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May 21, 2008 05:54 PM

Good eats near the Bowers Museum?

We'll be seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors this weekend at the Bowers in Santa Ana. We might go early for lunch or stay later in Santa Ana for dinner. Aside from the cafe at the Bowers, where would be the best place (good food, needn't be fancy) and fairly close by? Is the Green Parrot still a good choice, and what to order or avoid? What else within a 10 - 15 minute drive? Thanks!

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  1. I'd suggest lunch at Original Mike's, 1st and Main. Great burgers, sit-down atmosphere.

      1. re: OCAnn

        I hate to say this... but I ate there last week, and I was so disappointed I had to talk to the manager. He was very kind and apologetic, but the fact is that the food has really slipped there, even at the Tustin mothership.

        I'm sad -- it was a great place -- but the downhill slide combined with high prices is just... not... doing it for me. There are so many better places now to spend $30 on dinner.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          My husband and I tried Zov's a year ago for dinner, spent over $100 on food, and were not impressed. The quality of the food was average, at best, and the service was subpar. I'm surprised that so many Chowhounds seem to like this place!

      2. The Green Parrot is a good choice. They do lunch on weekdays only right now, their dinner hours have been cut back to Tuesday through Friday with private events on the weekends. Times are tough for this local restaurant so if you are coming on a weekday please support them! The specials are always great, especially fish specials. And the chef cooks a mean steak! Soups are made to order so sometimes take a bit longer, something to be aware of.
        The Orange Circle is close by (just go up Main to Chapman, then to east towards the circle), lots of good choices there. Avoid The Chili Pepper on Main.

        1. Nothing against Santa Ana--and there are some fine places right around there--but everytime we go to the Bowers (or anything nearby) we always end up heading over to Little Saigon to eat afterward. Most recently we had a great late afternoon meal at Xanh on Brookhurst. Admittedly it's a few minutes outside your 15 minute perimeter (Google Maps says 18 minutes from the Bowers).

          However, en route, we noticed the bright colors of El Rincon Chilango, a Mexico City-style restaurant on 17th near Bristol (and well within your request zone). We haven't tried it ourselves yet, but it looks great and has gotten some rave reviews here.

          Original Mike's
          100 S Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92701

          Rincon Chilango
          1133 W 17th St, Santa Ana, CA 92706

          Xanh Bistro
          16161 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

          Green Parrot Cafe
          2035 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: PayOrPlay

            Rincon Chilango - this sounds really interesting and different! The other couple we're going with enjoy unique places and food, so this might just fit the bill. I rmember being intrigued when the original review was posted, but we usually end up in Old Town Orange when out that way, so this will be something new. Thanks PayOrPlay!

          2. I always have a great time at Citrus City Grille. Its located in Old Towne Orange on Glassell. Try the Stuffed Chicken Breast, Sea Bass, or the amazing Pot Roast (not kidding).