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Feb 16, 2009 06:10 PM

Chinese Restaurant for a Group in OC

Hi folks,
I am looking for a decent Chinese restaurant for a group in Orange County, say somewhere between Irvine and Anaheim. The food doesn't need to be the top attraction, but just a solid place with those family style meals you can get (you know, soup, eggrolls and choose one entree per person to share), which makes it easy for group ordering. I'm going to have about 8-12 so not a very large group. Basically, just want any recommendation along those lines with decent parking. I'm planning a small family event from a distance and no one else is really into food to the extent I am, so it is more about convenience and ease than anything else. I'd sure appreciate the help because otherwise I don't know where to start!

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  1. I'd recommend China Garden in Irvine. It's big enough to accomodate groups of that size and whenever we go it's never as crazy packed as Sam Woo or some of the other Chinese restaurants in the area. The food's pretty solid, though not spectacular, and there's pictures on the menu for those in your group who don't know what they want to get.

    Irvine China Garden
    14825 Jeffrey Rd, Irvine, CA 92618

    2 Replies
    1. re: huaqiao

      While I really do like China Garden and have been there a dozen times, you might want to consider a place I have enjoyed very much lately. It is called King Lobster Palace in the city of Orange.

      One of the nice things this place has going for it that Sam Woo and China Garden do not is that this place is CLEAN. I always hate to use the restrooms at China Garden and SW. Gross! I think this place would be a great suggestion for people who are not familiar with you hole in the wall Chinese joint.

      1. re: cdmedici

        Just a warning about King Lobster Palace: more than once I have got food that was obviously pre-cooked and cold (or, rather, tepid). This is more a problem at dim sum than for dinner, but when you make the reservation you must be very firm about what it is you want.

    2. All in Irvine, across Walnut from China Garden is S&W and there's also Sam Woo off of Culver which was also mentioned. I've never found any of the 3 to have decent parking.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JAB

        Those were my two suggestions! Question, though..... Is that S&W BBQ a Sam Woo restaurant? Or am I just confused?

        1. re: janetms383

          I don't believe that S&W is a Sam Woo restaurant. I believe that it's just another play to capitalize on the name recognition of Sam Woo.

          1. re: JAB

            Sam Woo (三和) just means "three harmonies" in Cantonese. It's used by a lot of different restaurant owners, and very few of the restaurants are at all related -- you can't really think of it as a brand, because it's not pegged to one specific person.

            That said, I agree that S&W is meant to make you think "Sam Woo".

        2. re: JAB

          I must have been to the Sam Woo off Culver during a phase transition of the universe, because it was packed to the gills, yet the service was excellent. Unlike another report, the men's room presented no cleanliness concerns, and parking was tight in the mall lot but not a significant problem, at least that day.

          I should add that the SW menu is conservative, but the food is very good. Those pot stickers are among the best I've ever had (delicate dough and savory stuffing), and, suitably sauced, the Peking duck is as decadent as chocolate-covered bacon, although you may have to talk them out of bringing you buns if you love the pancakes as much as I do. Finally, a group of 8-12 would fit in easily, although you may not want to take that many people to Strickland's for turtle sundaes, afterward. Pity.