Visiting Anaheim for work, need strong dinner and afterparty recos
October 14, 2013 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I'm visiting Anaheim from out of town and need to host the CEO of my company as well as several other companies will be joining us for a dinner and drinks. Urgently need recommendations for excellent dining experiences and / or nightlife places to go.

Guests are very tuned to culinary delights, culture and trendy music. We do have transportation available to us and are willing to drive up to 30 minutes away from downtown Anaheim.
posted by omidius to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Do you know anyone who is a member of Club 33? It's a longshot, but it's a real experience.

I think of Anaheim and most of Orange County as an expanse of chain restaurants and suburban blarg.

Close to the beach, there's a place called Maestro's Ocean Club in Huntington Beach.

They're growing these places everywhere, Ocean Prime is an example. It looks like it would be tasty and elegant and expensive, but not an adventure. I doubt seriously you'll get that in Orange County.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:28 AM on October 14, 2013

Likewise, in relatively nearby Newport Beach, there's the Rusty Pelican. Very nice views of the beach and a small bay with pretty boats in their slips. Food is quite nice, good service.

I don't live in OC, just work here, but my take is the same as Ruthless Bunny's. Mostly blarg.
posted by bluejayway at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2013

Little Sparrow in downtown Santa Ana of all places is getting a lot of positive buzz lately.
posted by cecic at 8:38 AM on October 14, 2013

Best answer: The Catch is an upscale restaurant right in Anaheim near Angel Stadium. It is also right across the street from The Grove, so a good spot if you are looking for dinner, drinks and entertainment all within a fairly close distance of one another.
posted by The Gooch at 8:40 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are several good places to eat in Laguna Beach, but it's probably a bit beyond 30 minutes out (could be a lot longer depending on the time of day). Three Seventy Common, Studio at Montage, Watermarc, K'Ya, Carmelita's, Tabu, etc. If you're willing to make the trek, that's probably the area I'd go to (though large parties will be a challenge at some of those places). If you want fine dining, my favorite in OC is Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa. Yeah, it's in a mall, but don't let that fool you.

As for nightlife, well, that's not really my thing so I'm probably out of tune with it, but I don't think OC is where you go if you want nightlife. And LA is a lot further than 30 minutes away.
posted by primethyme at 8:45 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Orange County is decidedly not just chain restaurants. It's a very populous and ethnically diverse county, and the large number and variety of independently run restaurants reflects that demography. A sampling of food reviews in the OC Weekly shows how strong the county is particularly in various Asian cuisines as well as Mexican. It is not as strong in European cuisines such as French and Italian. Most restaurants in Orange County are not what I would call upscale, although there are some, but there are far more excellent restaurants here than anyone can ever get around to trying. If your question focused on one particular cuisine, I presume people could give you additional specific suggestions.
posted by Dansaman at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2013

I'd suggest looking on in the Los Angeles Area board (which includes Orange County.)
posted by blob at 9:46 AM on October 14, 2013

I live in nearby Long Beach and have had occasion to wine and dine southeast of the curtain. A couple of suggestions more or less within 30 minutes:

Old Vine Cafe in Costa Mesa. Sort of a fun tasting menu idea. They match wines and courses through four or five courses. Several to choose from, or go a la carte, tapas style. Vegetarian and vegan options. Foodie friendly, and tucked into an anti-mall kind of place called "The Camp."

Habana. In the actual Anti-Mall, right across the street from The Camp. Noisy upscale Cuban. Haven't been there in a few years, but recall that it was good and fun. Parking at the Anti-Mall is neither, however.

Javier's (Crystal cove). [Warning: auto-guitar] Probably just beyond your driving range in Newport Beach. Upscale Mexican that's pretty good. Great patio with a view. Loud. Zany Real Housewives of Orange County bar scene.

The Winery. Pricey California cuisine and lots of wine.

Pinot Provence. Inside the South Coast Plaza. This wasn't inexpensive when I was there, but there were a pile of us and we ordered a lot of wine. It was delicious.

Darya. Across the street from South Coast plaza. Maybe the best Persian in OC, possibly in SoCal?

Felix Continental is a pretty good Cuban Place in Old Towne Orange (which is pretty strollable). Way more casual than any of the others I've included. It's also the closest.

I'd choose Old Vine Cafe, if pressed.
posted by notyou at 2:09 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

(I'd also note that I'm not the night life type, and my recc's probably reflect that (especially Felix...))
posted by notyou at 2:11 PM on October 14, 2013

I've heard Napa Rose is excellent, but have not eaten there myself.

Yes, didn't think of that one. It is excellent, but very expensive. Full dinner with wine will be in the $100 per person range, easily.
posted by bluejayway at 3:28 PM on October 14, 2013

Update, OP? Where'd you wind up?
posted by notyou at 7:52 AM on October 24, 2013

Response by poster: We ended up at the catch. Great place. Thanks all for the recos!
posted by omidius at 12:53 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

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