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Apr 17, 2012 03:34 PM

The Ranch, Anaheim - any visits?

Has anyone tried the relatively new The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim? How was it? The owner Michael Jordan has great credentials. He was previously the GM of Napa Rose, Pinot Provence, and the former Pavillion at the Newport Beach 4 Seasons. Like to hear about any experiences at The Ranch.

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  1. I've been twice and loved it both times.

    On the first trip, I had the Hudson Valley Foie Gras appetizer and the 36-ounce ribeye steak. Wife had the five onion soup and the prime rip special. We split the pecan pie appetizer for desert. We both loved our meals. The helping for the foie gras was not as large as I would have liked, but it was delicious, as was the onion soup.

    The steak was perfectly seasoned and cooked (medium rare) and one of the best steaks I have ever had. The prime rib was also perfectly cooked and very good.

    The desert was the only part of the meal that did not completely impress us, but I don't usually order dessert, so I may not be the best person to provide feedback. The service was also top notch (ask for Nancy; she is just the right balance of friendly and professional).

    Our second visit was just as great an experience. We went with two other couples. I had a taste of the ceviche trilogy (shrimp, crab, and lobster). All were very good with the taste of the seafood coming through very well.

    I had the Chef's Market Menu. I did not opt for the the paired wines. Instead, Michael Jordan worked with all of us and recommended three Pinot Noirs from different regions of the West Coast. He was very engaging and made their large wine list seem less intimidating.

    The Market Menu included a soup that I'm having trouble recalling (did I mention wine was involved?), a pasta dish with English peas, a grilled Kurobuta pork chop, and lemon feather cake for dessert.

    The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente; I am not a fan of peas, but the English peas in the dish were amazing; very nice texture and taste. The pork chop was also perfectly cooked and had great pork flavor. Again, the dessert fell short in my opion. It wasn't bad, it just didn't live up to the rest of the meal in my mind.

    I will definitely be going back to try other items on the menu. The Ranch is a welcome addition to North OC.

    5 Replies
    1. re: OCSteve

      How was the atmosphere? Was there any live music on either of the nights that you went. I noticed on their website it lists concerts but usually for Sunday night.

      I've driven by on my way to Disneyland and it looks like a really big restaurant. We are planning to go there with a few other couples and the menu looks like it has enough variety to satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians.

      1. re: js76wisco

        The restaurant and the saloon are totally separate. The decor in the restaurant reminds me a lot of Houston's, which I think is a good thing. The atmosphere is pretty laid back. Nice jeans and a button down shirt are perfectly acceptable, as a lot of the dinner patrons head over to the saloon afterward. The cover charge for the saloon is waived if you have dinner in the restaurant.

        We did not get over to the saloon either time. Even without the cover and a shorter line, the wait was 15 minutes in the rain at 10:30PM. Not a long wait if you're into country music, but my wife doesn't like country music, and I'm not a big enough fan to push the issue with her. I would like to try the food at the saloon, but I'll probably go when it's quieter.

        The restaurant is big, but it was packed the two times I've been there, and on each of my visits, there was a pretty eclectic crowd heading into the saloon.

        I think it's great for a crowd, both the menu and the atmosphere. The kitchen is really accommodating with the menu, too. One gentleman in our party doesn't eat pork but wanted the Chef's Market Menu. The chef gladly swapped out a duck entree for the pork chop. As I said before, I had very positive experiences both times I was there. I thought the service was just a bit better on my first visit, hence my recommendation for Nancy as a server.

        1. re: OCSteve

          Thanks Steve. We were a little concerned about the country music vibe during dinner so nice to know the rooms are separate.

          Good review today in OC Register.

          1. re: js76wisco

            I've been. There's no country-music vibe in the restaurant. The restaurant is upscale and dark, kind of like a more-rustic Mastro's.

            I liked the food quite a lot.

      2. re: OCSteve

        Thanks for this post / review ! My wife and I loved all he did at Napa Rose, so I'm very interested to hear of where he is now. We'll have to check this place out.

      3. We had dinner last evening at The Ranch (Restaurant, not Saloon) and loved it! The service was as close to perfect as it gets...from an extremely cordial greeting, to an excellent server, to a visit at the table by a manager, to a "Thank you for coming" when we left, to an offer of a personal tour of The Saloon next door. Everyone was exceptionally nice and professional.

        Our cocktails, wine service and food were all equally excellent. The fresh rolls were delicious...varied and straight from the oven. The popovers ordered at an adjacent table looked wonderful. We started with a beet salad and a chopped salad. Both were great. I ordered prime rib. It was a beautiful slab of beef, nicely marbled but not at all fatty around the edges. Delicious...and enough left over for lunch today! Instead of potatoes (I think it was "au gratin"), I requested a substitution of vegetables. I was served a beautiful and very ample portion of terrific roasted veggies. Delicious! My partner had the salmon entree which was equally great. We split a blueberry crumble for dessert. Excellent.

        The room is quite attractive in a Houston's, informal sort of way, although somewhat nicer. Indeed, this is a very upscale "Ranch"!

        The Ranch is an excellent restaurant to which we will certainly return. Oh..and they have a wonderful wine list, which is no surprise with Michael Jordan at the helm.

        1 Reply
        1. re: josephnl

          Glad you liked it. Our service was excellent right up until a 12-top was seated, then we had to flail around trying to get our bill and have them take the Lady Visa away to pay for our meal... it was a jarring end to what would otherwise have been one of the best meals I've had in OC in a long while.

        2. Quick Check...Owner is Andrew Edwards-the man behind Extron Electronics where the restaurant & saloon are located. Michael Jordan is V.P. of Food & Bev--Why the wine list is so incredible.

          1. I am posting here as a visitor, not from the area, so I can't comment on how this restaurant compares to the local dining scene.
            That being said, I was looking for a special ocassion place and choose partially on the reviews here.
            I thought the place was good not great. Flavors almost too bold and close to overpowering in some dishes. Service was mediocre, lots of upselling going on, gave me a hard time about subbing out a side for something simpler and just overly impressed with themselves. Also not knowledgeable about wines and grapes but, in defense, there might have been a sommelier that I could have spoken to if I wanted to order a bottle and not just a glass or two. My waiter was more into telling us about the restaurants pedigree and could have described the dishes better and we probably would have ordered differently.
            Beautiful space, appropriately priced and good portion size. 3 bucks for valet seemed unnecessary but maybe that's standard for these parts.

            6 Replies
            1. re: foodyum

     must have hit The Ranch on a very off night. Perhaps our tastes in food differ, but we've never had less than terrific service. It's really a shame that you didn't have the sommelier Michael Jordan help you with your wine selection. Michael is a Master Sommelier and is without question one of southern California's most knowledgeable wine experts (as well as a really nice man who loves helping customers with wine choices, whether it be a glass or two, or a magnum).

              1. re: foodyum

                For the immediate area it is quite good, that part of Anaheim is geared to the Disneyland tourist crowd and Mimi's, Cheesecake Factory and Tony Roma's draw rave reviews. I am actually surprised they located there and not Irvine or Newport Beach, but I am guessing they got a great deal on the lease.

                I do think the restaurant is a bit full of themselves in how they describe everything, but I've had nothing but good food there.

                1. re: scottca075

                  Agree completely. The Ranch and Mr. Stox are really the most dependable spots in Anaheim for good food.

                  1. re: scottca075

                    The back-story to the location is kind of interesting - I do believe that as the OP states, Michael Jordan does have a stake in the business, but his business partner in this is also the president of the electronics company which occupies the rest of the building and several of the buildings in the surrounding area - he owns the buildings, too, apparently. So basically, this fellow loves great food (also, country music), and wanted a great restaurant and saloon for himself and his clients, employees etc., so he built one !

                    1. re: mikester

                      It's true the Owner of Extron Electronics, Andrew Edwards Owns the building and The Ranch..Michael Jordan is the VP of Food & Beverage and of course the Master Somm and works on the restaurants farm..doing his other little known passion farming heirloom tomatoes and vegetables. Edwards owns The Ranch outright and there is no partnership.

                    2. re: scottca075

                      It's because the restaurant is owned by the owner of Extron Electronics, in whose corporate headquarters it sits. It was his dream to open a restaurant and country bar.

                      Eventually there will be a private dining space on the 6th floor and also a demonstration kitchen.

                  2. We ate at the Ranch when it was first opened. They steaks are very good and the wine list is wonderful. The service was great and we will go back. The bar next door is great. Never saw so many boots walking in Orange County. It is a fun place to go after dinner or for dinner and drinks. Completely different vibe from the sophistication of the restaurant to the fun of the bar. All in all, a great addition to the OC.