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Haven Gastropub OC Review

Beer selection: pretty awesome, very food friendly.

Cocktails: about half of the bartending staff knows how to make a cocktail, the other half wants to mix a liquor with soda.

Food: We ordered three dishes: herbed fries, margherita flatbread, and tarte tatin. Three dishes isn't really enough to make conclusive comments about the ability of the kitchen, but will have to do until I revisit.

Herbed fries: overcooked and bland. Overcooked is not a taste! chopped rosemary didn't help it. house-made ketchup with cinnamon was odd was not very good. I would have cooked it down more, made a smoother puree, and left out the cinnamon.

Margherita flatbread: fine. if i had to be picky, the dough could have been thinner and put in a hotter oven. otherwise fine, nothing special.

Tarte tatin: served with Maytag blue cheese ice cream. AMAZING! This was a hit, and probably one of the best restaurant desserts I've had in my life. Better than butterscotch budino at PM, possibly better than the caviar panna cotta at LudoBites. I'd rank it up there with Spago's desserts.

Staff was pretty friendly and atmosphere was dark with a gas fireplace going.

Haven Gastropub
190 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

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  1. The best thing there is the mac n cheese!

    Haven Gastropub
    190 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

    1. So mstinawu inspired me to revisit this.

      It's super busy these days, packed on the weekends.

      The burger is totally amazing. An 80/20 ground meat blend, with blue cheese, chopped roasted red peppers, pickled onions, arugula, and I think there is aioli spread on the bun. One of the best burgers I've had in my life, and a nice variation on the FO burger.

      They've fixed the pancake-y battering of the fried chicken, thank goodness.

      Fries are hit/miss. Sometimes overdone, sometimes limp, but sometimes crunchy with a nice fluffy interior.

      Overall, very nice, and I believe it to be one of the most happening places in OC right now.

      1. The sliders there are awesome.

        1. I loved it!!!
          Wonderful Mac and cheese. Get the beer flight...awesome!!!!
          The salads are fresh and interesting. Atmosphere is fun, casual, relaxed and attentive.
          Great prices, beautiful food.

          1. Is this a new place? Where was the chef before...or, where did he learn to cook? Sounds like a spot worth trying!

              1. Last time I went they told my (now) wife that they could not do any substitutions or special requests. She does not like oil or butter in her food, so she was out of luck in finding something on the menu short of a salad that she could eat. The also rotated the corned beef sliders off the menu a while ago, so my favorite was no longer there. If you are willing to go without any type of substitutions, then I would still recommend it, but we ended up walking out and going to Francoli that had just opened up on the Circle for a very nice Italian meal, and they were more that happy to cook to her liking.

                I am not sure if it an arrogance thing, like "how dare you change my food," or an expedience thing, where they have a small kitchen with a staff trained to just cook the dishes, and they don't trust them to go off the set path. Either way, it was really the first time I had ever had a waiter say flat out no changes. Even when I have dined at Michilen star restaurants, I am able to make small requests to fit my diet ot tastes. No oil or butter on the veggies should not be a huge issue.

                6 Replies
                1. re: ocshooter

                  Too bad! I was thinking of going to Haven, but this has changed my mind. Although obviously some special requests are reasonably denied because of extra work, unavailable ingredients, or because it will totally change a chef's concept...to totally refuse any special requests is either very stupid or arrogant...so much so that, I'm wondering if indeed there wasn't some misunderstanding. Why would any restaurant refuse to, for example, leave off a bacon crumble garnish from a bowl of soup for a customer who doesn't eat pork?

                  1. re: josephnl

                    I did not ask for any substitutions while there, but I think asking for "no oil or butter" would be hard in a restaurant that offers this type of food...how do you leave out oil or butter in mac and cheese, specialty french fries with their homemade sauce,etc.??? This is pub food -and I would think most dishes would be ruined if they attempted to make it more fat free friendly.

                    I would have a hard time believing that they wouldn't honor a simple request like "leave bacon off a soup", I think that is very different. If they refused a simple request that wouldn't ruin the dish- then they ARE being stupid. No excuses there.
                    However, no one there came across as arrogant about their food to me. One of the chef's in his whites, came to our table and served the stuffed squash blossoms to us personally ( no extra butter or oil with the squash blossoms). They were all very nice.

                    1. re: sedimental

                      It was not asking them to reinvent a dish, but it was a little more than leave the crumbles off the salad as well. If forgot the exact request, but it was probably along the line of "can you do the salmon without any oil or butter and steamed or grilled veggies on the side." I could understand if the waiter were to explain the reasoning behind the policy, or if he said that he would check on the salmon but the veggies are pre-made, or anything along those lines. It was just a flat "No" to the request.

                      I do like the place, I gave it a nice review on Yelp and have been a few times, so I don't want anyone to pass it just because they could not accommodate us. Assuming that you don't have strong dietary restrictions, then I am sure that you can find something to your liking on the menu. The beer is good and the selection diverse, they have a full bar, and they are open late, a real rarity in this part of OC. Real late night dining in North Central OC seems to be limited to Haven, Honda Ya, and a couple of places at Diamond Jubilee, with maybe BJ's at the Marketplace tossed in, depending on how you feel about BJ's.

                      1. re: ocshooter

                        A flat no, without checking with the chef seem pretty silly. Unless fish and veggies are pre-prepared, cooking fish with little or no fat, or steaming veggies should not present a problem for any customer oriented chef or cook.

                    2. re: ocshooter

                      Folks, we ask everyone to stay on the topic of their personal dining experiences at Haven.

                      We pruned some general discussion of why restaurants won't / can't / don't accommodate diners' special requests. That's a topic welcome on on our Not About Food board.

                      On this thread, please keep it on point about your own experiences at Haven, thanks.

                    3. Any recent experiences, thinking of going for lunch