Suggestions: Lunch Btwn. Long Beach and Santa Ana?
- Bob Foster
Can anyone suggest a nice place for lunch somewhere between Long Beach and Santa Ana? I'm judging a wine competiton next weekend in Long Beach. My wife is going with me and wants to meet her former college roommate, who lives in Santa Ana, for a nice lunch. Can someone suggest a nice place for luch somewhere in between the two locations? Thanks.
Closer to Santa Ana than LB, but worth the disproportionate trip is Felix's. Cuban/Spanish/Continental, it is where my best friend HAS to eat every day when she comes to visit me, and we drive from LB as many times as she wishes.
Felix's sits on Orange Circle with palm trees and sometimes conyers (wild parrots), feels very Havana-esqe. Order a cafe con leche and a media noche and finish it off with tres leches cake.
36 Plaza Sq
Orange, CA 92866
On the recommendation of someone down the list here, I tried Memphis Soul Café and Bar last week and it was wonderful. It's at 2920 Bristol (just north of the intersection of Bear and Bristol, where the 73 freeway crosses Bristol) in Costa Mesa (or it might be Newport Beach at that point). Menu included jambalaya, gumbo, meat loaf (the most enormous portion of meatloaf and mashed potatoes I've ever seen), salads, chicken, seafood, etc. with a definite southern/cajun/creole bent. Expansive bar, wine and beer menu. Prices reasonable. Closer to Santa Ana than Long Beach, but definitely worth the 20 minute drive.
There are plenty of nice spots between Long Beach and Santa Ana. Memphis is fantastic, although it's much closer to SA than to LB. (If you're willing to drive the extra few minutes, it's well worth it.)
There's a nice neighborhood Italian place in Huntington Beach called "Mangia Mangia," which I have always loved. It's on Goldenwest Street, south of the 405 freeway, in a strip mall located on the southwest corner of Goldenwest and Edinger Street. I believe they are open for lunch.
Also in HB, on Beach Blvd. just north of Warner Ave., is a small Mediterranean restaurant called Tosh's, which is not only very nice, but also has a lunch buffet (I've never had the buffet, but the dinners are great).
Wei's Chinese restaurant in Fountain Valley is very good. It's located south of the 405 Freeway, as well, this time in Fountain Valley, on the southeast corner of Magnolia and Warner.
There's a small gem called Colima in Santa Ana serving Mexican seafood. It's on First Street, south of the 22 Freeway, at the intersection of First and Fairview (northwest corner).
My experience has been that many residents of OC tend to trust chain restaurants more than small ethnic and independent places. If that's the case here, you'll find convenient places at the intersection of the 405 Freeway and Beach Blvd. (BJ's Chicago Pizzeria and Macaroni Grill) and the intersection of the 22 Freeway and Beach Blvd. (Mimi's Cafe and Red Robin).
Hope this helps. Good luck!
Since the fastest drive between the two is the Garden Grove Fwy - Cal 22- why not think about a nice place in Little Saigon, in Westminster or Garden Grove? The board here is full of suggestions in Little Saigon, or perhaps someone reading this will have a concrete suggestion. You might also want to check listings at the LA times calendar section
They have a pretty good search function.