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May 17, 2002 11:18 PM

Pinot Provence: Best In Orange County

  • j

Several weeks ago I posted on here asking if anyone was familiar with this restaurant in the Westin. The few responses were very enthusiastic in recommending it. Last weekend I visited it with several friends. It is excellent. In fact I would suggest that it is probably the best restaurant in Orange County right now and not too far behind the best in L. A.

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  1. I share your appreciation of Pinot Provence wholeheartedly, but it makes me wonder how many area restaurants you have checked out before you crowned it best in OC. I suspect some more research is in order.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Marco Polo

      Like maybe TROQUET? or RITZ in Fashion Island or ?? Pinot is nice but not on top.

      1. re: russkar

        I've never been disappointed at Pinot Provence; always wonderful. But based on the one meal I had at Troquet, it was a cut above Pinot. I have to agree with russkar on that one.

        1. re: russkar

          Regardless of what 1-2 naysayers say, Aubergine is still the best in OC and maybe as good as Metro LA gets, including Patina, Spago, etc. Tim & Liza recently opened Red Pearl Kitchen in Huntington Beach and I hear are now affiliated with the Ritz. Tim is truly in a class by himself.

          1. re: carter

            I am with you. My single visit to Aubergine was deliciously memorable.

            1. re: carter


              Could you please provide some details regarding this place? I live in H.B. and am always interested in new, local places. Thanks!


              1. re: Jeff Rose

                Very cool place, with the food being quite good (IMO) but it's really more about the scene - big , four-sided bar dominates the room, mostly (but not entirely) young hip crowd, live d.j. on weekend nights, a largish plasma t.v on the back wall playing classic kung fu and godzilla movies. The foursome that I was with on a recent saturday night all had a good time and thoroughly enjoyed the food. The menu is sort of pan-asian, with an emphasis on Chinese. The pot-sticker appetizer was great, as was the pork belly dish. The strangest part was, that although they serve western-style desserts like creme brulee etc., they don't serve coffee/cappuchino etc., just chinese tea !

                Anyway I'd recommend it for a fun time out.

                1. re: Jeff Rose

                  Stopped in for a quick dinner on a Sunday evening a few months back and was memorably UNimpressed, unfortunately. The place is a scene in the worst way. It's designed really as a bar-slash-club that happens to have a few tables. They played relentlessly loud drum and bass club music and it required major hand waving to gain our (admittedly hot) waitresses' attention more than once. The food was singularly oversweetened and oversauced -- I can't remember exactly what we had but it was some peanut noodles, the short ribs and a duck salad I think. All were bad in a strikingly similar way.

                  The so-called "asian" theme is really "Oriental" and nearly offensive.

                  But, hey, I'm in a minority and I'm sure it's really a terrific place.

          2. I have had dinner and lunch/brunch several time there. It is one of my favorite restaurants. The ambiance, service and food quality make it a candidate for one of the best in O.C.

            However, I could not quite give it that recognition as there are other very good restaurants such as Mastro's and The Cellar.

            By the way, have you tried Patina's Leatherby's at OC PAC? When you do try the shark. You won't be disappointed.

            1. Well this might be true aburgine was good and now its closed

              Pino provonce was good but there chef for 10 or however long its been open gone!!! So stop living in past O.C. food
              is far behind L.A. in the next 6 months L.A. will have some of the best chefs in the country here. Gordon and Tom.....Maybe time to move, oh wait well you guys have david whielhelms

              3 Replies
              1. re: Fonzy

                No doubt LA has good dining, but let's not forget that LA Times critic S. Irene Virbila gave Stonehill Tavern 3 stars. I could be mistaken, but no restaurant reviewed by her in the last two years has received three full stars, save for Joel Rubuchon, The Mansion in Vegas.

                There's also Studio inside Montage resort. Oh, and the Mastro's chain chose to expand twice down here in the past year.

                1. re: Fonzy

                  Far behind LA? Fonzy, you need to do more eating and go to Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern. I guarantee you that restaurant won't get an "lol." Name any restaurant in LA and Michael Mina can hold his own. I tried it recently. It lives up to the hype.

                  Some photos here:


                  And the LA Times gave high praise to Splichal's Leatherby Cafe Rouge in Costa Mesa. Haven't tried it, but the restaurant scene in OC is no slouch.

                  1. re: david t.

                    ok point taken but to say they are neck and neck is to say L.A. is right behind N.Y as far a dinning.....lmao

                2. I'd rather go across the parking lot to Scotts.