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Dinner in Irvine

Hi all -

Washington DC hound here on biz and looking for a great dinner in Irvine - alls I can find are chains. I've looked through the archives and not found anything either. Any suggestions? Isn't there some great little neighborhood place with a rockin' chef ?

Thanks -

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  1. Not really... are you willing to drive? :) Lots of people like 6ix at the Hyatt - we were there on a night the chef wasn't, so I'm not a good review. Where in Irvine? There's some decent stuff in the new Sand Canyon mall area and Jeffery & Irvine have some great Asian places. You might need to drive to Laguna, Tustin, or Newport for what you're looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: torta basilica

      I think Luca in Irvine at Quail Hill might fit the bill.Small plates well executed and quality ingredients....stick w/ their dinners

    2. What kind of food do you like? If you like ethnic cuisine, there are some great Chinese restaurants in Irvine, on Jeffrey & Irvine, as torta mentions. There's a good Korean restaurant, called Goong, also on Jeffrey, and a decent Japanese shabu shabu place in the same complex (House of Shabu). Otherwise, there are plenty of good independent restaurants in nearby Tustin (the next city over from Irvine). There is a good Indian place called Haveli, a good sushi restaurant called Maki Zushi (great sushi that is also excellent value for money), and a good Mediterranean place called Zov's Bistro (there is a 'new' location in Tustin Ranch - Orchard Hills).

      I'm sure there's loads of other places in Tustin/Irvine, but haven't been to all of them so can't vouch for them. But you don't need to travel far for a good meal while you're in town! Hope you enjoy your stay.

      1. There's a few good places in Irvine.

        The Counter, for good burgers and beers.

        http://www.ocweekly.com/food/feature-...

        Franco's Pasta Cucina, for the best pasta in a food court (only open for weekday lunch).

        http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2007/...

        Houston's, for great no-nonsense food and service. French dip is the thing to get. Also the knife and fork ribs.

        In Newport Beach, which is not too far:

        The Crowbar and Kitchen is a gastropub. Reports are the burgers aren't good, but the rest I think is terrific.

        http://www.ocweekly.com/food/feature-...

        In Tustin, there's a lot more indie eateries.

        Just to name a few:

        Honda Ya, great izakaya.
        Haveli, good Indian Buffets for lunch, and twice a weeknight dinner.
        Sushi Wasabi, expensive omakase only Sushi. A favorite on this board.

        http://www.monstermunching.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: elmomonster

          Houston's key lime pie is also to die for, when they've got it. And their fresh fish sandwiches are good too.

          1. re: elmomonster

            I dunno...I love the Hangover Burger at Crow Bar. It has a sunny side fried egg in it. I have had it a few times now.

          2. Are you thinking of Pascal's? (which is technically in Newport Beach, but within 100 yards of the irvine city line probably)

            http://www.pascalnpb.com/

            1. If you're looking for Chinese food, Sam Woo and SW Seafood offer some of the best authentic Cantonese food in OC.

              If it's a business dinner, Bistango might fit the bill.

              -----
              Bistango
              19100 Von Karman Ave Ste 100, Irvine, CA 92612

              Sam Woo Restaurant
              15333 Culver Dr Ste 720, Irvine, CA 92604

              S W Seafood & BBQ Restaurant
              5406 Walnut Ave Ste A, Irvine, CA 92604

              2 Replies
              1. re: Wonginator

                I also second Bistango, have had many good business meals there, the food is great thought the atmosphere and service seem a tad stuffy to me. Great service, although they don't really like people making changes to things on the menu.

                Chat Noir would be my first choice, though it's in Costa Mesa by South Coast Plaza. I used to work in Irvine and have had several great business dinners here. It's technically a chain, but the food, atmosphere, and service are fantastic. It's also right near a spa in case you want to expense some massages before or after, sorry the name of the spa escapes me...

                P.S. Your post isn't very clear if you'll be dining alone. If you are, I'd go with Chat Noir - very cozy atmosphere and nice bar area. Another thought is Taleo in Irvine, great Mexican food, slightly more casual, but still fantastic and one of my favorites. Bistango is more of a group business meal type of place.

                1. re: LisaStitch

                  Chat Noir no longer exists, as David Wilhelm has rebranded it as Savannah Supper Club, and the menu has become more American and less French.

                  Here is a link to the new place. Menu looks like steak and seafood:
                  http://www.culinaryadventures.com/res...

              2. Try Lucca Cafe or Kimera ...both in Irvine and excellent

                1. to be honest with you, there's a serious shortage of good restaurants in the OC area... and you're abs right in that the area is flooded by chains, chains, and more chains. bistango is decent, not good... but don't go to its sister restaurant - kimera. tradition by pascal is decent, darya (persian), maestro (steak), scott's (seafood), pinot provence, marche moderne, are all by or in south coast plaza and are decent as well. these are actually in costa mesa, which is one of irvine's neighbors. there definitely aren't any good korean or sushi places in OC. india cook house is ok if u like indian.. inka grill is too if u're looking for peruvian. jalapeno's is a pretty good, greasy mexi place in irvine but def fast foody type. there's a yummy ramen place in mitsuwa market's food court, but i'm guessing you're looking for an actual restaurant?? :) gLUK finding something!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: namstermonster

                    "There definitely aren't any good Korean or sushi places in OC" - are you kidding?

                  2. For a neighborhood spot with a rockin chef, I would definitely recommend Pascal's in Newport Beach (like another poster said, it is right on the Irvine/Newport Border). The food is delicious and Pascal comes out to chat with customers. I am from Irvine and we go there for family special occasions. For great Italian, I would try Vessia in the Crossroads shopping complex (Corner of Culver and Barranca - www.vessia.com). Enjoy!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: erintoc

                      Just make sure Pascal is there the night you go... backup isn't so hot.

                      1. re: torta basilica

                        Kimera is a great choice. Same owners as Bistango. Very nice atmosphere and a different kind of menu. You will like it.