Playground

220 E. 4th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
714-560-4444
Critics' Pick

Details

  • Tue-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-12am, Sun 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm
  • $$$
  • Beer/Wine
  • Street Parking
At the Playground, Jason Quinn exhibits the ballsy confidence that has gotten him this far. The former Lime Truck chef scribbles on his chalkboard wall, "If you want your meat well-done, bring it with you" because he not-so-coyly refuses to do his burgers warmer than medium-rare. The now-controversial Playground burger is the bloodiest in all of OC, but also one of the greatest. The barely cooked patty is as thick as two fingers, and you don't chew it; rather, you inhale the thing like beefy air. It shares the lightness of sushi and doesn't feel greasy, even as the juices trickle down your forearm. That it shares a kinship with steak tartare and Ethiopian kitfo more than a Double-Double is the reason the cheese, the bun and the misplaced shreds of iceberg lettuce disappear from your peripheral vision. You focus instead on that deep-crimson core and marvel at how very good this hand-ground Wagyu beef is when eaten nearly raw.

Related Stories (41)

  • 100 Favorite OC Dishes, #27: Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken at Playground
    Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 7:15 a.m. by Edwin Goei

    If you haven't had it, Playground's Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken is a different species of bird than any other fried chicken you may have had...unless you've been to Memphis. The menu actually issues this warning: "The one item you can...

  • Chef Updates: Jeffrey Boullt Can Be Found In . . .
    Friday, May 20, 2016 at 7:40 a.m. by Anne Marie Panoringan

    It was less than three months ago when we reported the bridge burning of Social's Jeffrey Boullt and Ashley Guzman from the restaurant. Edwin wrote up earlier this week that Guzman has linked back to Irenia at their newly opene...

  • Eat This Now: Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken at Playground
    Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 5:34 a.m. by Edwin Goei

    Jason Quinn's PFC at 4th Street Market has been closed for a few months now, but it hasn't stopped PFC's fans from wondering if its signature fried chicken and agave-nectar sauce might, ahem, cross the road and show up at Playground...

  • Dave's Top 5 Drinks and Restaurants of 2015
    Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 7:05 a.m. by Dave Lieberman

    5. Baja wine at San Clemente Wine Company A while back, the San Clemente Wine Company held a week-long tasting of Baja wines, which are almost impossible to find north of the border, despite being two hours' drive from San Clemente....

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