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Feb 19, 2011 11:07 PM

Recommendations for Orange County Restaurant Week 2011 ?

Friends, what are the best choices for Orange County Restaurant Week ? During the previous years, I have tried French 75, the Palm Terrace, Tradition by Pascal, and 320 Main. Really enjoyed 320 Main, especially the creme brulee. French 75 also is a very good choice.

Here is the list of participating restaurants in


Tradition by Pascal
1000 Bristol St N, Newport Beach, CA 92660

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  1. I really hope a few people reply to you quickly because I'd like to know, too.

    So, it sounds like you would recommend both 320 Main and French 75, but maybe 320 Main a little more? (I've only been to 320 Main for drinks and appetizers--they have a great happy hour.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: bohemiana

      Postings on LA Restaurants probably get more responses. There are many good choices in OC Restaurant Week such as Tradition by Pascal, Palm Terrace, TAPs. I like 320 Main because of its creme brulee, it is very special, not liquidy and was different. I think it has liquor in it. And the mixed drinks were exceptional. TAPs is a very good choice too, I strongly recommend TAPs in Fullerton. Enjoy !

      Tradition by Pascal
      1000 Bristol St N, Newport Beach, CA 92660

    2. The place that get pretty consistent thumbs up here and/or the places I like are:
      230 Forest - excellent in Laguna, same family as Opah and Watermarc
      Catal - a friend's favorite
      House of Big Fish - good reviews here
      K'ya - good reviews here
      Nirvana - I was not too impressed with my visit, but it gets good marks here and a friend really likes the place
      Opah - Good middle of the road choice for a nice night out
      Sage - Good reviews here
      Sundried Tomato Cafe - a nice casual place in Laguna. Not fantastic, but I like it.
      The Crow Bar - excellent gasto pub
      Zov's - I prefer the more casual side, especially for brunch or lunch. Fantastic pastries.

      Sundried Tomato Cafe
      31781 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

      448 S Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

      5 Replies
      1. re: ocshooter

        Anybody tried Marrakesh in Costa Mesa?

        It might serve the most food at $20 for 3 courses and dessert and mint tea but that's meaningless if the food isn't any good.

        1. re: hobbess

          I have not been for this event, but I have been in the past. It is OK. They serve a lot of food with the regular meal. I usually find that 2 meals for 3 people is about right, 3 for 4, etc. The regular meals are family style, so you can pay for the starters and desserts for an extra person and share the entrees.

          It is really about sitting on the floor, eating with your hands, and having the belly dancers come by. Fun for a group, probably romantic with the right partner. I would not rave about the food, but I have not had a lot of quality Moroccan to compare against it, and I didn't dislike anything I have had there..

          1. re: hobbess

            I thought the food was fine for the price when I went last year, but the portions laughably small.

            Ooops, I'm responding to a year old post.

            1. re: jaykayen

              Agree, the portions are laughable. Therefore, the prices are too high for the portions. Food are good but their "3 courses dinner" equals an entree plus one bite of appertizer and a cookie. Too bad the food is good, I would come again if the price is less. Services are good.

              1. re: collegedad35

                Hey, it is not fine dining, but I have had fun there. It has been a while, but I would not consider the portions small.

        2. We visited 2 restaurants this week, Memphis at Santora for lunch and Anaheim White House for dinner. Our lunch at Memphis was very good. DH had the shrimp tacos as well as the gumbo and bread pudding. He said the gumbo was spicy, shrimp were cooked perfect and the bread pudding good. I had the pulled pork sandwich, salad and French fries and had a glass of wine instead of dessert. The pulled pork was a bit dry but the salad was very good. Fries could have been warmer.

          AWH was lovely with outstanding service. We all were very impressed with the presentation of the dishes. DH had the carbonara which he rated outstanding while the rest of us had the short ribs. The sauce with the ribs was delicious and went well with the mashed potatoes. Salad was good but the dessert left something to be desired. It was a white chocolate mousse thing over a sponge cake and was just kind of a nothing flavor.

          Anaheim White House
          887 South Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805

          3 Replies
          1. re: HBGigi

            I am stuck on jury duty and Memphis is an easy walk, so I was there for lunch as well this week. $15 for 3 courses, a beet and goat cheese salad, an Angus Burger and bread pudding. All were very good. I was a little unhappy that they charged extra for sweet potato fries, especially since it was a small portion, but overall it was friendly, not crowded, and the food was well done.

            1. re: HBGigi

              I would have chosen Anaheim White House, but their restaurant week special was for weekdays only.

              Is it just me, or was anybody kind of underwhelmed by the options or menus for OC restaurant week?

              Anaheim White House
              887 South Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805

              1. re: hobbess

                Some of the deals are spectacularly bad. Really, Catal's is the worst ever. An appetizer of pan con tomate, followed by mussels or arroz con pato, and a small dessert, $40? Here's a ladder; get over yourselves.

                (I just noticed this was last year's post, but my point still stands, and it's why I don't like restaurant weeks very much.)

            2. OC Restaurant week is coming up week after next. Is the list of favorites here still valid? Trying to find locations to partake in some yumminess.

              11 Replies
              1. re: attran99

                My taste buds still have not recovered from radiation, so I get no solids for another few months, but here would be the places I would consider:

                230 Forest
                Cafe TuTu Tango
                Charlie Palmer
                House of Big Fish
                Pizzeria Ortica
                Tabu Grill
                Crow Bar
                True food


                230 Forest Avenue Restaurant
                230 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

                Crow Bar & Kitchen
                2325 E Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

                Pizzeria Ortica
                650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar
                1580 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA 92803

                Tabu Grill
                2892 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

                Memphis At the Santora
                201 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701

                Charlie Palmer At Bloomingdale
                3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                Cafe Tu Tu Tango - Orange
                20 City Blvd West, Orange, CA 92868

                K'ya Bistro - Laguna Beach
                1287 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

                3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                1. re: attran99

                  I will probably do TAPS, solid food and their Restaurant Week menu isn't a rehash of their usual stuff, looks very interesting...

                  1. re: groover808

                    I was at TAPS last year. They were so crowded during the restaurant week that I think the quality of the food went down. That is the down side of restaurant week.

                    1. re: collegedad35

                      Another thing to look out for in restaurant week is when the restaurant charges you the same prices as they if you dined with them during non-restaurant week.

                      For example, Charlie Palmer's restaurant week lunch price is essentially the same as their prix fixe non-restaurant lunch special for the same number of dishes. But, if you go during restaurant week, you're going have to deal with lines and crowds.

                      1. re: hobbess

                        The lunch deal saves you 12 cents during restaurant week. Go with a party of 20 and one of you eats for free vs. the regular price.

                        OK, so you are not saving any money, but the lunch deal is excellent there regardless, and unless they tossed in the $9 glass of wine, it would be tough to make it much cheaper.

                        But dinner is a good deal. A 3 course pre-theater meal, only available until 6:30, is normally $55, while the restaurant week 3 course meal is only $30 at dinner.

                        1. re: ocshooter

                          Thank for the information. I never been to Charlie Palmer, is it a good choice ?

                          1. re: collegedad35

                            I have been for lunch once, and was impressed with both the food and the value in the lunch special. If I could eat, I would definitely try it out for dinner; the options of the root salad, short ribs and Mexican bread pudding is calling my name.

                            Alas, due to treatment for cancer (I expect to be 100% cured, but treatment still sucked), I have had my taste buds and saliva glands cooked off with radiation and will not be eating anything by mouth for at least a month, and probably another 4 to 5 months before I could eat and enjoy a meal like this. They participate every year, so I will be there next year for dinner during restaurant week. And I can always splurge for a $20.12 lunch any week when I like the menu choices (they change weekly and are posted on the web site).

                            1. re: collegedad35

                              If you're going for lunch, it seems Marche Moderne is a more popular choice than Charlie Palmer. They're both charging $20 for weekday lunch for prix fixe 3 course lunch, although Marche Moderne will charge more for weekends.

                              But, Marche Moderne's prix fixe menu lunch changes every day and they don't post their menu on-line.

                              1. re: hobbess

                                Charlie Palmer's portions are much larger than Marche Moderne, if that matters to you. We just had lunch at MM and noticed thieir prixe fixe portions has gotten much smaller, specially their salad course.

                                1. re: mrsjoujou

                                  For Charlie Palmer's, how much of a difference is there in portion sizes between their lunches and dinners?

                                  For restaurant week, lunch is $20 for 3 courses and dinner is $30 for 3 courses. And, for the 3rd course, dessert, lunch and dinner courses are offering the same desserts. So, would the desserts for dinner be larger or the same size as their lunch desserts?

                                  1. re: hobbess

                                    The restaurant week Charlie Palmer's menu is diferent from the regular prix-fixed menu, it seems to offer better choices, flat iron steak, than the regular menu. Hobbess, look at their regular menu, the RW offer is a good deal comparing to their regular price, Anyway, OCRegister has an article on 2012 OC Restaurant Week:


                                    My choices are Anaheim White House (L,D), Memphis of the Santora (L,D), Charlie Palmer (D) and Kya's (D).

                  2. I think this year I'm going to Summit House for lunch. $20 prime rib lunch, 3 courses. Dessert is admittedly weak.