Monday, April 4, 2011

Best OC Restaurants

Being in the restaurant biz, my friends, family, & pretty much everyone I come into contact with are always asking me my opinion on the best restaurants in the area. I'm full of opinions on the matter & thought I would compile a list of my fav. spots to grub in the OC...

**besides Scott's of course… since we trump all competition ;)

Panini Cafe in Corona Del Mar. By far my favorite breakfast place. I always order the chicken sausage scramble & a soy latte. HEAVENLY. They don't have a full bar though, so if you're looking for a champagne/bloody mary infused breakfast check out my favorite BRUNCH spots. Anastasia in Laguna Beach is also amazing. Don't miss the vampire drink (a juice concoction with beets that is an instant hangover cure).

No other coffee shop comes close to the deliciousness of Milk & Honey. They have the best tea, coffee, service & ambiance! Come grab a green tea latte & soak up the sun on one of their outdoor couches! They also have yummy baked goods, vegan options & shaved ice! MMMmm.

You can't beat the value of Bayside in Newport Beach. For $30, you get unlimited Champagne & 3 HUGE courses. It's delish. Spark in Huntington Beach serves up free flowing champagne & a buffet brunch for $21. The food is okay… but who are we kidding… I'm here for the booze & the outdoor patio.

Native Foods in The Camp in Costa Mesa is one of my regular spots. I love their lavender lemonade & bowls. Get the Native Card & get free food just for being a regular costumer :). I love ZINC Cafe in Corona Del Mar & Laguna for their vegetarian menu & outdoor seating. I'm also a fan of Taco Asylum in Costa Mesa. Get the duck & brie tacos & wash it down with an ice cold draft beer :). If you're taking a lunch break from a day of shopping, Marche Modern inside South Coast Plaza is AMAZING & they have a killer lunch special. 3 courses for $20. At Fashion Island? You can't beat True Foods Kitchen. Get the Crossings Sauvignon Blanc & their Thai Brown Rice Bowl. YUMMM.

Dinner with the girls
Chapter One in Santa Ana is a brand new restaurant I tried with the girls last week. The food was amazing & they have house infused roasted banana tequila! Yum. The potato pear was pretty delicious, too. The Cannery in Newport is also an awesome spot to head out for dinner with friends. Sit upstairs on one of the couches & join the fun crowd. I went to K'ya in Laguna Beach last weekend with some girlfriends & had a great time. Sit upstairs at The Rooftop for a drink & to watch the sunset first & then make your way downstairs to warm up & enjoy the HUGE tapas menu. Don't miss the coconut salmon. Yum. Lola Gaspar in Santa Ana is super trendy & is awesome inside. The owners are really cool & this is definitely a perfect place to get rowdy with some girlfriends. Don't leave without taking a bearfucker ;).

Date Night
Habana in Costa Mesa has great ambiance (literally hundreds of candles) & is perfect for a date night. I also love A's Restaurant for date night because of the high-backed booths & dim lighting. The service is always top notch & it has an old school feel to it. 320 Main in Seal Beach is a really good gastropub. There's also a cute wine bar next door if your date is going really well… Onotria describes itself as "wine country food" & has an amazing wine list & menu. The pink peppercorn gnocchi is heavenly. Side Door in Corona Del Mar is perfect for a date because of their small plates menu. Who doesn't like to share?

Best View
The location of the Surf & Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach makes you feel like you're an vacation. The waves literally could not be any closer to you. I love having a drink at the bar on a gloomy day because you stay nice & warm, but still enjoy the waves crashing beside you.

I'm a fan of loungy places where my girls & I can get dressed up & grab a martini. My biggest criteria is the place has to have plenty of seating beause i'm not standing in my 4 inch heals all night! I love Mesa in Costa Mesa for their amazing drink & food menu. I also tend to end up at 3thirty3 a lot because of their central location & I don't feel like a weirdo ordering a glass of wine like I would at a regular bar! 25 Degrees in Huntington Beach has a killer wine list & cocktail menu & is super reasonably priced. It's also just out of the war zone of main street. perfect.

Places on my list to try:

Park Avenue, Stanton
The Dock, Newport Beach
Saphire, Laguna Beach
The Wine Gallery, Corona Del Mar
Bruxie, Orange
Eva's Caribbean Kitchen, Laguna Beach
The Copper Door, Santa Ana
The Crosby, Santa Ana

The list is never ending…

xoxo Shauna

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