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Special Occasion Dinner in Orange or Tustin or surrounding area.

profberta Apr 19, 2009 02:24 PM

I need to find a restaurant that 10 people can go to on graduation night. We want it to be a fun place with excellent food and drink, but we also want to be able to have conversations. Last year, we went to Wilhelm's in the Tustin Marketplace which has now closed. The year before, we went to Opah's but it gets to loud in there. Any suggestions?

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  1. Das Ubergeek RE: profberta Apr 19, 2009 02:44 PM

    The Hobbit; Da Bianca; Black Sheep Bistro.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek
      cdmedici RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 19, 2009 08:46 PM

      I haven't been to the Hobbit in quite a while, but it was very memorable because for a large party you can have dinner in the wine cellar. I was a great experience.

      1. re: cdmedici
        profberta RE: cdmedici Apr 21, 2009 12:06 PM

        The Hobbit sounds interesting but I couldn't find a hint of the pricing on their website. Do you remember? Anyone else have any other suggestions?

        1. re: profberta
          Das Ubergeek RE: profberta Apr 21, 2009 01:27 PM

          Buried at the bottom of the page (seriously, took me time to find it) on http://www.hobbitrestaurant.com/page....:

          "One seating nightly, prix-fixe menu: $74.00 per person (plus tax, tip and beverage) Dress code: Elegant casual; jackets recommended for men; ties optional. Please no denim or tennis shoes."

          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            kevin RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 21, 2009 02:43 PM

            das, what was the name of that mariscos joint on tustin again? I'll actually be in the area in a couple, and was it in the same mini-mall as polka deli?


            1. re: kevin
              OCAnn RE: kevin Apr 21, 2009 03:17 PM

              Mariscos Puerto Esperanza. It's on Tustin @ Meats.

              1. re: OCAnn
                Professor Salt RE: OCAnn Apr 21, 2009 04:10 PM

                While I like the food at MPE, the decor's a little too Mexican beach shack casual for a "special occasion." They also don't have a liquor license, so beer & wine only.

                If you want Mexican, I'll add another vote for Gabbi's.

                A few doors down from Opah is Wasa. They specialize in fusion sushi (creative sauces with otherwise traditional nigiri sushi, as opposed to gringo iterations on California rolls). However, it can get loud like Opah does.

                Maybe Tropika in Tustin? It's Malaysian - Chinese - Thai. Excellent food, white linen tablecloth type of place. There's two separate rooms, so you might be able to ask if you can get an area apart from other diners?

                Tropika Restaurant
                17460 E 17th St, Tustin, CA

                1. re: Professor Salt
                  kevin RE: Professor Salt Apr 21, 2009 05:00 PM

                  Wasa is pretty darn good, especially the Treasures, such as seared toro with jalapeno and ponzu, sourcream wasabi and flying fish roe laced hamachi, etc. it's good stuff, fusiony, but if you sit in james (the owner's section) he'll serve you up some great traditonal sushi such as crab innards. you just have to make it known that you're not the average garden variety huntington beach bum who's there to scarf down spicey tuna philadelphia cheesesteaks rolls and sake bombs.

                2. re: OCAnn
                  Das Ubergeek RE: OCAnn Apr 21, 2009 04:31 PM

                  Small correction (because it's hard enough to find): it's on Tustin @ Taft, in the same plaza as a gas station, a scuba shop, a sushi-ya and Polka Delicatessen.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                    kevin RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 21, 2009 05:00 PM

                    cool. thanks for the heads up.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                      OCAnn RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 22, 2009 08:31 AM

                      Yes on Tustin @ Taft.

                      I went back again last week and ordered the langostinos zarandeados . They were 5 for $15 on the day I went; maybe they ran out of the sixth or it's the effects of the economy? In any case, they were good. The greatest pull for me here is their pescado zarandeado...and their salsa!

                      1. re: OCAnn
                        kevin RE: OCAnn Apr 23, 2009 03:41 PM

                        What is a langostino exaxtly is it just basically a cross between or hybrid of a shrimp and lobster? and is there an english translation for langostino?


                        1. re: kevin
                          JAB RE: kevin Apr 23, 2009 05:12 PM

                          Probably, jumbo prawn.

                          1. re: kevin
                            Das Ubergeek RE: kevin Apr 24, 2009 10:28 AM

                            I normally see it in English as "Baja lobster" (fine) or "spiny lobster" (not even close). They're unrelated to true lobsters like langoustines and Maine lobsters -- they're actually closer to crabs.

                      2. re: OCAnn
                        mikester RE: OCAnn Apr 23, 2009 11:40 AM

                        Great place !

            2. w
              Warmsandz RE: profberta Apr 21, 2009 01:04 PM

              Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen on Glassel in Old Town Orange . . . .Amazing!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Warmsandz
                josephnl RE: Warmsandz Apr 21, 2009 02:29 PM

                Would certainly second Das Ubergeek's recommendation of The Hobbit. There is probably no more special, special occasion restaurant in OC. It is not cheap, but is actually a pretty good value when you consider that you will get everything from a champagne reception with terrific hors d'oeuvres through dessert. It's a terrific spot.

                Although I love Da Bianca for what it is...a very casual Italian restaurant (very, very different from The Hobbit), they do not serve cocktails. So, if by drinks you mean cocktails, this would not fill the bill.

                Although I do enjoy Gabbi's, it can get quite noisy, so I guess I wouldn't recommend it.

                If you want something less expensive than The Hobbit, and would consider driving a bit further to Brea, Taps Fishhouse is really very nice, and is usually not too loud.

                The Hobbit is by far the most special of these places. You will have a memorable evening there. If you want to go there, you would be well advised to reserve early.

              2. Steven_M_Johnson RE: profberta Apr 21, 2009 03:15 PM

                I think Zov's would be a great place to visit in Tustin as well. I haven't been to The Hobbit, but I know Zov's is less expensive. My wife and I went there for a special occasion and had an amazing rack of lamb dish.

                You can check out their menu at their web site:

                Good luck!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Steven_M_Johnson
                  josephnl RE: Steven_M_Johnson Apr 21, 2009 03:53 PM

                  Although Zov's was wonderful years ago, I have recently had two very mediocre meals there and would personally not recommend it for a special occasion. The cafe is fine for a casual breakfast or lunch, or perhaps a coffee and dessert...but I'm not real keen on the restaurant. Any other opinions?

                2. e
                  ElissaInPlaya RE: profberta Apr 21, 2009 04:15 PM

                  Citrus City Grille in Old Town Orange is lovely.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ElissaInPlaya
                    Das Ubergeek RE: ElissaInPlaya Apr 21, 2009 04:32 PM

                    I'll second this, though I'm not sure if they have a full bar (I think they do).

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                      I got nothin RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 21, 2009 04:54 PM

                      Yes, they do have a full bar at Citrus City Grille. I recall various shots being passed around at a wedding rehearsal dinner I attended there.

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