Santa Ana Restaurants

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Best Rated Restaurants in Santa Ana

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    Mike Original (Building 1919): Awesome food and decor!

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 4, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a really nice restaurant. The outside patio and the antique cars caught my hubby’s eye. He said lets eat here and I am always up for adventures. As you enter, you will enter an area that looks like a ballroom with a very unique bar. Lots’ to look at and see here, so you have to walk around and look at the antique cars in front and the wall size murals in the ballrooms. The young hostess said the building use to be a car dealership and was built around 1919. That would explain the garage door on the side of the street and just the sheer size of the place. The exposed the original brick on many of walls, so that is really neat. Lots of old charm here and the food and service is excellent here too. As I mentioned before the patio is very inviting with lots of seating too. TVs’ everywhere so you don’t miss a game that is going on. We really enjoyed our time here, so it might be worth checking out this place the next time your in Santa Ana. Almost forgot, they have bands here regularly, so you may want to call in advance to know who is playing.

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    The Grilled Cheese Spot: Get Your Gooey On! Yay Gourmet Grilled Cheese!

    by marinarena Updated Feb 19, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oh so sinfully yummy! Grilled Cheese Spot is that guilty pleasure place with everything on the menu needing to be ordered individually- so locals make this one on the regular! This is the place to have, devour an American classic- the grilled cheese sandwich.

    Very awesome thing here? Have it your way- create your own $6.95+ sandwich if you are picky or just can't quite do a pre-arranged option. Choices of sliced bread include: white, wheat, multigrain, sourdough (most highly recommended for grilled cheese sandwich in my book :-), challah, rye, or ciabatta. Also, select from a "sh-tload" of 15 cheeses :-> , including smoked gouda, cheddar, havarti, brie and goat (OMG- cheese-formaggio-fromage heaven!). Add veggies/fruit like arugala, spinach and tomato for texture and to be somewhat healthy (if that's even possible for this kind of sandwich). Lastly , add a protein, like a basic fried egg or roasted turkey - or get one more on the gourmet side, such as braised short rib and citrus rosemary chicken ($1.50 for each).

    For side snacks and drinks, try some homemade potato chips, organic apple tarts, hot tomato soup, and non typical beverages like Blueberry and Ginger soda. Want a more classic offering? Get Coke- the popular Mexican variety here!

    Pluses here- the sandwich makers are very welcoming, friendly and professional. Their food prep and grilling chef-artist quality. And the joint itself with counter space dining for about 5-10 comfortably inside is rather hipster-chic, fitting with the downtown arts district motif.

    Make it a point to come here. Fill you tummy and support small local biz while you're at it.

    Photo by WDBrooks.

    Favorite Dish: The Three Little Pigs Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Pictured on the right)

    OMG! No adequate words to express how I feel about this one!
    It's perfection in wrapping paper.

    Contents:
    Applewood Smoked Bacon- this may make the sandwich so darn irresistible !
    proscuitto
    salami
    brie and goat cheese- ditto, like bacon
    red onions
    spinach

    sandwiches from Grilled Cheese Spot, Santa Ana, CA
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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Mothers Market cafe: Good healthy slice of pizza & much more

    by marinarena Written Aug 29, 2009

    If you are craving something fast but healthy in Santa Ana, make your way to the cafeteria of Mother's Market. There are a few salad/entree bars with delicious organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for the health-conscious. Fill up a plate of hummus, veggie dolmas, vegan enchiladas, brown rice, a hearty vegetable soup. Most items are baked and grilled, not friend. Even nearby in the deli area, there are pizza slices available that are on the light side (thinly sliced, often with fresh veggies on top.

    Favorite Dish: veggie pizza-- filling without a lot of crust

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    El Izalco (formerly) El Curtido: Sample Salvadorean Style in Santa Ana!

    by marinarena Updated Feb 4, 2014

    El Izalco is to be reviewed officially by me soon--but it's similar to the former restaurant, as mentioned below! :-)
    (714) 973-0554

    OLD Review: Tired of the same old Mexican? Try El Curtido, a popular restaurant just outside the city buildings in Santa Ana on 5th and Broadway. This is a great medium-sized family restaurant that offer authentic Salvardorean meals as well as the usual Mexican options -but try to expand the palette. Whenever in Santa Ana, I think about coming here.

    Fast and friendly service is here! Dine in or take out!

    Favorite Dish: pupusa (soft , puffy tortilla) with filling inside
    ( pork, beef, chicken, rocoto [vegetable] or just cheese)

    Having two of these is filling enough for lunch

    Salvadorean-Mexican food, Santa Ana/CAeaterie El Curtido,Salvadorean restaurant, Orange countyCA
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    Darya' in Santa Ana/ South Coast metro: Persian Perfect!

    by marinarena Written Mar 23, 2005

    For those curious about trying middle eastern, don't be scared off. Darya's is a good place to begin trying Persian cuisine.

    If you want to impress someone on a date, come to Darya in the evening. Romance is in the air, fulling the simple-elegant dining room with lovely table settings and cream-colored walls. On the exterior, the restuarant is beautifully lit. Nearby the restaurant is entertainment galore, featuring a movie theater(mainly showing a small, independent and arthouse films), South Coast Plaza, several individual shops, galleries and Segestrom Hall.

    Well, some locals may argue about this tip representing Santa Ana. Darya's is officially in the South Coast Metro area that includes Santa Ana but also Costa Mesa, a city more suited for this classy restaurant. Santa Ana is mostly an urban, blue collar city. Perhaps Darya's is more suited as a Costa Mesa tip, given the latter city's more opulent personality.

    Favorite Dish: Chicken Soltani- golden strips of chicken with a wondefrul tomato that is charboiled and basmati rice. This is a very light but satisfying dish.This is a great beginner Persian meal, as it is particularly mild and flavorful without being too exotic.

    Try appetizers here if not very hungry, like the piquant borani (fried eggplant, herbs, brown onions, yogurt). It has an acquired taste , but truly a delicious mix of distinguishing flavors in one.

    Darya restaurant, Santa Ana, California
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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Geisha House: Get your Geisha!

    by marinarena Updated Jun 22, 2013

    CLOSED! (Read my review, anyway :-)
    If modern, sexy chic Japanese is what your craving, this is the place to go. The Dolce Group run establishment has added a hot sophistication to the Santa Ana eaterie scene. Geisha House is separated into two-levels, featuring a main dining area, sushi bar and sake lounge on the first level and a more cozy, intimate dining area above. An inviting fireplace on the first level is sure pleaser for the romantics, but the overall fiery yellow-red decor sets this restaurant off.

    There is no mistaking that Geisha House is marketed with sexual overtones in presentation. Some may think of Geisha House as classed-up Japanese-inspired version of Hooters by looking at the scantily clad high heel wearing waitresses. Both restaurant chains still manage to attract everybody, families included. But Geisha House offers outstanding, quality food that lives up to Japanese tradition but also offers a Pan-Asian twist.

    Personally, I've been here about 3 or 4 times, haven't been totally disappointed yet. The service is what one would expect for a corporate restaurant chain, friendly and fairly efficient. The sushi is presented as it should be- like art. And yes, it's absolutely delicious.

    Local business folks flock into this place after 5 PM for Happy Hour and dinner. Best to arrive at about 7 PM or earlier to not wait long for a table. Parking is open, within the City Place lot, no need for valet.
    No need to dress up super elegant but a step beyond casual would be appropriate.

    Favorite Dish: Good for Starters:
    Edamame $3 (addicting)
    Japanese Shishito Peppers $3 (especially good, not hot)

    Specialized G.H. Sushi rolls:

    Frightened Geisha Spicy Tuna And Cucumber, Topped With Torched Salmon, Tobiko, Spicy Cream Sauce, Eel Sauce $10 (gotta love the name of this one)

    OC Sunfire Lobster, Cucumber, Avocado, And Cilantro. Topped With A Piece Of Fresh Mango And Wasbi Yuzu Dressing $13 (a special, local offering)

    Surf and Turf Lobster, Filet Mignon, Green Scallion, And Sweet Sesame Miso Sauce $17 (most expensive of the rolls and very much worth it)

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    Olé Spanish Delishop: The real Spanish flavor

    by BLewJay Updated Jul 8, 2013

    We were heading up to Orange County Airport for an afternoon flight and wanted to get something good to eat. So searched online and read the ratings for Olé Spanish Delishop...sounded good and since it was near the airport, we headed there for lunch to go. The owners welcomed us to their store, the food was delicious and was not expensive at all. Definitely a "must stop" place to head to before taking off from the airport.

    Favorite Dish: We ordered Bocatas (sandwiches made with their daily fresh bread)...LJ had the Castilla Bocata (manchego cheese, pesto, lettuce, tomato, onion & black olives) while I had the Española Bocata (Serrano ham, Pamplona sausage, manchego cheese & piquillo peppers), both served with chips.

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