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Mar 23, 2011 09:14 AM


We need four really good restaurants around Lake Forrest. Quality of food and food presentation are the only criteria. What say you?

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      1. re: JHW

        Which meal(s) of the day are you seeking? B(reakfast), L(unch) or D(inner)?

        1. re: Servorg

          I am sorry. Though it is dinner.

        2. re: JHW

          Breakfast, lunch or dinner--duh!

      2. Please also define "around Lake Forrest".

        2 Replies
        1. re: JAB

          OK, one half an hour drive, max.

          1. re: JHW

            A half an hour from Lake Forest and picks for dinner changes things a lot.

            Tops for food in OC is arguably Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza (yes, the shopping mall). About 20 minutes or less north on the 405.

            You can go to Laguna or Dana Point in a half hour and pick up Studio at the Montage and Stonehill Tavern, both very high end options. Also in Laguna is my favorite, Tabu Grill., though it will be the most laid back of these four.

            For a food is my only concern-price be darned, these would be my must dos in OC.

            Marche Moderne
            3333 Bristol St 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

            Stonehill Tavern
            St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

            30801 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA

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

        2. If you are looking fro breakfast or lunch, I would do all 4 at Break of dawn, or at least 2 of them.

          If you need to stay inland around Lake Forest, Nirvana Grill is one option, then... chains..

          Break of Dawn
          24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

          Nirvana Grille - Mission Viejo
          24031 Marguerite Pkwy Ste C, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

          1. 2nd Break of Dawn
            Other options would be:
            Fukada in Irvine for udon and soba;
            Kappo Hana in Laguna Hills for a variety of seasonal japanese dishes
            Lucca Cafe in Irvine for italian/mediterranean tapas plates

            Kappo Hana
            25260 La Paz Rd A, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

            Fukada Restaurant
            8683 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618

            1. Assuming you really don't care about the other criteria, such as ambiance, cost or ethnicity, here you go:

              1. Break of Dawn, Ave. de la Carlota, Laguna Hills. Vietnamese-inspired breakfasts that are higher-end than their price tag lets on. Open only for breakfast and early lunch—closes by 1:30 or 2:00 every day and dark Mondays and Tuesdays.

              2. Sol del Sur, Rancho Viejo, San Juan Capistrano. Food from around the world, served leisurely (you will spend 2-3 hours here, so order a second bottle of wine and get comfy), but very, very good.

              3. Pizza e Vino, Sta. Margarita Pkwy., Rancho Santa Margarita. Just exactly what it says, but really the very best pizza in South Orange County and a nicer environment than just some random pizzeria.

              4. Piccolino, Los Alisos Blvd., Mission Viejo. Very good pastas, a surprisingly good shrimp risotto with lemon reduction, and a minimum of Italian-American meddling ("pollo alla Parmesan" as an example of what's NOT on the menu).

              Break of Dawn
              24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

              28731 Los Alisos Blvd Ste 3, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

              4 Replies
              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                That is great. Thank you very much.

                  1. re: johnglowacki

                    I read that Pizza e Vino is opening a location in Newport Beach. Does anyone now the address?

                    1. re: cdmedici

                      I saw that as well and hope that it's an expansion and not a move.