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There are already a few OC restaurants that let you bring the dog. But the Lazy Dog chain pretty much invites your pooch to come along. You have to sit outside, of course, with the other pet parents, but the patio is exactly the place you want to dine at Lazy Dog when these hot early-summer days turn into warm evenings. For a nominal fee, there's even a menu for Fido: either burger or chicken, served with brown rice. And a bowl of water is always complimentary.
When you eat there at the dog patio, what you typically want is finger food, something you can handle with one hand while you hold the leash with the other, lest your dog decides to sniff another dog's butt. There are flatbread pizzas, wasabi-laced ahi poke on wafer-thin planks of fried wonton, and a Brussels sprouts dish that's as good as Brussels sprouts can get. And to drink, something summery, something refreshing over ice that you can sip slowly as the breeze cools the back of your neck. The house-made sangrias sampler is perfect: three good sized mason jars of sweetened wines flavored with pomegranate, peach, and raspberry.
The White Peach tastes like a potpourri-scented lemonade; the Raspberry Moscato is like a Hawaiian punch with the alcoholic sting coming at the end; and the Pomegranate Red has the most body, the one that tastes the most like actual wine and perfect if you happen to have ordered a rare burger. Sip the drink, and then take a bite of the bur...Fido, no! Down boy! Leave that poodle alone!