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Need a recc for Anaheim Area (or surrounding) dinner/drinks

I just relocated from NYC to Long Beach and do not yet know the best places to go for food/drinks. I have a friend coming into Anaheim on business and we are meeting next week for dinner. Last time, I thought I found an excellent Indian place based on Yelp reviews, but it was empty and in a shopping center. The food was great, but we are looking for a scene as well...
So here is what I need:
- Excellent Food (we aren't picky. We try almost everything. Mexican, Sushi, American, Ethnic, Asian, Indian, etc.)
- Trendy/Upscale Scene
- Early 30s crowd
- I'm coming from LB (live & work) to pick her up in Anaheim. I'll leave her at the hotel and return home so I don't want to drive ridiculous amounts, but am willing to venture/drive a little!
Thanks in advance for the tips!

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  1. Haven Gastropub. Drinks will definitely be beer focused. There is a full bar, but I wouldn't expect anything too amazing.

    Get the burger.

    1. K'ya on Harbor Blvd and Ball Rd in the Hotel Menage.

      Park Ave. Dining on Beach Blvd. near Katella (perhaps not so trendy, but trendy is few and far between around here).

      Citrus City Grille in old town Orange (again, perhaps not trendy, but good, nice decor, and you can wander down to Cafe Lucca for some excellent gelato afterwards).

      Gabbi's in Old Town Orange if you want upscale Mexican.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Thanks! I appreciate the tips! I kind of suspected about the "trendy = few and far between" but was hoping!

      2. Two places for ambiance, more than food, would be the Block at Orange and Downtown Disney. You'd have a selection of food (and shops) at both, but Anaheim isn't synonymous with "trendy/upscale". And with our weather (compared with the rest of the US presently), it'd be nice to spend it outdoors at either of those venues.

        Two other options off the 57 and Katella are King's Fish House (for seafood, east of the Honda Center) and JT Schmid's (brewpub across from the Honda Center).

        2 Replies
        1. re: OCAnn

          I can't really recommend the Block for ambiance anymore... it's just sort of depressing, turned into an outlet mall with a few restaurants in it.

        2. If you are looking for a Trendy/Upscale Scene with an Early 30s crowd, you have a lot more options if you are willing to drive to the Newport/Costa Mesa/Irvine area. Depending on traffic, it's only 15 minutes or so away from Anaheim. The food is not necessarily better, but probably more what you are looking for in terms of crowd and scene. Most of these places fit your requests, not excellent food, but good usually.
          Mexican - Sol Cucina in Newport Beach (haven't been here, so can't vouch for the food); Taleo in Irvine
          Cuban - Habana in Costa Mesa
          Southern - Memphis in Costa Mesa
          American - Mesa in Costa Mesa (haven't been here, so can't vouch for the food, but very trendy from what I've heard); Mastro's Steakhouse (CM) and Mastro's Ocean Club, (Newport Coast)
          Sushi - Bluefin in Newport Coast

          1. Thanks for all the tips!We went to Gabbi's in Old Orange. Best Margarita ever (and I'm originally from Texas!) It was almost too sweet when you first taste it, then the tequila immediately mellows it out for a smooth finish. we ended up going for 2 each then sat and talked for a long time! Food was good, nothing outstanding, but solid good and we enjoyed it very much. We ended up being very early in comparison to our reservation so just ended up at the bar. I had the enchiladas de camerones and my friend had a steak burrito of some sort. it was massive and she said just spicy enough. loved the ambience and style. would love to go back when I am in the area.

            -----
            Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen
            141 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

            1. If you're ever back in Central OC....the Artist Village area in downtown Santa Ana. I really like the vibe at Lola Gaspar (bacon wrapped dates, duck confit french fries), there's also Memphis, the Crosby, and Gypsy Den for open mic night on Thursdays. This scene is more hipster, but hipster is also quite trendy...

              1 Reply
              1. re: groover808

                NOTED! She comes back this way alot so we'll check those out!