Wonderful Service at The Olde Ship
The Olde Ship pub is an OC Brit standby, a place probably populated more by Yanks but nevertheless popular for its booze, its fattening food, and hours of Premier League matches. Lost in the novelty of it all, however, is its surprisingly good food. I don't know who started the stereotype that the Brits don't cook good food (a Frenchy, no doubt), but it's a lie at the Olde Ship. We once voted their hamburger the best in Orange County, they feature all the disturbingly massive meals of Great Britain (Yorkshire pudding, Welsh rarebit, Cornish pasty...only at a British pub can fish-'n'-chips seem like a salad), and the curry sauce is superb--surprisingly spicy, wonderfully viscous, and perfect for dunking their thick-as-fingers fries in it.
Except yesterday. I went with chums to celebrate God-knows-what, and after consuming their legendary British breakfast of fried toast and eggs, baked beans, a banger, and suffocatingly salty English bacon (available on Sundays through the night), I wanted to continue snacking on a pal's fries with the curry sauce. It was bad--so bad I could only dunk three fries in it before calling it a night.
The waiter--a early-20s guy with a ponytail--noticed this. "How was your meal?" he asked, as I nodded in approval but was too shy to complain about the curry sauce. Without missing a beat, he added "Curry sauce not good tonight?" I sheepishly agreed. "Don't worry--I'll take it off the bill."
$120 for appetizers, drinks, meals, and dessert (the spotted dickis delicious--insert homoerotic penis joke!!!) is a great price, and the curry sauce only cost about $4, but his gracious offer both shows the type of attention the Olde Ship brings to customers and the worth of its staff (but why can't they hire a couple of Page 3 girls?). Don't let this min-review discourage you from trying the curry sauce--when it works, it's one of the county's better condiments. But know they'll take care of you in the rare instance it's as flat as a tortilla.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.