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Dinner in Brea CA

f
funkycold Jun 28, 2010 04:07 PM

Fellow Chowhounders,

I am going to Brea tonight for a late meeting that will not include dinner! So I wondered if anyone had an suggestions on where to grab a good, healthy meal near the Brea mall. Since I am never in this part of Southern California, I would love something that I can only get in that neighborhood so I will pass on the CPK, Corner Bakery, etc.

Thanks!!

  1. e
    ElissaInPlaya Jun 28, 2010 04:23 PM

    I like the Cedar Creek Inn. They have a complete menu, and I think you could definitely find something healthy that you would enjoy there.

    http://www.cedarcreekinn.com/

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    Cedar Creek Inn
    500 Pointe Dr Bldg 20, Brea, CA 92821

    1. o
      OCSteve Jun 28, 2010 05:46 PM

      Taps Fish House is a great option with excellent seafood, including oysters, and steaks.

      Another healthy option would be Fitness Pizza & Grill is a good choice. They're located in the shopping center at the northwest corner of Imerial and Brea Blvd. (in the same center as Corner Bakery). They've got a variety of pizzas, pastas and sandwiches that are on the healthier side. I wouldn't call it fine dining, but it's good for what it is.

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      Taps Fish House & Brewery
      101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, CA 92821

      Fitness Grill
      103 W Imperial Hwy Ste A, Brea, CA 92821

      1. d
        degustateur Jun 28, 2010 07:00 PM

        I think I have the perfect place for you – Le Diplomate Café, located upstairs in the Brea Mall near Nordstrom. You can enter directly from the Nordstrom parking lot or from inside the mall.

        A fresh, healthy mix of Italian, American and French–Mediterranean. Superb pannini sandwiches, French onion soup, salads and pastas. Wonderful New Zealand rack of lamb, my favorite. Love their rice. Great service, nice ambience – you can dine inside, at the bar, on the mall terrace or outside on the patio adjacent to the parking lot.

        A hidden gem.

        Le Diplomate Café
        2112 Brea Mall Drive
        Brea, CA 92821
        714-256-0303

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        Le Diplomate Cafe
        2112 Brea Mall, Brea, CA 92821

        22 Replies
        1. re: degustateur
          s
          stuffed Jun 28, 2010 10:56 PM

          Good suggestions so far. I'd like to add the Olive Pit Grill www.olivepitgrill.com/ on Imperial Highway in Brea and Pane e Vino on Brea Blvd. in downtown Brea.

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          Pane E Vino
          240 S Brea Blvd, Brea, CA 92821

          1. re: stuffed
            d
            degustateur Jun 28, 2010 11:45 PM

            I’ve yet to visit the Olive Pit Grill but I can extend a hearty second for Pane e Vino. Never a disappointment in many years of visits. Love their veal chop and their linguine & clams with the baked pastry shell top. Very pleasant locale, vibe and service.

            1. re: stuffed
              OCAnn Jun 29, 2010 08:29 AM

              Pane e Vino has been closed for a couple months now....

              1. re: OCAnn
                s
                stuffed Jun 29, 2010 01:30 PM

                Oh that's too bad. I hadn't been over that way for a little while except to the farmer's market so I've only noticed some of the changes on Birch St. It's sad to lose one of the decent places in the area.

                1. re: stuffed
                  OCAnn Jun 29, 2010 03:46 PM

                  I'm not too happy with the direction Birch Street is taking; last year old reliable Market City Caffe closed and was replaced by utterly meh and overpriced ChaChaCha.

                  My dwindling go-tos in the area:
                  Yardhouse--Happy Hour only
                  Taps--Sunday Brunch
                  Melting Pot--longer, pricier dinners
                  JoJos Pizza Kitchen--delivery pizza

                  1. re: OCAnn
                    o
                    OCSteve Jun 29, 2010 04:06 PM

                    Ann,

                    You actually made it through a meal at ChaChaCha? We saw that they were charging for chips (really?) during a long wait for a server and walked out.

                    I haven't tried JoJo's, but will if you think it's worthwhile.

                    1. re: OCSteve
                      OCAnn Jun 29, 2010 04:22 PM

                      LOL @ ChaChaCha; yes, we tried to give it a fair shake. We won't be going back. It's a great location just waiting for a great restaurant to happen.

                      As for JoJo's I like their plain cheese pizza w/olive oil (and no red sauce), their stuffed artichoke and their big salads. Mr OCAnn likes their red sauce (I do not), their sausage roll, all their pizzas & pastas, so YMMV.

                    2. re: OCAnn
                      ocshooter Jun 29, 2010 04:11 PM

                      Too bad Market City closed. I liked the place, having worked as a bartender at the original in Pasadena back in the late 80s. Didn't really care for the owners, but the food was good and I loved the minty M&M type candies they gave out with the soup bowl size cappuccinos.

                      1. re: ocshooter
                        s
                        stuffed Jun 29, 2010 10:00 PM

                        I miss Market City Caffe as well. Of the Birch St places TAPS is really the only one now that I patronize. I haven't tried JoJo's since I'm already hard pressed to make it to my favorite pizza places (Mammalucco's for NY style and Tony's Little Italy for Chicago style).

                        1. re: stuffed
                          o
                          OCSteve Jun 30, 2010 09:38 AM

                          I'm with you on the pizza, Stuffed. My wife is from New Jersey, and Mammalucco's is her favorite in the area, and Tony's is a real treat for Chicago-style, though it's often a tough sell with my east coast bride.

                          Ann,
                          I will have to try JoJo's the next time we're too lazy to pick up Mammalucco's; we're always looking for a good rec. Thanks.

                          OCShooter,
                          I used to love the food at Market City, and I remember the first time I had one of their Bloody Marys at the Pasadena location in the early '90's. It was a revelation with the fresh horseradish.

                          1. re: OCSteve
                            ocshooter Jun 30, 2010 02:52 PM

                            Working Sunday brunch meant an endless line of Bloody Marys and Caps. The Bloody Marys were made to order from scratch, and the Caps all came out of the bar. Still, the money was good, and we got to order a dish for a meal during the shift. I think we had fresh OJ as well.

                          2. re: stuffed
                            r
                            reality check Nov 2, 2010 04:58 PM

                            I was happy to see Market City Caffe close. I always thought the food was very average and overpriced. So I was looking forward to anything opening. But then ChaChaCha, talk about average and overpriced!!

                            I saw Berkeley Dog opened on Birch St, maybe replacing Fat Burger. But I haven't had a chance to try their sausages or hot dogs.

                          3. re: ocshooter
                            r
                            running pig Nov 2, 2010 02:56 PM

                            Ditto re: the candy they gave with the cappucinos! I always order one at the Burbank location, regardless of the hour of day :-)

                      2. re: OCAnn
                        d
                        degustateur Jun 29, 2010 09:44 PM

                        AAGH! Two losses within a week. First, Mariscos Puerto Esperanza, now PeV. How many more can I take? (,_,)

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                        Mariscos Puerto Esperanza
                        1724 N Tustin St, Orange, CA 92865

                      3. re: stuffed
                        o
                        OCSteve Jun 29, 2010 10:04 AM

                        Big 2nd on the Olive Pit.

                        1. re: stuffed
                          l
                          ljeanne Jul 1, 2010 12:23 PM

                          Olive Pit Grill is a great choice for healthy, inexpensive, delicious food from an experienced chef who takes pride in his own restaurant. Definitely worth a stop!

                          -----
                          Olive Pit
                          834 E Lincoln Ave Ste B, Orange, CA 92865

                          1. re: ljeanne
                            j
                            js76wisco Nov 1, 2010 05:35 PM

                            The olive pit is great. I just moved to Brea and have eaten there about 6 times in a month. The food is fresh, I espeically love the gyro and spicy falafel.

                            Does anybody know of a nice place to take my wife for our 1st wedding anniversary which also happens to be her birthday? I live in Brea but willing to drive within 15 minutes or so. The best option based on reading the board seems to be La Bettola in Yorba Linda. We're looking for a nice romantic evening with quality food. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

                            -----
                            La Bettola
                            18504 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886

                            1. re: js76wisco
                              OCAnn Nov 1, 2010 07:24 PM

                              If you're willing to drive into YL, you might also consider The Wild Artichoke (www.thewildartichoke.com). They don't get a lot of press, but it's a dinner nicely done. It's quite small, and the chef-owner is quite hands-on, coming out to greet his diners to chat post-meal.

                              -----
                              The Wild Artichoke
                              4973 Yorba Ranch Rd Ste A, Yorba Linda, CA 92887

                              1. re: OCAnn
                                o
                                OCSteve Nov 2, 2010 10:06 AM

                                I don't think you can go wrong between the Wild Artichoke and La Bettola, though the ambiance at La Bettola is probably more romantic.

                                It's probably pushing it on drive time, but my wife and I just ate at Black Sheep Bistro in Tustin on Saturday. Their lamb dishes are phenomenal, and the service was top notch. The chef came out and made rounds a couple of times while we were there.

                                -----
                                Black Sheep Bistro
                                303 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780

                                La Bettola
                                18504 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886

                                The Wild Artichoke
                                4973 Yorba Ranch Rd Ste A, Yorba Linda, CA 92887

                                1. re: OCAnn
                                  j
                                  js76wisco Nov 2, 2010 02:27 PM

                                  Looks nice and a diverse menu. I think we'll probably go with La Bettola since it is more romantic but will definitely give Wild Artichoke a try soon.

                                  Anything you recommend?

                                  -----
                                  La Bettola
                                  18504 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886

                                  The Wild Artichoke
                                  4973 Yorba Ranch Rd Ste A, Yorba Linda, CA 92887

                                2. re: js76wisco
                                  j
                                  jaykayen Nov 2, 2010 01:35 PM

                                  La Bettola is nice. Portions are large, though, as I think the pesce and carni come with pasta.

                                  I like The Cellar, as well. The food is good, the decor and tuxedoed waiters make it feel a bit like Disneyland.

                                  -----
                                  La Bettola
                                  18504 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886

                                  1. re: jaykayen
                                    OCAnn Nov 2, 2010 07:21 PM

                                    I don't remember the La Bettola space being romantic; for some reason, I thought it fairly casual--but it's been a couple years and my memory is faulty. The food is quite special though; while they didn't have squid-ink pasta/risotto on the menu, they offered to make it with a couple days advance notice.

                                    As for TWA, I'd go with whatever happens to be the special that day. You can always chat with the chef and ask for his recommendation--it's that cozy there.

                                    I like The Cellar too; it's probably the most special/cozy/romantic restaurant in north OC. We haven't been since the new chef took helm a month or two ago--and it's one of the few places that men will wear jackets to dinner (though not necessary). If they still have it, the Grand Marnier souffle is better than their chocolate version.

                                    -----
                                    La Bettola
                                    18504 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886

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