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Test my Orange County Knowledge and Creativity

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Anyone want to test out this chowhound from Orange County? My recommendations probably will be places you never have been to. I would love to get resposnes back from people who try my recomendations.

Throw something out there and let me see if I can help and hopefully WOW you.

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  1. How about a place for us girls to have lunch in So. Orange County/Newport Beach to San Clemente. We were thinking the Montage Studio on a weekend, but a little high for some of us for three small courses ($50). We've done Bayside and loved it, Maggiano's and didn't love it. No specific food category or price, just nice sit down and service with quality food this time, please. We enjoy each other's company and can eat anywhere. But this time, we and want the food to "make an entrance."


    3 Replies
    1. re: kc girl

      Wow, you girls go to some pricey places!

      In that case, check out 21 Oceanfront its by the Newport Pier. They have the best Abaolne there.

      The service is great, and its upscale but more quant than upscale.

      For something more lively, try Bandaras in Corona del Mar. Their grilled artichoke is great and I had a great steak there. It gets lively at night, but its not crazy like a lot of places. Plus Corona Del Mar is such a great place to hang out in the afternoon!

      1. re: Diamond Dog

        Funny you should mention 21 Oceanfront. My dear friend plays piano there. I usually go there at night for that reason. We have a holiday tradition that started years ago when he was playing at Trees. I asked him to play a medley of Nights in White Satin and Greensleeves. It was absolute magic this year with impromptu vocal harmonies coming from two sides of the bar/dining room (course, we all knew each other). You know, though, I have not yet had the abalone and hear its great. Come to think of it, I don't think I have tried abalone anywhere. Not all their food is great, but the service has always been great in my experience, professional yet heart warming.

        We've been to Banderas often as one of our friends lives very close to there on Larkspur. And, I usually order the grilled artichoke!

      2. re: kc girl

        The manager of the Bayside restaurant is now at the Hilton Waterfront in Huntington Beach running their new restaurant "Shades"....its great because you can sit outside by the pool and see the ocean. Menu is varied ...but it's all good.

      3. Here are my favorites Barelo Cafe - Tustin, Memphis in Costa Mesa, Sage in Newport Beach Le Jardins in Fountain Valley, Brochard Chateau in Garden Grove, there is a new one Main Street in Stanton on Beach blvd.(I may have the wrong name) The owner took an old sixties restaurant and turned it into a hip "Rat pack atmosphere...with great service and food. Santa Monica Seafood Co. serves great fish sandwiches for lunch.

        1. ok dog, answer this -- family of five hounds will be at montage for a week. in order to afford the hotel, we need to eat relatively cheap, not too far from home. ethnic -- any asian or hispanic -- food preferred.

          3 Replies
          1. re: raider

            "Dog's" OP was in 2003; hopefully you'll get a reply.

            1. re: raider

              Well, I am not the dog but I would reccomend for inexpensive and good eats in the asian and hispanic area. Laguna Thai, which is a small thai cafe in So. Laguna that I like very much. Also you have La Sirena Grill right accross the street in the Albertsons shopping center and Taco Loco downtown Laguna, go for the blackened mushroom quesadillas.

              1. re: raider

                I'm assuming 'cheap' means 'cheap'. There's a Ruby's just North on PCH if you really need it. Or head South into Dana Point for Harbor House on PCH (open 24 hours). Also just North of Harbor House is Tudor and Spunky's sandwich shop at PCH and Blue Lantern. Also.... Las Golondrinas on Doheny Park Rd in Capo Beach (take-out with a few tables). Oh... and also in Dana Point is Bella Napoli on PCH as well (family Italian, large portions, good prices).

              2. Ok, here is my situation:
                I need a place for lunch with six coworkers in the South Coast Metro, or Tustin/Irvine off the 5 freeway area.
                Lunch should be around $8-15 a person and the restaurant should have table cloths.
                Anything but Japanese is fine.

                Also needs to be not very noisy so we can talk shop for a few minutes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: I make my own pickles

                  Darya for Persian, across the street from South Coast Plaza. I love this place!

                2. Where can I find really good gelato in Fountain Valley?

                  And where can I find good afternoon tea in Orange County?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: aprmayjun

                    Have you tried the McCharles House in Old Town Tustin? It's the first place I ever experienced a properly made scone. They've also got killer desserts.

                    McCharles House Restaurant & Tea Room
                    335 South C St
                    Tustin, CA 92780

                    Phone 714-731-4063

                    Scratch the recommendation: I just ran past their web site: Things apparently have changed a lot since the last time I went. They've gone to limited days, reserved seating, a prixe fixe menu and the latest consumer reviews are not good.

                    Never mind.

                    1. re: thericequeen

                      Aww, for a minute there I got excited. But thanks for the info!

                    2. re: aprmayjun

                      Gelato in OC in general is good at Gelato Paradiso, but you have to go to Corona del Mar/Newport Beach for that.

                      I found McCharles to be overhyped and overpriced. If you want to pay serious $ for tea, do the Ritz Carlton. Then again, I really enjoyed the Tea House on Los Rios (San Juan Capistrano). Even my man liked it, but he's likes tea.

                    3. I'm in Huntington Beach and have a craving for pickled pigs feet....can you think of any place that would have them like old-time deli's used to have where they sat in huge glass jars filled with vinegar-brine on top of the counter?