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Feb 4, 2008 05:54 PM

Newport/Irvine upscale cool restaurant.. no chains please!!!

I used to live up there and there was always some hip ,tasty place.. All of my research..for one Sat night.. has been chains!!! What are the nice individual..not the old Newport either.. There used to be a nice place at the top of South Coast Plaza.. Is it still there? I may try this Mastros.. but would rather do an individual one.. thanks!!

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  1. are you looking for a trendy type place? (i.e. do you want a scene?)

    5 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      hi no not a scene.. but I do do restaurant design so I am looking for something interesting.. Way more upscale than the Quit Woman. Gosh I went there a LONG time ago!! In my bar days..Troquet was the one I was thinking.. I do see their new one..

      1. re: butterbutt

        yeah i think Crow Bar might be a better choice then...although if ure willing to go to laguna i think k'ya is good and the rooftop bar is great there (awesome view of the coast and all of laguna)

        1. re: Lau

          Judging by my drive through town this morning, K'ya's upstairs outdoor deck is undergoing renovation.

        2. re: butterbutt

          Troquet has been replaced by Marche Moderne, which has gotten good reviews by others on this board.

          1. re: OCAnn

            I second that - it's very good. And a beautiful outdoor patio.

      2. I used to do some business dinners at a couple places that were "cool pricey" in that area, one I recall is the headless woman, oh is that the name. Oh pooh. There is a picture of a headless woman out front, somehow that is not sounding like the name, but it's a great place, but I have not been there in a year +. I remember them being one of the first places to ban cellphones like 6 or 8 years ago or more (!), oh a policy after my own heart. I guess I should do a search and feeling lazy.

        I think most of the places at South Coast (I've eaten at most any of them at least once) that are not chains and have good food are not a great value food or money wise at all, and not that great atmosphere wise. If you are going to pay for "atmosphere" I would suggest a nice view, either the geography or the crowd, neither of which you tend to get at a mall even as nice as South Coast :-) There is a French place, for example, that more than exemplifies the sometimes rip-off side of that sort of thing in the states, small servings, really expensive entrees, etc. Starts with a T, I'm sure most Chowhounders in that area know the place. Most of the cool places are not at the mall! I'm sure others will have some better suggestions too.

        I'm going to be down in that area next month, and now you are making me remember I need to re-check the area on the net first!

        1 Reply
        1. re: MaryT

          the place with the headless women is the quiet women on pch, it has pretty decent food for a bar

        2. Well, here is a recent thread that covers what you are looking for.
          Also, I might add the Bungalow in Corona Del Mar if that is close enough.

          But Mastro's has both a seafood as well as a steak place in the greater area, while Russkar's recommendation of Marche Moderne as well as Bluefin and Turner New Zealand should also be considered.

          3 Replies
          1. re: carter

            try crow bar as well, k'ya in laguna is cool as well...maestro's a decent call

            1. re: Lau

              I guess Quiet Woman is kinda a "bar" . . .
              Thanks to Lau for the name sorry for the brain freeze. I am wondering, since the thread from Carter focuses also on South Coast/environs, is that the area, or is really Newport and Corona del Mar we're talking. I also like crow bar. haven't been to k'ya.

              1. re: MaryT

                haha its very much a bar more like a cougar den...but if u go earlier i guess its more restaurant-ish

          2. If you're specifically looking for near South Coast there's a great Persian restaurant called Darias. Excellent food. There's also the Club House at SCP that's really good as well. If you want to travel down the coast a little bit I would second the rec for K'ya and might also suggest Mozambique as well.

            3 Replies
            1. re: TheManning2

              Darya is the correct spelling, or you won't find it in any search.

              1. re: TheManning2

                Link below.

                Darya Restaurant
                1611 W Sunflower Ave Ste E59, Santa Ana, CA 92704

                1. re: Wonginator

                  Thanks for the correct spelling & link. I was at work w/ not a lot of time to look it up. Thanks for sending them the corrections!

              2. I was trying to find the LA times review of the new place "Mesa" but can't find the address. I think it's in Costa Mesa off Bristol, in "The Camp", unsigned, behind the gas station. If you do go, please report back!

                Also this is a good thread

                1 Reply
                1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                  Nice folks at Mesa, but the food is mediocre. Great for overpriced drinks, tho!