Clueless in Irvine
We're driving down from Long Beach meeting folks driving up from San Diego and looking for a weeknight place in Irvine for dinner that has tables big enough for six. We like almost everything except sushi. We know where to eat in LB, but we don't get to Irvine often.
How about some udon/soba at Fukada right off the 405 and Irvine Center Drive? They have sushi, but I don't usually go there for that anyway. Go for their dinner combo of seafood salad/don or udon or soba/don. I'd avoid Tokyo Table (trendy uber Japanese fusion) at Diamond Jamboree (Alton and Jamboree). If you want to spend more you could go to Houston's or Agora Churrascaria for brazilian bbq (never been). For some good hole in the wallish Persian, Naan and Kebab in Tustin is delicious and probably still 1/2 way but off the 5 instead.
How about Houston's ? There is one in Irvine, it's nice, right off the 405 at Jamboree and Michelson and there is always something for everyone.
Further south on Jamboree off of the 405, there is also a Daily Grill.
If you think the group would enjoy some asian food, there is a new plaza called Diamond Jamboree (just about 1/2 mile north of the 405 on Jamboree), that has lots of interesting choices (might be crowded though, so make reservations ahead of time if you see something that interests you here):