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Jan 10, 2006 08:30 PM

Best OC Birthday Restaurant

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Hi everyone,

Looking for a nice Birthday restaurant for my brother-in-law. Going to be 6 of us on a Sunday, and would like to have some good food. Been reading a lot about Park Ave, so that is definitely one of the choices, but what else would you recommend?? Anything in old town Orange County? No Japanese or Steak, but anything else is welcome. =) No price range either, but not outrageous.

Is Maestro's in OC (saw this on the Ultimate List) the same as the one in BH? I tried searching but didn't find anything.

I did looked through the Ultimate List for OC, but from the list, I can't tell what types of restaurants they are. So if you could please help, our tummies will greatly appreciate it!


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  1. Yes, Mastros is the same as the one in BH. They have fish and steak, but the price is probably outrageous and hence excluded from your picks.

    As you mentioned, a lot of good things have been said about Park Avenue and that is a good choice, except for the fact that it is in stanston (no offense).

    Zovs Bistro is Tustin is my new infatuation. Its Armenian/Mediteranean food. Lots of great fish and meat options. Lamb is their speciality but everything is good. Great ambiance and service as well. Most entrees $20's. Finished in the top 2 or 3 on the ultimate list if I recall correctly.

    You could always do dinner at the Montage but again that may be too expensive for what you are going for.

    Pinot Provence in the Westin by South Coast Plaza does French food very well. Also across the street is Chat Noir which does french bistro and is one of my favorite restaurants. Cool, dark, funky vibe to the place. The fries are out of this world and every dish I have had there rocked. Chat Noir is probably a couple dollars cheaper than Pinot Provence but both are in the low $20 for entree (of course some dishes are higher).

    Here are some links to the places I mentioned.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Mealcentric

      I was going to suggest both Zov's and Chat Noir as well, in addition to Park Avenue (but it's quite a schlep if you are in South OC).

      Also, French 75 Brasserie in Irvine was quite good. That's where I celebrated my birthday last year!


    2. Roy's has a great tasting menu--only $35, and they have a darn good pineapple martini. The decor is elegant and the service is excellent.

      Park Ave is one of my favorites--more Americana cuisine with a really nice "retro" decor. The prices are reasonable and the food is very good.

      1. Several good suggestions by the others. I just recently visited Roy's Hawaiian for the first time, and it was excellent. The braised short ribs and butterfish combo I got was superb.

        Of the David Wilhelm restaurants, I've only been to French 75 Brasserie so far. Had my company's X-mas party there, and everybody seemed happy with the choice. The proscuitto-wrapped scallops were so divine that I wished I ordered two plates of it. :-) Haven't been to Chat Noir, Rouge, French 75 in Laguna, or Sorrento Grill, but there seems to be some overlap in the menus, along with certain items specific to each restaurant. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the Wilhelm restaurants.

        Zov's Bistro is another excellent choice.

        Svelte in Corona del Mar has been mentioned a few times to be quite excellent, but I haven't been there myself yet.


        1. Cheesecake Factory at Irvine Spectrum is always my favorite.

          I've been to Bistango in Irvine for a few times. I am very satify with the food each time I was there. If you decided to go there, make sure you order their souffle. It's very good. But remember to place the order early since it takes about 30 minutes to make.

          I saw a lot of good reviews about Zovs in Tustin. That's definitely a good choice also.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pigcat

            Well, it's time for another birthday in OC. This time, for the husby, and we're deciding between the following.

            Any recommendations and opinions would be greatly appreciated. =)

            Bluefin (read elmomonster's review)
            Pinot Provence
            Napa Rose

            no budget this time, just great food for 5 adults, a nice quiet setting would be preferable.


          2. Did my last birthday at Shenandoah at the Arbor in Los Alamitos. Had a fabulous French Onion soup (my brother is more of an expert on French Onion soups, and he claimed it was one of the best he ever had). I also had excellent BBQ pork ribs with mashed potatoes.

            The setting is more quiet than most places, so it would fulfill that requirement.

            I don't think they have a website, but here is a review on the Elmer Dills website: