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Need a fun bday dinner spot...help!

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So I'm looking for a fun dinner spot for my 32nd bday...probably 10ish people. Somewhere around Newport, Irvine, Tustin area...I love places with a good vibe and great ambiance. I like japanese bbq/beni hana type places but I'm not limited to just that. As long as the food is good, I don't mind the price. Any suggestions?? Thanks!

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  1. Try Honda-Ya
    its a japanese tapas restuarant in tustin. sake and food. should be fun!

    1. Honda-ya is good, pub style Japanese food, not too expensive.

      Anjin in Costa Mesa is a Japanese BBQ place, similar to Korean BBQ but with a Japanese take. It can be a lot of fun in a big group where everyone sits around the grill.

      Gyu-Kaku is another style of Japanese BBQ. You don't get the same types of kimchee and sides, but the menu is very meat centric and, again, a lot of fun to sit around the grill and cook your own. It does not pop up on the map, but it in is Tustin south of the 5 on Newport Blvd.

      One of my favorite spots for rowdy fun is Shin-Sen-Gumi in Fountain Valley. They specialize in yakatori, individual skewers bbq'ed over special charcoals. The ramen address pops up whenever I try to link it, but the yakatori spot is directly next door. It can get a bit expensive though.

      I don't know any good teppan places in the area, though there are a few around that might be OK. If I were going for teppan, I would probably go to Riptide in Mission Viejo.

      Away from Japanese foods, there are gastro pubs like the Crow Bar, SideDoor, Haven and others that can be a lot of fun. Then you have bar scenes like Mesa and 3Thirty3.

      My last suggestion is for an old school steak house, really old school, La Cave. Go early for free corkage for at least a couple of bottles. depending on the night, they also have good early-ish specials which can really bring down the price of the check. The place is down a flight a stairs, low ceiling, red leatherette booths, a cart showing off the steaks... old school.

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      Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen
      18315 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

      Honda Ya Japanese Restaurant
      556 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780

      Mesa
      725 Baker St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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

      Anjin
      3033 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

      3 Thirty 3
      333 Bayside Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660

      La Cave Restaurant
      1695 Irvine Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

      Riptide
      27741 Crown Valley Pkwy Ste 325, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

      Haven Gastropub
      190 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

      SideDoor
      3801 East Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92625

      1. SWSH Shabu Shabu in the Diamond Jamboree (Alton & Jamboree) is pretty good and fun. Capital Seafood is in there too and Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle from Vancouver, BC has just opened in there too.

        Gen Korean BBQ and Yakitori Bar in Tustin might fit the bill too.

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        Shabu Shabu Bar
        1945 E 17th St, Santa Ana, CA 92705

        Chef Hung
        2700 Alton Pkwy #117, Irvine, CA 92606