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Help! Dinner in Orange County?

Mrs. Meadow

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I'll be in Anaheim next month for a trade show:


and I'm organizing dinner for 12. We don't want to drive in to LA proper so that leaves out much of what I've seen on the California board.

A friend looked through Zagat's and found a bunch of stuff for Newport:



Bistro 201

Renato's on the beach


What about Huntington Beach? Anything good there?? Any and all help much appreciated!

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Dear Mrs. Meadow:

Sorry I wasn't able to reply sooner; I'm new to eGullet, and still finding my way around.

If you were willing to travel as far as Long Beach, I could recommend places like 555 East (a steakhouse with private rooms) or King's Fish House, both owned by the Kings Seafood Co. (www.555east.com and www.kingsfishouse.com, respectively). King's Fish House also has a branch in Orange.

Also high on the list would be Christy's for Italian (www.christysristorante.com) and Nico's for new American (www.nicosrestaurant.com), both owned by Christy Bono, the late Congressman's daughter, or Lasher's (562-422-1253) for more comfort-food American (sadly lacking a website).

However, I'm going to assume you would like to stay close to Newport Beach. All of the restaurants you have listed have fine reputations.

If you go inland a bit, to Costa Mesa, and want to impress with "name" restaurants (sometimes a consideration with business clients), you will find Pinot Provence, one of Juaquin Splichal's restaurants. I haven't been to Provence, but have had enjoyable meals at both Cafe Pinot and Nick & Stef's. www.patinagroup.com/therestaurants_pinots_provence.html

Of course, with Splichal's name attached, you can expect name prices. If you're watching the budget, I'd check out King's in Orange. Or there may be something more to your taste further south, in Irvine.

And, of course, more information can always be found at www.digitalcity.com. Well, at least they give some information, and sometimes include websites, although the Patina material wasn't there.

(Please pardon my amateurish listing of site codes; as I say, I'm still new at this.)

Edited by SWoodyWhite (log)

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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I hope I am not too late to the party to add my 2 cents.

The Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach always worked well for business meals and private events. It is an old fashion forma; restaurant that has a continental menu and fantastic service. They have separate dining rooms and I think private rooms. Not cheap, but always consistent. putting on the ritz

Another thought is the private dining room at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Beach. It is their wine cellar room and holds up to 20 people. Perfect business setting for a group of your size.

Edited by NewYorkTexan (log)
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Couple of quick thoughts... first Orange County is BIG and getting from, say, Anaheim area to Huntington Beach, particularly around rush-hour (from about 3 p.m. to 7) can really take some time and raise the blood pressure.

That said, by all means consider Aubergine or Troquet owned by a very talented cooking family, the Goodsells. Aubergine is more formal and in Newport. Troquet (believe it or not) is inside the giant South Coast Plaza shopping center in Costa Mesa. More bistro-like but very well-done foods. Go there if you have a hankering for fois gras. Both have excellent wine lists.

Same couple has opened a casual (and small), no-reservations restaurant two blocks off Pacific Coast Highway in the main business district of Huntington Beach featuring very innovative, Chinese food; called Red Pearl. When in Los Angeles, I've eagerly traveled the fifty miles south to eat there. This is NOT the typical Chinese restaurant where portions are such that one invariably has cardboard take-out containers left to take home. I like most everything but especially crave a fried pork belly dish; wonderful with a gurwurtztraminer ! Because I don't like to wait long for a table, I go on a week-night by 6:30 p.m.

Hope this helps.

Bob Sherwood

Bob Sherwood


“When the wolf is at the door, one should invite him in and have him for dinner.”

- M.F.K. Fisher

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Any comments on Gustav Anders? I went there recently for lunch, though it was very good. Seemed classical Scandanavian.

Lunch was:

Excellent bread of many types

Very tasty herring plate

Dover sole in cream/white wine sauce with tiny shrimp.

The sole was very well done, but I came to the conclusion that it's not my favorite fish; just a little to dainty.


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That said, by all means consider Aubergine or Troquet owned by a very talented cooking family, the Goodsells.  Aubergine is more formal and in Newport.  Troquet (believe it or not) is inside the giant South Coast Plaza shopping center in Costa Mesa.  More bistro-like but very well-done foods.  Go there if you have a hankering for fois gras.  Both have excellent wine lists.

I have had a few wonderful meals at Troquet. Some of the best meals I've had since coming to LA! (I want to try their other places very much, particularly Aubergine, which is very highly regarded.)

They have recently opened Whist, at the trendy Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, which I have heard mixed things about.

I hope you enjoy your trip--and please let us know where you end up!

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