Of all the high schools in all the school districts on all the food boards, in walks Esperanza, my alma mater...
I won't give away the decade when I attended EHS, but let's just say that Knowlwood is rad.
5665 East La Palma Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92807
For the next round on J.L.'s CV trivia, are you gonna ask about restaurants/bars near UCLA?
Canyon Restaurant I've been twice, and the food is ok. The food seems to be polarizing based on Yelp reviews, (I'm in the "its just ok" camp) and the most commonly ordered drink is vodka up in a martini glass. Decor is pretty nice, a little bit of an older crowd and slightly dressed up.
Slaters' 50/50: is a bar and burger joint. food and beer is good, but service can sometimes be insipid (waitresses are a bunch of teenagers for the most part) and the lighting is fluorescent. Lots of TV screens for sports. Mostly men drinking beer and watching sports, or youngsters out together.
Haven Gastropub's food is decent, but very loud and difficult to get into on some nights. Service sometimes is a little lacking.
In Brea there is Taps, which has great beer (I like to get the Irish red) and very large bar area on the right side as you walk in, and popular happy hour. There are also the BJ's and Yardhouse chain restaurants in Brea.
Summit House, right at 7 miles out, in Fullerton also has a nice bar area and a happy hour. The view here is beautiful. With respect to food, I've only ever had prime rib + accompaniments, never the bar menu.
While each of these have their good points and many supporters, I rarely go to any of these restaurants. I would probably pick Slater's out of these: the food is good, it's very near to Esperanza, and it's fun to do a couple of times.
I would second all of these. Do not confuse Canyon Restaurant with The Canyon Inn. The last time I was at Canyon Inn was before it's Bar Rescue makeover, so I don't know how much it's changed, but my experience is that it's a dive bar complete with mediocre to poor food and surly regulars (no disrespect to Dr. Bruin). Don't get me wrong, I spent a lot of time there in my 20's, and that may be what you're looking for. I would be interested in hearing if anyone's been since it's transformation.
There's also a new wine bar just up the street from Taps that I have heard is good, though I haven't been there. It's called Two 40 South. Here's the website:
Taps Fish House & Brewery
101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, CA 92821
6821 Fairlynn Blvd Ste D, Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Two 40 South Restaurant & Wine Bar
240 S Brea Blvd, Brea, CA 92821
No offense take, Steve. I've never been to the Canyon Inn...but a lot of Esperanza alum used to go there and I heard they had a makeover too. It was one of the few bars near the school that came to mind. Personally, I'd go to Don Jose's for the chips/salsa and mini-chimi's. The margaritas were passable.
Are you looking for more of a bar or a restaurant or a restaurant with a bar? Will there be people under the age of 21? What cuisines do you like? How much money do you want to spend per person? How "near" to Esperanza do you need to be?
You should also look for places in Yorba Linda, which is pretty much where Esperanza High is located. (technically in Anaheim but it's bordering YL).