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.

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