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Crooner's Lounge

Azteca Mexican Restaurant, 12911 Main St.
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Category: Music Venues

Region: Garden Grove

Abilene Rose10830 Warner Ave., Foutain Valley, (714) 963-1700 If you have a taste for authentic Texas barbecue, look no further. The menu at Abilene offers mouth-watering barbecue brisket—cooked for eight to 12 hours in a pit oven—and superb baby back or beef ribs. Steaks include baseball-cut prime rib and delicious ribeye (also comes in a sandwich form). Or you may want to try a steak-and-shrimp combo or the scrumptious catfish dish. Another delicacy is the spiced beef Texas sausage; it goes great with a Big Red, soda straight from Texas! Homemade soups are featured daily, but save room for the pecan or sweet-potato pie. Services: takeout and catering available. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Wed., 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., noon-10 p.m.; Sun., noon-8:30 p.m. Full bar. All major credit cards accepted. Reser va tions accepted. Azteca Restaurant/ Crooner's Lounge12911 Main St., Garden Grove, (714) 638-3790Crooner's bills itself as Southern Cali fornia's only "Elvis Lounge," a full bar featuring music and memorabilia from the Rat Pack and the King himself. Weekends feature rockabilly to the nines, Friday nights feature Main Street's Classic Car Show outside, and Saturday nights feature Elvis movies on the TV. You can also re-create Elvis' Fun in Acapulco vibe with some great Mexican food at Azteca restaurant, which offers a menu filled with the owner's original recipes. Try the garlic tacos and garlic salad to set the party off, or ask about the daily special. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: open daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; lounge open till 1 a.m. or later. All major credit cards accepted. Bayside CenterBayside Dr. at Jamboree Rd., one block south of the Pacific Coast Hwy., Newport BeachStart your day at Java City, which features fresh-baked breads and pastries; gourmet brewed and whole-bean coffee; and sandwiches, soups and salads. For fine Italian cuisine, Sapori Ristorante is sure to satisfy your appetite for lunch or dinner. But if you're pressed for time, Pavilions Place offers pre-packaged salads and a service deli for your convenience, or mosey over to the Bayside Restaurant. Bertolini's71 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 450-0600Located at the Irvine Spectrum, Bertolini's has a vast selection of intense, rich, full-bodied and oaky red and white wines, including cabernet and blanc sauvignons, pinot noirs and zinfandels from all around the world. The menu features a tantalizing array of Italian cuisine from traditional dishes like pizza, spaghetti and lasagna to more extravagant items such as the fazzoletto con funghl, a handkerchief of fresh pasta with spinach and ricotta cheese in wild mushroom sauce. For dessert, the gelati and sorbetti are made fresh daily . . . mmmm. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun.,11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Most major credit cards accepted. Birraporetti's3333 Bristol, Ste. 2078, Costa Mesa, (714) 850-9090A great stop any time, Birraporetti's is located in South Coast Plaza. At the mahogany island bar, one can people-watch without obstruction while enjoying a 14-ounce draft beer like Guinness, a black and tan, or choose from a selection of whiskeys and scotch. And don't miss Two-Dollar Twos days, featuring $2 drinks and $2 off all appetizers after 4 p.m. Monday is swing night with the Don Miller Orchestra, when young and old come jumping and jiving—show up at 6:30 and get a free swing lesson. The restaurant also offers delicious Italian cuisine—try the Atlantic crab or the classic lasagna. Services: takeout and catering available. Full bar. Hours: Mon, 11-1:30 a.m.; Tues.-Wed., 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Thurs, 11:30 a.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 11-1 a.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Caffé Panini2333 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 675-8101; also in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Mission ViejoIf you're looking for the place to be, visit Caffé Panini. Its ambiance will transport you to the Italian coast. The menu consists of a variety of brushettas, pastas, salads, pizzas and incredible hand-crafted, Italian-style sandwiches. They also serve fresh pastries daily. And each location is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Panini breakfast offers a variety of omelettes and breakfast sandwiches along with an extensive espresso bar. Services: takeout and delivery available. Full bar. Hours: all locations open daily, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reserva tions accepted. Café Plaka18633 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 963-4999It's always a party at Café Plaka, where beguiling belly dancer Bathsheba (who performs Friday and Saturday nights), live music and dancing Greek waiters keep thing lively Thursday through Sunday. The exotic menu features California, Mediter ranean and traditional Greek specialties. Try a lamb dish like arni psito (slices of roast loin of lamb served in natural juices), filet mignon, or chicken and pork souvlakia from the grill. Don't miss the baklava for dessert, or select from an outrageous assortment of appetizers such as vegetarian grape leaves or calamarakia (fried baby squid). Have fun! Services: takeout and catering available. Full bar. Hours: lunch: Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner: Sun.-Thurs., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Café Tu Tu Tango1 City Blvd., Ste. 1125, Orange, (714) 769-2222For a multiethnic dining extravaganza in a replicated artist's loft in Barcelona, this is the café where one can find Mediter ranean, Italian, Caribbean and American cuisine served in appetizer portions. If in doubt about the sundry menu choices, try the Cajun chicken egg roll or the baked goat cheese and marinara, served with crispy garlic toast —guaranteed to make your taste buds reel with delight. The café also features a full outdoor bar and spontaneous entertainment every night in the form of Polynesian and African troupes, swing, salsa and flamenco dancers, to name but a few. Services: takeout and catering available. Full bar. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30-12:30 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Catalina Fish Kitchen & Seafood Deli670 W. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-8873You can have fish five ways at Catalina Fish Kitchen: a fish taco, fish sandwich, fish salad, fish pasta or fish plate. Choices include salmon, halibut, sea bass and ahi, and don't forget the deli, where you can order fresh fish right out of the case. Tuesdays feature fish tacos for $1. The restaurant is casual, with roomy picnic tables and a beachy feel. And there are lots of surf shops nearby so shredders can knosh and shop for gear at the same locale. An excellent place to eat fish the way you like it. Services: takeout and catering available. Beer and wine only. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Centerfield's Sports Bar17296 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 848-0113Boasting five big-screen TVs, this bar is a hell-raising place to watch the big game—or play your own, since the game room houses air hockey, darts, pool tables and video challenges. And you'll want to wash down a tasty item like ribs or steak with a 25-ounce schooner of your choice for $4. Tuesday night is backyard comedy, Wed nesday is karaoke, and Friday features live bands while you're downing brews or talking sports statistics. Services: takeout available. Hours: Mon.-Wed., 3 p.m.-midnight; Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-midnight. Most major credit cards accepted. Chester Drawers179 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 631-4277We're talking cheap drinks, DJ-spun tunes to wow it by, and a hip, happening crowd that knows how to party. Get there for the daily happy hour (3-8 p.m.) and partake of $2 cocktails or any pitcher of beer, including imports, for $5.50. To kill a burning hunger, or layer your stomach with something to absorb all the beer you're going to drink later, order the renowned buffalo wings or a tasty 3-pound burger, served with curlicue fries. Now a cold brew is in order, but stay light enough to cut a rug on the body-rockin' dance floor. Dive in. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 3 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10-2 a.m. Most major credit cards accepted. Coach House33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 496-8930One of the premier concert venues in Southern California, the Coach House is a casual intimate setting for enjoying world-famous artists from all genres of music. Such famous acts as Berlin, Chris Izaak, Leon Russel and Cracker make regular appearances here. At your table, you'll dine on American cuisine, choosing from an entrée, appetizer and dessert special offered each night. The regular menu features swordfish, New York steak and burgers. Their crispy mozzerella sticks, nachos or jalapeño poppers go great with a cold brew and good music. Full bar. All major credit cards accepted. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf17595 Harvard Ave., Ste. B, Irvine, (949) 660-1332; also in Brea; Irvine Spectrum; Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills; Main Place Mall, Santa Ana; South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa; Tustin Marketplace, TustinThere's always a Coffee Bean nearby when a java craving comes calling. Their coffee selection is vast and tasty, featuring blends from East Africa, such as an Ethiopian mocha, and Latin America, like the Colombia Supremo —or order an Indonesian flavor like a java estate. Iced drinks include espressos, cappuccinos lattes and iced teas. There's also a selection of tea latte drinks and non-coffee iced blends. Order a fresh bagel, brownie, muffin or croissant to go with your favorite blend. All coffee extracts are processed to neutralize unpleasant acids so the coffee is exceptionally smooth and undiluted. Services: takeout available. Hours: open daily, 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. (hours may vary). Most major credit cards accepted. Crazy Horse Steakhouse71 Fortune, Irvine, (949) 585-9000Newly relocated, Crazy Horse Steakhouse is now at the Irvine Spectrum, attracting urban cowboys and cowgirls in record numbers. The venue features an unbeatable lineup of such country artists as Kenny Rogers, Glen Campbell, John Berry and Neal McCoy. Crazy Horse is renowned for its juicy steaks, prime rib and fresh seafood, using the most succulent cornfed, certified Angus beef, properly aged and cut fresh daily. Their superb wine list perfectly compliments the entrées. For dessert, try their signature "mountain-high mud pie" and send your taste buds to paradise. Services: banquet facilities available. Full bar. Hours: open daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reserva tions accepted. Crossroads/Westpark Plaza DiningBarranca Pkwy. & Culver Dr., Irvine The Crossroads Shopping Center in Irvine features a variety of dining choices from food-court-style to sit-down restaurants. Enjoy the tranquillity of a beautiful fountain as you sit and eat lunch or dinner from a great selection of fast-food restaurants, such as California Chopstix, La Salsa, Pasta Bravo, Sagami, Steak Escape, Subway and Der Wienerschnitzel. For a more leisurely sit-down dinner, try Hof's Hut, the Soup Exchange or Vessia Restaurante. Vessia, a new addition to the shopping center, features a delicious menu of authentic Italian dishes such as pastas, pizzas and entrées that include fresh fish, as well as daily specials. Westpark Plaza, on Alton Parkway in Irvine, caters to a variety of diners—the "dinner-and-a-movie crowd," the "weekday business-lunch crowd" and the "family-night-out crowd." Conveniently located in this shopping center are such popular sit-down restaurants as Chili's, Chinez Restaurant, Claim Jumper and the Olive Garden. The Food Faire section of the plaza offers Noah's Bagels, Goro Japanese, Jalapeño's and Round Table Pizza. In addition to the variety of restaurants here, Luckys features convenient, freshly prepared meals for busy, working people, as well as for "on the go" families. Just visit the refrigerated section. Diamonds910 E. Birch St., Ste. 300, Brea, (714) 255-1800Lose yourself in a big billiard room that boasts 13 beautiful Brunswick Gold Crown III tables and 12 large video monitors, so you can catch the game while shooting stick. Or order some delicious food from the appetizer and sandwich menu, all of which is served until 1 a.m. Caffeine junkies can order up an espresso, cappuccino or café latte to chase away the shakes. Beer lovers need to hit Wednesday nights, when domestic pints are only $2 and premium pints are a measly $2.50, among many other drink specials all week long. There's also a dart room and various video games for ardent gamers to enjoy. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11:30-2 a.m.; Sat.-Sun., 4 p.m.-2 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Din Din at the Bamboo Terrace1773 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-5550Din Din was added on to the family-owned restaurant's name, Bamboo Terrace, to signify the transfer of operations to the family's third generation. They are committed to serving great-tasting Chinese food using only high-quality ingredients, such as 100 percent white-meat chicken and USDA-choice flank steak, all sans tenderizers and MSG. The dining area resembles a bamboo terrace, and the walls are adorned with Asian art and early 20th-century black-and-white photographs depicting Chinese immigrants. The Asian beer-house-style bar offers a vast selection of tropical drinks and specialty martinis. Weekends feature live, all-original local bands. Services: Takeout, delivery and catering available. Full bar. Hours: lunch: Tues.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; dinner: Tues.-Thurs. & Sun., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m. AmEx, MC, Visa and Diner's Club accepted. Parking available. Di Piazza3800 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 494-2071Established in 1952, this award-winning Italian restaurant received Best Pizza honors in the Entertainment Book for five straight years. Offering a huge menu selection, including American dishes, you'll want to try the enticing chicken picata, fettucini Alfredo, lasagna, shrimp and pastas. The chicken Parmesan melt sandwich or the calimari steak will create lasting memories in your stomach. And the building has a mid-'50s design with high walls and Palo Verde brick—not found much anymore—and the lava fireplace keeps your dining experience heartwarming. Services: Takeout available. Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. MC and Visa accepted. Eastbluff Village CenterEastbluff Dr., off Jamboree, Newport BeachA tradition you can count on! Restaurants include Bistro le Crillion and the critically acclaimed SAGE restaurant, featuring a menu of grilled and roasted meats, fresh seafood, mouth-watering pastas, gourmet pizzas and sumptuous deserts. And if you're too busy to dine, Ralphs features a make-it-yourself salad bar and service deli for a speedy meal. Galaxy Concert Theatre3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-6605One of the hippest concert venues in Orange County, Galaxy Concert Theatre is a casual theater-style setting for enjoying world-famous artists from all genres of music. Such famous acts as Sugar Ray, Soul Brains, Lee Rocker, the Fenians and Jerry Lee Lewis make appearances here. At your table, you'll dine on American cuisine, choosing from an entrée, appetizer and dessert special offered each night. The regular menu features swordfish, New York steak and burgers. Their crispy mozzerella sticks, nachos or jalapeño poppers go great with a cold brew and good music. Full bar. All major credit cards accepted.Glide 'Er Inn1400 Pacific Coast Hwy., Seal Beach, (562) 431-3022Since 1930, the Glide 'Er Inn has been perfecting its fine seafood dishes. The melt-in-your-mouth mountain trout, the sublime snapper and the fish kabobs will keep you running back—not to mention the prime rib and steak. In 1996, the restaurant received the Writer's Association Award for best all-around sea food. Besides the menu, the décor is also enticing: there are model airplanes frozen in flight above your head while you dine in this homey, full-service atmosphere. Services: takeout available. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reserva tions suggested. Hard Rock Café451 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 640-8844If you're stranded at Fashion Island after a three-hour shopping spree, just sit right back in a plush booth or at the big rectangular bar. Besides great piped-in tunes and fantastic music paraphernalia (shoes worn by Elton John, Prince's purple suit, a red-leather outfit worn by Gwen Stefani, and more), you'll find a wide range of menu items, including burger platters, salads and "really big' sandwiches. And don't miss such Hard Rock specialties as the delicious chicken pasta with red-pepper cream sauce, Texas T-bone steak, and the grilled marinated chicken breast. Services: Takeout available. Full bar. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11:30-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30-12:30 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Hennessey's213 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-2743A warmly lit Irish tavern located within ocean breeze of the Laguna beachfront—what more can one ask for? How about a great menu that features traditional Irish dishes like corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, and Dublin salmon (a potato-crusted, oven-baked salmon filet)? There's also a choice of soup, salads and sandwiches, not to mention breakfast ome lettes and griddle specials. The stone-tiled patio is rife with warm ambiance and a great place to just enjoy an Irish coffee or a dessert. The service is prompt and friendly, unlike some beach establishments where it can be a little too "laid-back." Services: takeout, delivery and catering available. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11-2 a.m.; Sat.-Sun., 9-2 a.m. All major credit cards accepted.Huntington Beach Beer Co.201 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 960-5343; www.hbbeerco.comHuntington Beach Beer Co. is fast becoming a downtown landmark. As the name implies, HBBC is known for its fresh, hand-crafted ales, which are brewed with local flair, evident from names such as Huntington Beach Blond, Pier Pale Ale and Main Street Wheat. The constantly expanding menu features everything from appetizers (like breaded calimari and grilled quesadillas) to main dishes (like grilled mahi mahi, jambalaya and brick-oven-baked pizzas). Because everything's made fresh to order, you really can't go wrong for lunch or dinner. One outstanding dish is the Chinese chicken salad, which doesn't skimp on the good stuff, including grilled chicken and a homemade dressing with pizzazz. Since the beer company is located one floor up from the hustle and bustle of Main Street, its two heated patios are perfectly situated for kicking back and swilling tasty brews. Services: takeout available. Beer, wine and cider only. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. (light menu available until midnight); Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Inca Amazon Grill25001 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Ste. F120, Dana Point, (949) 489-1900Take the Peruvian plunge at the Inca Amazon Grill. Descendants of many races inhabit Peru: Spaniards, Blacks, Asians and Europeans. Thus, the combination of these races and cultures makes Peruvian cuisine a diverse, fascinating dining experience. Try a vegetarian item like arroz con frijoles, black or pinto beans served with rice. Beef lovers will enjoy the bistec a lo pobre, a garlic-seasoned steak served with a fried egg and rice. Like seafood? Order the pescado sudado, a filet of freshly steamed halibut served with rice. Wash it all down with a South American red or white wine. Services: takeout available. Beer and wine only. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations suggested. Inka Grill260 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 444-4652Mystique and music from the Andes on Friday and Saturday nights is what awaits at the Inka Grill, where one can enjoy and partake of an extensive list of wines from around the world and select from a newly expanded menu. Also voted the No. 1 restaurant, unbiasedly—by their customers. The ambiance lends itself to most any occasion; bring a date if you're looking for cozy ambiance and tucked-in conversation. Don't miss the chupe de camarones, a milk-based shrimp soup that is like shiatsu for your tongue. This Peruvian restaurant offers a 42-entrée menu, entirely derived from family recipes, featuring quality ingredients and moderate prices. Services: takeout and catering available. Hours: lunch: Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner: Mon.-Thurs., 5-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. till 10 p.m.; Sun., 5-9 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations accepted. Irvine Spectrum Center71 Fortune Dr., Ste. 970, Irvine, (949) 789-9180The Irvine Spectrum Center is Orange County's premier dining, shopping and entertainment destination. Stroll through its European-flavored boulevards. Enjoy concerts, dancing, movies, comedy and nightclubs. Restaurants abound at the Spectrum, with everything from casual takeout places —such as Johnny Rockets, Pasta Bravo, Surf City Squeeze, Twin Dragon and more—to finer dining at restaurants like Bertolini's Authentic Trattoria, the Cheesecake Factory or Wolfgang Puck Café, to name but a few. Try Dave & Buster's or GameWorks for some gaming fun while you dine. It's NEVER dull at the Spectrum. Johnny Rockets71 Fortune, Irvine, (949) 753-8144; Laguna Beach, (949) 497-7252; Costa Mesa, (949) 631-2967; Irvine, (949) 789-7575Located throughout Orange County, Johnny Rockets is a trip back to the '50s with nickel juke boxes (nickels on the house!) at all the booths, authentic '50s-diner décor, and a staff that wears all white uniforms. The menu is no different, offering old-fashioned hamburgers—try the St. Louis burger with chili-cheese fries!—and sandwiches. Their shakes are spectacular! Partake of the Oreo cookie and cream shake or the Black Forest shake and send your palate to chocolate heaven. The atmosphere is loud, energetic and always fun. Services: takeout available. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11-1 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Ken Norton's1830 Main St., Irvine, (949) 724-9776That right! The man who broke Ali's jaw has moved on to more docile pursuits. Norton's serves up a killer (no pun intended, Mr. Norton, uh, sir) menu, featuring steak, chicken, seafood, salads, pastas, gourmet sandwiches and appetizers. Don't miss the happy hour or the Champ's special drink, "Ken Norton's Knockout Punch" served in an autographed souvenir glass. Dance to your favorite salsa-Latin music on TNT Thursdays or knosh down a $2 taco. It's hip-hop, funk and house on Fridays, and Saturday is always disco night with lots of drink specials all night long. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: lunch: Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner: major credit cards accepted. Left at AlbuquerqueThe Block, 20 City Blvd. W., Ste. R2, Orange, (714) 769-4300; Irvine, (949) 757-7600Left at Albuquerque is a Southwestern restaurant featuring unique bold flavors and creative plate presentations—try something off the brand-new menu. And this party place boasts the best margarita in town plus over 110 brands of tequilas sitting ominously behind the bar. Happy hour happens Mon day through Friday, 4-6 p.m., when half-price appetizers and drink specials run rampant. Large parties and togo business are always welcome in this high-ceilinged, big-glassed atmosphere. Services: takeout, delivery and catering available. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.-last call. Most major credit cards accepted. Lotus Vegetarian Cafe1515 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 385-1233At this café, it's vegan cooking and Chinese cuisine as you like it in a garden atmosphere. All the ingredients are fresh, healthy and natural, and the entrées are moderately priced. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike enjoy the low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sodium, soy-based cuisine because it can taste surprisingly like duck, lamb or chicken without the harmful byproducts. There's also an outdoor patio where you might try one of the wide selections of tea while taking a load off. This is the place to get healthy and feel revived after a meal . . . instead of ready for a nap. Services: takeout available. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 & 5-9:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Margaritaville Mexican Cantina2332 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 631-8220Jimmy Buffet would be proud of what his lyrics have inspired: a trail of red-blooded—and -nosed—Americans anxious to get "wasted away again" and again. And Margaritaville is the perfect venue in which to do it, where you'll find every flavor of margarita imaginable: banana, mango, strawberry, watermelon etc. And if they don't have the flavor you want, they'll make it. The menu features Mexican and American food, and there's live entertainment every night. The room is always festive and lively, especially on weekends when party-goers throng on the dance floor, getting lugged-up on their favorite "frozen concoction." Services: takeout, delivery and catering available. Full bar. Hours: daily 11:30-12:30 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations accepted. Mark's Restaurant858 South Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-6711Nestled within the art community of Laguna Beach, Mark's Restaurant has established itself as one of the premier dining experiences in Orange County. With his culinary talents, executive chef Martin Gonzales has created a moderately priced menu that offers a wide array of California cuisine with featured daily specials. The restaurant serves dinner six nights a week, Monday through Saturday, in a beachy, naturally lit setting with palm trees, crispy-linened tables and an ocean-breezed outdoor patio. Services: takeout and catering available. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 5-10:30 p.m.; Sat., 5-11 p.m.; Sun., 5-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. McClure's Bar & Grill14401 Newport Ave., Tustin, (714) 544-1995McClure's offer live entertainment every night at no cover. The broad menu features everything from hamburgers to lobster, served up in a casual everybody-knows-your-name atmosphere. Don't miss their annual St. Patrick's Day celebration, an all-day party when music, Irish beer and whiskey, and corned beef and cabbage run rampant. Surround yourself with fellow pint lovers who love camaraderie, song and suds. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: lunch: open daily, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; dinner: open daily, 6-11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Memphis Soul Café & Bar2920 Bristol, Costa Mesa, (714) 432-7685Just when you thought there wasn't a hipafied, West Coast-cool restaurant around, this café opened. Specialty cocktails, ambient electronic music, and a mid-century vibe is what awaits inside. The menu offers an excellent choice of Southern, regional America with a Southern slant. The grilled pork chop with a cherry glace and an okra gumbo is a brilliantly prepared delicacy. A seafood special is offered daily. On the lunch menu, try the turkey-breast-and-pesto sandwich with the house salad, or the catfish po'boy. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: breakfast: Sat.-Sun., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; lunch: Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner: Mon.-Thurs., 5-10 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 5-11 p.m.; Sun., 5-9:30p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations accepted. Mum's Restaurant144 Pine Ave., Long Beach, (562) 437-7700We're talking upscale and posh ambiance at Mum's, a restaurant that also harbors a martini lounge, billiard room and an attached room called Club Cohiba (open Friday and Saturday nights). The menu features an excellent array California cuisine, including sushi specials, pastas, salads, steak and seafood. Try the sumptious blackened halibut with carrot butter sauce, or the rack of lamb with herb crust. Feeling carnivorous? Order the filet mignon or the New York strip steak. Don't forget to top your fine dining experience off with a nice stogy or a dry martini. Services: takeout and catering available. Full Bar. Hours: Mon.-Thurs. & Sun., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-midnight. All major credit cards accepted. Reserva tions essential. Valet parking available. Old World Restaurant & Lounge7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 895-8020You'll enjoy homade German and European cuisine at the Old World Village— home of the Oktoberfest. Try their sauerbraten, a pot roast of beef marinated in burgandy wine and spices and served with potato pancakes, apple sauce and red cabbage. Pork chop fans must try the kassler rippchen, which goes excellently with a Hefeweiss (1/2 liter of Spaten imported beer). They also have delicious bratwursts, hamburgers, steaks and ribs. For dessert, order the Black Forest ice cream or the home-baked apple strudel. Drop by, mention this write up, and receive a free loaf of Farmer's rye bread—baked on site. Services: catering and banquet facilities available. Market hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., till 9 p.m. Restaurant hours: Mon., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reserva tions accepted. Peruvian Grill9606 Hamilton St., Huntington Beach, (714) 593-3883Interested in an exotically ethnic dining experience like no other? Then join chef Renzo at the Peruvian Grill in Huntington Beach. He will take you to the land of the Incas and back with a menu that puts a contemporary spin on Peruvian dishes. But the Grill also features typical international cuisine, ceviches and much more. If you want Peruvian dining excellence at moderate prices, then experience it from a chef that knows how to transplant your taste buds to another land. Services: Takeout available. Hours: lunch: Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; dinner: Mon.-Thurs., 5-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-9:30 p.m. Closed Sundays. All major credit cards accepted. P.F. Chang's China Bistro71 Fortune, Irvine, (949) 453-1211Walking into the Bistro, you are surrounded by a unique enviroment combining the best influences of Chinese and American cultures, including sculptures and murals that re-create ancient empires. From the menu, each dish is prepared to order, using only the finest of ingrediants, featuring such delicacies as lemon-pepper shrimp, "VIP" Cantonese duck and Malaysian chicken. There is also a grand choice of seafoods, noodles, vegetable plates, soups and salads. Select from 50 wines by the glass or from a fine array of Asian beers. The bistro is a remarkable blend of Chinese cuisine and American hospitality. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-midnight. All major credit cards accepted.P.J.'s Abbey182 S. Orange St., Orange, (714) 771-8556Feeling nostalgic? Ready to travel back in time? Then jump in your horse-drawn carriage, and trot down to P.J.'s Abbey in Old Towne Orange for live entertainment and American cuisine in an award-winning restaurant. P.J.'s Abbey occupies a 19th-century Victorian church, complete with vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows. Enjoy fresh-cut steaks, old-fashioned meatloaf, or P.J.'s signature charbroiled pork with sun-dried-cherry-and-walnut sauce. They also serve great breakfasts. Tell them Emily Dickinson sent you to try the best food in town. Services: banquet facility available. Beer and wine only. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 8 a.m.-9 p.m. AmEx, Visa, MC and Diners Club accepted. Reserva tions suggested. Plein Air Café850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 760-9711Located in the Orange county Museum of Art, the Plein Air Café is a great lunch room at which to surround yourself in fine art and cuisine. The menu features a variety of sandwiches and salads along with such specialties as the fresh Dungeness crab cakes, the shrimp-and-vegetable dumplings, stuffed with shrimp, carrots, garlic and cilantro, or the excellent mango-and-brie quesadilla. The portions are big and the main-course items are moderately priced. After your meal, meander through the museum to help ease the digestion. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Rafi's Cuban Cafe425 El Camino Real, Tustin, (714) 505-4071Fortunately, to get a taste of authentic Cuban cuisine made by real Cubans, all you have to do to get the real thing is stop by Rafi's in old-town Tustin. The key-lime pie was rated "the best in OC" by Zagat Res taurant Magazine, try the tres leches cake for a taste of heaven. All the dishes are cooked on the premises, and only corn oil and olive oil are used for cooking and frying. With large servings of great food at reasonable prices, Rafi's has everything you could ask for. Services: takeout and catering available. Beer and wine only. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 4:30-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 4:30-9:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations suggested.Riverboat Restaurant151 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 673-3425Voted the "Best Ribs in OC" by the LA Times, Riverboat also offers fresh sea food, steak and barbecue with true Southern flair and a New Orleans flavor. The menu features Dr. Voo Doo jambalaya, swordfish, Bourbon Street prime rib and Southern fried catfish among other delicacies. The dining room, accented by red velvet curtains and booths plus chandeliers and rose glass hurricane lamps, is entered by crossing a gangplank onto the landmark sternwheeler. Being the only floating restaurant in Newport Beach, boaters can also tie up at the restaurant's dock. A truly unique dining experience. Services: takeout, delivery and catering available. Full bar. Hours: lunch: Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner: Wed.-Sun., 5-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery71 Fortune, Irvine, (949) 453-0777Located in the Irvine Spectrum, Rock Bottom produces 3,120 barrels per year in-house. Tasty brews include Cryin' Coyote Light Ale, Regatta Red, Bogie Brown and Sticky Tongue stout, to name but a few. Besides a full-service bar, a live DJ and dancing on weekends, the brewery offers a fine food selection from pizzas and bountiful salads to hearty meats, ribs, chicken and other favorites. Try the addler smoked salmon to the Mediterranean pasta. Larger-than-life desserts include carrot cake and deep-dish apple pie. The atmosphere has a Colorado mountain feel with rich woods and bright, open seating. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11-1 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Valet parking available. Romeo Cucina249 Broadway, Laguna Beach, (949) 497-6627; Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-4131For a taste of southern Italy, visit Romeo Cucina, a family-owned restaurant run by a clan of four brothers and two sisters from the Calbria region of Italy's boot. The siblings adhere to Italian traditions and view cooking as an art form. Fire flashes from the open-hearth oven against the warm woods and brightly colored ceramics as romantic Italian music is performed live. An assortment of pastas, vegetables and fresh seafood are among the delectable items offered on the menu. Weekends in the Laguna Beach location feature live Latin music and Italian sounds during the week; in Laguna Niguel, it's salsa every Wednes day and Thursday. Services: takeout, delivery and catering available. Hours: Laguna Beach location Thurs.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m.-late; Mon.-Wed., 5 p.m.-late; Laguna Niguel location: Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 4:30 p.m.-late. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations accepted. Free parking available. Sloppy Joe's31 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 727-1484This rock & roll bar brings a little Key West to Irvine, having originated on the southernmost island of the Florida Keys. Sloppy Joe's Irvine reflects its Key West heritage by delivering the best island cuisine, tropical drinks, and live, local entertainment. Every Monday is Club Chemistry night, featuring house and hip-hop; Thursdays is Club Bliss (18 and over). The menu features soups and chili, burgers and sandwiches, and grilled and island specialties, such as the Jamaican chicken sandwich, a chicken breast marinated in spicy Jamaican seasoning, or Joe's Cuban sandwich, juicy smoked turkey and lean ham. You'll love it. Services: takeout and catering available. Hours: Sun.-Wed., 11 a.m.-midnight; Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.-2 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations recommended. Steelhead Brewing Company4175 Campus Dr., Irvine, (949) 856-2227Steelhead Brewing Co. is an authentic microbrewery in the heart of Irvine. The resident brewmaster creates the potent Steelhead Amber on the premises and features a number of quality international wheats and stouts for your drinking rapture. They also offer a great selection of food. Wood-fired pizza or juicy steak are the perfect complement to a pint of Steelhead Amber. Located in the thriving University Center, the place is always jumping and can accommodate large parties. The outdoor patio has heat lamps to augment the cigar-friendly ambiance, with special cigar nights happening every three months. Live entertainment busts the house Thursday though Saturday, 9 p.m. till closing—no cover charge. Sunday and Monday nights offer a special late-night happy hour, 9 p.m.-closing. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: open daily, 11:30 a.m.-midnight (or later). All major credit cards accepted. Taps Fish House & Brewery101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, (714) 257-0101A full bar, eclectic menu—featuring seafood, pork chops, steak, chicken, pizza, pasta, sandwiches and vegetarian dishes—oyster bar and microbrewery are the main attractions at the Tap House. Try the tropical shrimp quesadilla, served with veggies and tandoori dipping sauce, or quell your man's hunger with a double pork chop, served with one of four kinds of mashed potatoes. And brew master Victor Novak offers a rotation of 35 hand-crafted lagers and ales produced throughout the year. Full bar. Hours: open daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reserva tions accepted. Thai Wave211 62nd St., Newport Beach, (949) 645-3078There are lots of loving spices like chile, gingery galanga root, lemongrass and garlic in Thai Wave's gourmet servings. The chicken panang has chile-paste mix in a base of coconut milk that gives the mouth a unique zing! The seafood is also spicy, punchy and delectable. You'd be wise to try the catfish served with curry sauce or the whitefish filet dashed with chile sauce to make you sweat a little. The sticky rice with mango is utterly terrific. This cuisine is both purifying and salubrious to the system. Services: takeout, delivery and catering available. Beer and wine only. Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 4-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Tia Juana's14988 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, (949) 551-2998Inside, you'll find the longest bar in OC and more than 100 brands of Tequilas on the shelf behind it. Tuesdays at Tia Juana's feature 50-cent tacos during happy hour (4-8 p.m.) and a live salsa band by night. Don't deny yourself the free happy hour buffet every Wednesday through Friday or the $2 margaritas and well drinks. Thursday is hot with salsa music and free dance lessons (also on Satur days) with Rudy from 8-9 p.m. Friday hosts more hot salsa bands, while Saturdays feature a DJ spinning—you guessed it—salsa, rock en españoland disco. Party on! Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11-1 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Tropics Lounge8901 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 848-3886Karaoke rules (Sun.-Thurs.) at the Tropics, so there's always entertainment while you dine on seafood or steak. Everything is made fresh to order, including the homemade Carribean sauce and salad dressing that comes with most meals. There is something for everyone on the menu from heavenly ribs and salad bar to the blackened salmon with Cajune spice, served with a baked potato, rice and vegetables. Steaks come in petite or supreme cuts; there's also a children's menu. The restaurant has multiple levels and big but quaint booths, or you might dine outdoors on the smoker-friendly patio. Services: takeout and catering available. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Parking available. University Park18058 Culver Dr., Irvine, (949) 559-6958University Park is a community center featuring a collection of unique restaurants that offer something for everyone, including such places as Ameci Pizza & Pasta, Carl's Jr., Mag's Donut & Bakery, Tenko Teriaki House, and the Wokman. The Park also offers a variety of specialty stores, such as Crown Hardware, Digital Lab, Rite Aid and University Park Hair Design. Enjoy a sit-down meal or casual takeout dining, or browse through many shops within easy walking distance. Viva644 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, (562) 435-4048Located next door to the Museum of Latin American Art, it is only fitting that Viva offers authentic Latin American cuisine in a casual and stylish atmosphere—how can it get more stylish than being surrounded by fine art? And the garden patio is secluded, a perfect place for an appetizer, coffee or dessert. The dishes are always changing to augment the different exhibitions at the museum, so you'll never be bored with the moderately priced menu no matter how many times you frequent this Epicurean mainstay. Services: catering available. Beer and wine only. Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Westcliff Plaza17th St. & Irvine Ave, Newport BeachWith its great variety of restaurants, you're sure to find whatever you crave at Westcliff Plaza. Pasta Bravo specializes in a variety of healthy, homemade pastas and pasta salads. All menu items are cooked fresh-to-order, and they can be quickly prepared and packaged to go or delivered. Pick-up Stix serves up contemporary Chinese cuisine. Don't miss their full "heart-healthy" menu. Although Mrs. Beasley's Muffins and Miss Grace Lemon Cake Co. are famous for their gift baskets and tempting treats, they also have lunch menus featuring sandwiches and salads. Don't forget the goodies at Helen Grace Choco lates, and top it off with the fresh-roasted coffees at Starbucks or fresh treats from Champagne Bakery. Zov's Bistro17440 E. 17th St., Tustin, (714) 838-8855There are two sides to the same coin at Zov's Bistro in the cheerful Enderle Center in Tustin. The bistro is a smart, casual restaurant that serves contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine. The bakery is just as contemporary; check out the modern design of the rooms. Among the tasty, aesthetically presented pastries, you'll find sumptuous cakes, freshly baked breakfast breads, yummy muffins and more. Both sides feature patio and indoor seating. Services: takeout and catering available. Beer and wine only. Hours: bistro: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Wed.-Sat., 5-9 p.m.; bakery: Mon., 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Tues.-Sat., 7 a.m.-8 p.m. AmEx, MC and Visa accepted. Reserva tions recommended.

 
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