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Orange County for large family meal.

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I have tried to search for other threads and am unable to find ones that are relatively recent and address my topic. If I have missed them, please point me out in the right direction.

My in-laws decided several years ago that the best way to celebrate Mother's Day was to go to a restaurant for lunch the Saturday before. This has worked out quite well as the restaurants are not very busy and it leaves Sunday for the individual families to celebrate with other in-laws, etc. We are a group of about 20 adults and 5 great grand-kids under 5. In the past we have been to Buco de beppo and other such places. We have tried to get a private room, though that is not an absolute necessity. We've also tried to find places that offer "family style" meals (easily shareable) though, again, that is not required.

The family now stretches from Santa Clarita to San Diego to Palm Springs and into Orange County, Ideally, the place should be in the Orange County area, along the 91 and further south. We are trying to keep the cost under $30/person (food only). Any suggestions will be appreciated. I would love to find a place that is not a chain, though not everyone shares my opinion. Thanx.

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  1. I'm assuming "exotic" food is probably not on the radar here, but please correct me if I'm wrong (and I'll send you to Thai Nakorn, which could seat 25 with almost no notice on a Saturday at lunch).

    A few suggestions:

    1. Citrus City Grill in old town Orange. My extended family loves this place and they are quite adept at large-group service, plus you can take over a corner of the place.

    2. Cucina Alessa in Huntington Beach. The original is in Newport Beach and there's a location in Laguna Beach, I am recommending the HB location because it has an upstairs that could be used for your family.

    3. Canyon Restaurant in Anaheim Hills. It's right off the 91, which will help the Palm Springs and SD people, and the menu is varied enough to suit most people.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Thank you for your input. Unfortunately you are correct, "exotic" would not work. I will check out the others.

    2. Perhaps... Park Ave in Stanton, it's a very large restaurant.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jaykayen

        That was my first instinct too, but they are not open for lunch at the weekend.

      2. We've had several family events at Northwoods Inn in La Mirada, which is off the 5, not too far north of the 91. Food and service was good, should be do-able with your budget, and they list the banquet rooms for 20+ people. That would be great to allow the younger ones to roam within an "enclsoed" area, rather than the main dining area. They would probably be able to accommodate you with a modified family style meal.

        Phone: (714) 739-0331
        14305 Firestone Blvd.
        La Mirada, CA

        1. I know it is a chain and part of a larger family of restaurants, but Maggiano's does good food, serves large portions and is set up for family style sharing.

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          Maggiano's - South Coast Plaza
          3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

          2 Replies
          1. re: ocshooter

            Hmm . . . I've never been to the South Coast Plaza location, but the one time I went to the Grove location, the veal Parmesan was leathery, the tomatoes in the salad were frozen, and the red wine was too warm. Mediocre assembly line cooking. Even Cheesecake Factory was better.