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Feb 18, 2010 09:24 PM

Lunch spots near John Wayne?

I would appreciate any recommendations for lunch spots near John Wayne airport (with a 3 mile radius). We don't have that much time and are tapped out of places - struggling to find something that is not part of a major chain. Thanks so much for your recommendations!

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  1. Both of the following are extremely reliable and two miles from JWA.

    Full sit-down lunch in the classic French tradition.

    Tradition by Pascal
    1000 N Bristol St
    Newport Beach, CA 92660
    (949) 263-9400

    French bistro/deli next door to Tradition. Superb for a quick lunch or take out.

    Pascal Epicerie
    1000 N Bristol St
    Newport Beach, CA 92660
    (949) 263-9400

    Bon Appetit!

    1 Reply
    1. re: degustateur

      Thanks degustateur. It has been years since I have been to Pascal so I appreciate the re-intro, as I just seem to go to the same restaurants over and over again. I've never been to the bistro/deli though and that is definitely on my list of places to go now too!

    2. Lots of choices within that radius. It would encompass South Coast Plaza, The Lab, The Camp, the restaurants in Diamond Jubilee and near UCI, as well. Heck, even the District is just within that range. Any particular price range or cuisine?

      7 Replies
      1. re: New Trial

        Great question - I should have started off with that. Upscale is okay but not the atmosphere we are looking for. A mom and pop little restaurant, serving African, Asian, or Latin American food and is not too expensive - under $20 per person - would be great. Thanks!

        1. re: chau

          If you are open to Indian, Chakra near UCI has a good lunch buffet and, closer to the airport (but not as good), there is Saagar. Yi-Dynasty has ok Korean, though hardly up to Koreatown level. My High School age Nephew loves the pan-Asian buffet at Hokkaido but I think that has more to do with quick, cheap and all-you-can-eat than quality.

        2. re: New Trial

          To expand on some of the options mentioned by New Trial, the Camp has Old VIne Cafe and the newly opened Valhalla Table. Within a block of the Camp is Mentatsu Noodle House, and the Mitsuwa Marketplace, which houses the oft-mentioned Santouka Ramen and other Asian options in their food court. The Sky Express stall does a very good chicken chow mein and beef chow fun for only $6 each.

          Diamond Jamboree has numerous options. Capital Seafood for dim sum, Ajisen for ramen, Tokyo Table for Japanese, Original Buffalo Wings, BCD Tofu House, 85 degree Bakery, Crepes de Paris.

          One of my favorite food courts is on Main St, just north of Jamboree, that houses Chicago's Best, which does great Italian beef sandwiches and fantastic fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs. Another food court on Michelson, opposite the John Wayne airport, has Chippy Fish House, some of the best fish & chips around, and Franco's Pasta, which has a fantastic linguine & clams for only $8.

          Inka Grill is on Bristol just north of the airport for Peruvian. May Garden is across the street for decent Chinese food. Onotria is just up the street for some northern Italian.

          Near the golf course, Sandwich World and Sushi Imari in the strip mall. Kitiyama's is down Bristol near the Fletcher Jones dealership. Kimera is next to the Google building, and Bistango is off Von Karman.

          There are several options in the area. I have enough choices nearby that I can visit places only once a month before I have to repeat.

          1. re: Wonginator

            Is Franco's still there? I thought I read somewhere that he left the food court.

            1. re: I got nothin

              The food stall is still there, with Franco's name on it. There is a lady chef who does most of the cooking now, but I did see Franco there on one day recently overlooking things. He doesn't cook there anymore, but seems to still own the place.

              The lady chef is very good, as there appears to be no drop off in food quality.

              1. re: Wonginator

                Cool, thanks. I'll have to hit it up next time I'm in need of a pasta fix at lunch. Is the lady chef willing to give out extra pieces of bread?

                1. re: I got nothin

                  I've never asked for extra bread, so I don't know. If not free, there might be a minimal charge for it.

        3. Greek Island Grille. It's about 5 minutes away on the corner of Bristol and Sunflower (across from South Coast Plaza. I eat there for dinner twice a month. IMO it's by far the best Greek food in SoCal and it's very inexpensive.

          1 Reply
          1. Thanks so much folks. I've been in a rut and wanted to check out some new options. BTDT with Mitsuwa, Inka Grill, May Garden, several places on DJ (85, BCD, Capital, etc.), and The Lab and South Coast, but I've never been to The Camp. I enjoy ramen but wasn't sure about Ajisen, so I'm glad to know someone has tried it and liked it. And, thanks for the lead on the fish and chips. Yum! I know exactly where it is but we used to always end up stopping at Franco's instead. Greek Island Grille sounds great too. THANK YOU ALL!

            1. This was a very helpful thread, I am picking up my friend next week from the airport. Had no idea where to eat and catch up. I think we'll try the Greek place, thier menu looks good.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JEN10

                make sure to have the meletzanosalata and hummus appetizer platter - their meletzanosalata (eggplant salad) is the best I've had anywhere outside of Greece.