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May 14, 2011 07:16 PM

OC - "Nana Jean's" (formerly Black Sheep Bistro)

We don't get out to Tustin much but that may change after our lunch today at Nana Jean's! Just happened to be in the Tustin Old Town area for a community event around noon, and spotted what used to be "Black Sheep Bistro." (303 El Camino Real, Tustin 714-486-2528)

Since it was a slightly cool, overcast day, we decided to eat indoors (a patio is also available) and were seated right away. Ice water and slices of a light but tasty bread with a mildly "zippy" orange spread appeared quickly. Hubby initially balked at the "it's not butter" spread but found it very tasty once he noticed me enjoying it.

He ordered a small bowl of their chili "garnished with toasted cumin and crema" and promptly decided it was the best chili he's had. It's a no-bean, all chunks of meat chili. He followed that up with a meatloaf sandwich "served on a bun with camelized onions, smoked cheddar cheese and bacon" and potato salad. (Sandwiches include a choice of one side).

I opted for the veggie grilled cheese sandwich: "Brie, cheddar, oven dried tomatoes, grilled vegetables and cranberry Dijon mustard. Has to be the best meatless sandwich on the planet" says the menu. It was excellent. I selected a side of Aunt Karyn's Cole Slaw. I will pass on the cole slaw next time. I loved the sweetness of the grape halves but the rest of the the slaw wasn't to my personal liking, with its chunks of midget dill pickles and wide shreds of cabbage.

The iced tea was good and refilled promptly. Service was very friendly and at a pace that pleased us.

"Specialties" are available after 5 p.m. and include lamb shanks, short ribs, meatloaf, salmon, and pot pies - we'll be back to try their dinners soon, along with the Portuguese soup (ham hocks, white beans, andouille sausage, red skin potatoes and kale). There's also a Matza ball soup and a vegetatian cauliflower/corn chowder.

There motto is: "Nana Jean's - Where Everyone's Family." Open daily 11 to 9.

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  1. Very nice review. We'll look forward to trying this one.

    1. Nana Jean's has a lot to live up to coming in hot off the heel of Black Sheep. But they do a good job. The food is good. But Nana Jean needs to STOP fussing so much. It makes us nervous. She does not need to stop by our table 3 times during our dinner to chat and rub elbows. Just a hello and goodbye is fine.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gmarie

        That's an interesting experience. Three times is a bit much. I don't recall meeting "Nana Jean" at all. There was one gal who stopped by the table next to us frequently, but she wasn't Nana Jean. She did make a loving fuss over a toddler which was a little distracting, but much better than a fussing or screaming toddler would have been.

        I wish I knew a code word or phrase I could give seating hosts for NOT seating us next to a table with babies or noisy active kids. And even if they don't place us next to kids, invariably they will then seat a family next to us at an open table after we're seated. I've had other couples mention this too. Why do the hosts think couples want to sit right next to families when there are other tables or booths available? This seems to happen everywhere we go.

        1. re: Joani Macaroni

          I do appreciate all her concern, I just wish she's have a little more confidence that her restaurant is great. As for the kid situation, who knows. We don't seem to have this problem very often, but I think hosts do need to employ a bit of "profiling" when seating.