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ISO outdoor dining in OC

HB_Jeff Jul 15, 2009 10:51 AM


The amazing weather lately has led me to think about outdoor dining.

So I am looking for suggestions regarding nice outdoor dining options in Orange County.

Any type of food.

Wine offerings would be a plus.

North Orange County is preferred but all of OC is welcome.

I'm looking for somewhere that has good food and a nice place to sit outside while dining and enjoying our amazing weather.

Thanks in advance everyone....


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  1. s
    schrutefarms RE: HB_Jeff Jul 15, 2009 11:42 AM

    I'm a big fan of Habana, in the Lab (the anti-mall) on Bristol. Great Cuban food, full bar w/ homeade sangria, large patio, good people watching.

    1. m
      mollygirl RE: HB_Jeff Jul 15, 2009 12:10 PM

      5 Crowns in Corona del Mar. Sit in the garden. Excellent Lawry restaurant with great food and spot on service. Really awesome for Sunday Champagne brunch.

      1. Kitchen Queen RE: HB_Jeff Jul 15, 2009 12:25 PM

        How about LUCCA in Irvine on Quail Hill Pky. www.luccacafe.net
        Here's a thread I posted back in May

        1. i
          I got nothin RE: HB_Jeff Jul 15, 2009 12:43 PM

          The patio at Marche Moderne, you almost forget you are at the mall.

          1 Reply
          1. re: I got nothin
            lawdog262 RE: I got nothin Jul 16, 2009 08:05 AM

            Concur. I think MM's patio is the best outdoor dining in OC, particularly the cabanas which offer a bit of privacy.

          2. OCEllen RE: HB_Jeff Jul 15, 2009 01:11 PM

            For casual-ish seafood King's Fish House on Katella and Main.

            1. groover808 RE: HB_Jeff Jul 15, 2009 03:46 PM

              Taps in Brea has an outdoor patio. Not quite OC, but close enough is Belmont Shore in Long Beach where places like La Creperie and Open Sesame have little patios, nice for people watching. For super casual, Veggie Grill (both locations) have outdoor seating.

              1 Reply
              1. re: groover808
                OCAnn RE: groover808 Jul 16, 2009 09:23 AM

                I also like Taps outdoor seating area (Thursdays they have live music). If you're in the mood for beer, there's Yardhouse in Brea (on Brea Blvd), JT Schmid's in Anaheim (on Katella) and Heroes in Fullerton (on Santa Fe).

              2. t
                torta basilica RE: HB_Jeff Jul 16, 2009 10:36 AM

                In a mall, but great people-watching - Francoli at Fashion Island. Also Bloomingdale's Cafe - 57th?. Sapphire in Laguna. Bluewater Grill - Newport. Sage - Newport. Ruby's on Balboa Pier (look out for seagulls!) Gulfstream & Bungalow - CdM. Sorry, all Newport/Laguna centric. Triple concur on MM's patio 'booths.'

                4 Replies
                1. re: torta basilica
                  cdmedici RE: torta basilica Jul 16, 2009 10:56 AM

                  Check first that Francoli is still open. They lost their lease and are moving to Old Town Orange.

                  1. re: cdmedici
                    torta basilica RE: cdmedici Jul 17, 2009 01:57 PM

                    Oh No!!! I love that place for a quick bite at the bar & pretty good prices on Italian wine and their 'nibblies' at Happy Hour and their nice bartenders and... you just ruined my day. Thanks for the heads up, though - would be worse to go there looking forward to a burrata salad and Milano Panini and find them gone. I am really sad - not as sad as when Bob Burns went out, but pretty darn sad.

                    1. re: torta basilica
                      cdmedici RE: torta basilica Jul 17, 2009 08:16 PM

                      Have you tried Canaletto in Fashion Island yet?

                      1. re: cdmedici
                        torta basilica RE: cdmedici Jul 17, 2009 10:47 PM

                        Yes - unfortunately my husband had the calamari fritti, which I think is the only bad thing on their menu and it was really really bad. He's not good at giving places a second chance & it just seems a bit more upscale, not as casual as Francoli felt. And no Milano Panini... Although, now that Francoli is gone or about to be gone, maybe we'll be forced to try it again - hopefully with better results!

                2. j
                  Joani Macaroni RE: HB_Jeff Jul 16, 2009 09:14 PM

                  Shenandoah at the Arbors in Los Alamitos has a lovely outdoor area with umbrellas for day, along with a lovely pond. They also have indoor seating, though even with reservations you're not guaranteed outdoor seating, but it's worth a try. This is gracious "southern style" hospitality, right down to the warm apple fritters or hot rolls doled out now and then. Good food, nice serving size, lovely atmosphere, wine available. Prices are reasonable for the good food and gracious service. Parking in front, or in the back lot.

                  Shenandoah At the Arbor
                  10631 Los Alamitos Blvd, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

                  1. kc girl RE: HB_Jeff Jul 17, 2009 03:53 PM

                    Not far from North Orange County is Seal Beach. Just off the I-405 is Spaghetini's. Excellent food, and covered outdoor patio (which is technically part of the bar area, but we eat there) http://www.spaghettini.com/

                    If you want to go as far as Laguna Beach, there is The Cliff Restaurant (best view along the coast of So. Cal.) http://www.theclifflagunabeach.com/
                    and nice places along Forest Avenue:
                    Sundried Tomato Cafe (casual) www.thesundriedtomatocafe.com
                    The Lumberyard Restaurant (semi-casual) http://www.lblumberyard.com/

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