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Anyplace new or interesting in OC?

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food4life Nov 10, 2010 09:28 PM

Looking for a nicer place for a birthday dinner in central OC. Any ideas? I am open to just about anything besides sushi. My favorites in town are: Pina's Bistro, Rumari, Sol Cocina, Kimera, Thai Bamboo, Panini Cafe. I'm open to any ideas. Thanks in advance.

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Kimera Restaurant
19530 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, CA 92612

Pina's Bistro
640 W 1st St, Tustin, CA 92780

Rumari Restaurant
1826 S. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Sol Cocina
251 East Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663

  1. ocshooter Nov 11, 2010 10:36 AM

    How about Black Sheep Bistro? It isn't new by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it gets overlooked.

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

    1. OCAnn Nov 11, 2010 06:49 PM

      I've gone to Old Vine Cafe & Charlie Palmer @ Bloomingdale's twice (each) for lunch this past month. While OVC offers a comfy, rustic, romantic feel, CP is upscalish; both offer a three-course lunch for $20...and both have burrata mozz dishes that I adore. Neither are new, however, they both do really nice dinners.

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      Old Vine Cafe
      2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

      1. o
        OCBites Nov 12, 2010 10:03 AM

        OVC is a teensy, but nice indie with a welcoming vibe... a few doors down is the new Ecco, which is getting positive buzz. Also nearby is Mesa-- a modern gastropub (though cocktails and wine feature big in the picture); it gets pretty club-like after 10 or so. The roof opens if the weather allows.

        In Old Town Orange, Gabbi's Kitchen is nice for accomplished Mexican fare and a vast range of tequilas. Locals love Haven, an above average gastropub, but it's very noisy when full (which is often). Black Sheep in Tustin is good and not loud-- it's in escrow-- so get there before year's end if you want to try them.

        Near SCPlaza, Charlie Palmer is excellent and there's also the new Seasons 52 for casual woodfired fare and a nightly piano bar. Some folks really like sexy AnQi for stylish and pricey Viet-fusion food and drinks-- but I think Nello (in the same building) is underrated for quite-good Italian (they have a nice patio too).

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