a Delerium Tremens, an excellent Belgian ale. Both were great !

          2. For something kinda different, try some Pho at Pho Bac. There's one on Culver/Barranca. A sushi place I like is Sushi Riki in North Irvine right off Irvine Blvd, but I think they changed mgmt and their quality has gone down a bit. Philly's best (near Pho Bac) for cheesesteaks.

            4 Replies
            1. re: iotone

              Avoid Sushi Riki like the plague...much better sushi to be found in the area

                1. re: JAB

                  If Pho Bac were anywhere but within 20 minutes' drive of Little Saigon, it would be great. Transplant Pho Bac to, say, Calabasas or Rancho Cucamonga or Downey and it would be "hey, there's a pretty good place for pho..."

                  But it's not. It's in Irvine. And you can get from Irvine to Westminster or Garden Grove in 20 minutes. So agree -- you can do better than Pho Bac. Like Pho 79. Or Pho Thanh Lich.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Or, heading South, Pho Bo Vang in Lake Forest is head and shoulders above Pho Bac.

              1. I have always enjoyed dinners at Luca in Irvine at Quail Hill....its small plates with excellent ingredients and preparation and they have excellent salum and cheese