Restaurant week? Puh-lease! Try a restaurant month. As you might have already heard (and perhaps have already eaten) Costa Mesa's top-end eateries, which also constitute some of OC's best top-end restaurants, are participating in a month-long discount special as part of something called "California Restaurant Month."
The deals vary from restaurant to restaurant. It could just be a percentage off your meal or a prix-fixe lunch or dinner. The only thing one's required to do is to mention to your server that you want the "2011 Dine At Costa Mesa promotion." That is, once you figure out where you want to go.
That's where Costa Mesa's Restaurant Month website comes in--one that schools all the others. Finally, someone has figured out that communicating what the deals are is just as important as the deals themselves. And integral to this is organizing it in a clean, simple, non-annoying way.
Just take a look at the site they've set up. Why hasn't everyone who organizes this type of thing done it this way? All the restaurants are listed on one single page, with all the vital information encapsulated in clear text. There's no unnecessary logos, verbiage or graphics.
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The offer for each restaurant is highlighted simply and catches the eye, and if you want to know what menu items are included on a prix fixe, you click on a link, and it expands into the same page. This is important! It does not send you off to another page. It's intuitive and perfect.
I would tell you what restaurants are participating, but why should I bother when the site does it so well.
I only wish that others follow this template, such as the upcoming Newport Beach Restaurant Week, being held Jan. 21 to 27.
Good job, Dine At Costa Mesa. Now, to eat.