Almost two months to the day after bringing my car in for rear bumper work, a *close relative* (who evidently inherited her driving skills from the Asian side of the family) hit the same exact part that Jimmy, Daryl, and crew fixed not sixty days before. Fortunately for me, I have OC Bumper & Body saved in my phonebook under " Reliable enough to depend on in Prison". I think I spent more time laughing with Jimmy on the phone over the silliness of the coincidence than it took OC B&B to order and receive the part.
Once again, it took me like two and a half weeks to finally make it down there, which, given the several appointments I made and missed, is another star for them for being so accommodating. Finally made it down there, got to hang out with Daryl and Jimmy for about a half hour, which was bittersweet because while it does mean they do quick (and high quality) work, it also means you have no excuse to continue your conversation with them without looking sorta...weird.
I don't have the invoice on me, but if I recall correctly the part is about $50, and I paid like $60. Beats blue book labor prices up and down the block, and i got to hang out with two of the most upstanding gentlemen (especially in their given profession) I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, I'm looking forward to bringing the sis--er, *relative's* car down to them next week. Hell, I might have her run into my car again, just to feel that great gooey feeling inside for finding a great body shop all over one more time.I think OC Bumper and Body's aggregate rating already speaks for itself. I'm just submitting this… En savoir plus
I go back and forth on my health. Some days, I'm a hedonistic, carnivorous bacchanal, eating, drinking, and smoking my way to an early grave. It was after one of these phases that I decided to try True Food Kitchen. Came here with my partner in crime on the recommendation of one of our friends who (at the time) worked at TFK.
I'll caveat this review right now: I am not a vegan. I am not a vegetarian. In fact, I am more moved by the flavor of an animal than its plight. This does not mean that I do not appreciate vegan food--it's more the sanctimony of my vegan acquaintances that irks me.
True Food was rife with those people. Oh well, can't fault the restaurant for that. Still, having to sit next to two androgynous hipster hypochondriacs alternating between complaints over their myriad food allergies and the plight of the Egyptian dung beetle did color my dining experience somewhat.
Service was attentive at first, then slow. Took about thirteen minutes to get our drinks, which were delicious. Ginger-something tea and a watermelon juice with some other healthy and delicious things in it. I forget, but they were both awesome. Best thing we ordered.
The food was just not my cup of tea. After perusal of the menu, we decided that, despite our better judgment, we would chance it. Girlfriend found something with 'pasta' in the description and ordered it. I got a pizza.
The 'pasta' was shredded squash. It was tasteless. The pizza was decent, given that it was a glorified margherita. Small, though.
The food also took a while, and we had to ask for silverware twice.
Overall, the food was expensive, and we drove straight to Trader Joe's to pick up some pancetta for an emergency penne vodka that I prepared at home to finally quench our hunger.
If you adhere to the vegan lifestyle, live it up here, I'm sure it's delicious. I'm going to stick to my animals.
I first found WIldfish after my roommate got a job running food there. Watching him get suited up in all black and hop on a Vespa, yelling Ciao as he sped off to make that money finally piqued my interest enough to head out there and harry him during his shift.
Four years later, WIldfish is on the list of places I go to when I want to really feel like I'm living above my means, without having to. It's become a sort of role play for me and the girlfriend; drag our lazy asses out of the college apartment bed, throw on our Happy Hour best, and drive down Bison to WIldfish to sit and rub martini glasses with the NB mod squad, pretending like we fit in, even though we are so much cooler.
I like to sit at the oyster bar and watch them prep the shellfish, even though I tend to stick to the happy hour menu (which the oysters are not on). Wildfish's happy hour is very noteworthy. I've tried everything, and everything is good. The first among equals on that menu, however, HAS to be the calamari. Other favorites include the oysters (when I do feel like shelling out for them), crab cakes, and the steak dish that they have (it seems to rotate every once in a while, never been disappointed though).
Wildfish food is to me at least stereotypical upscale-ish Newport fusion fare, but this is by no means a negative. In fact, being able to walk out with two bellies full of champagne, martinis, two orders of calamari and the better part of the happy hour choices for $60-$70 is a good night in my book, tempered only by the fact that I have to return to my drab reality as a UCI student at the end of the meal. Like I said, martinis is plural.
I was so excited to try Rooster PM. I had cased the joint Yelp-style for the better part of two weeks before convincing my ol' lady to come out and try it with me.
Not gonna lie, first time we went it was an abject failure on their part. Waited about 45 minutes for food that was, I'm sorry to say, atrocious. The service, surprisingly, was very accommodating during our wait, comping us on sangria refills and giving us bread and some soup samples. Still, the food just completely missed the ball, and after waiting so long for it to arrive, we ended up speaking to the manager, whose name you'll find in several of the other reviews (his name escapes me at the moment). This man is a pure gentleman. He graciously apologized, comped our meal, and gave us a $30 gift card to come back so he could make it right.
This weekend we gave him the opportunity. Came in on a Wednesday around 6PM. Ordered the avocado chicken cups, filet mignon Bearnaise, goat cheese, and the mac and cheese. Tempranillo to wash it all down.
Avocado chicken cups were delectable. It's genius! Shredded chicken with some taco seasoning (paprika, cayenne, and I tasted some adobo) inside a pitted avocado half over a light salad. Homemade (looking) chips to go with.
Mac and cheese was a hit with the girlfriend, who HATES mac and cheese. This says something about it.
Filet and goat cheese were okay, nothing to write home about. Personally, I like that gamey aroma that goat cheese has. Topping it with honey and sesame seeds like they do at Roosters covers up what I love about goat cheese. Again, this is a personal preference, YMMV. FIlet was tapas sized, and the Bearnaise could have used some more shallot and peppercorn.
All in all, what we ordered garnered a 4/5. Nothing was bad, and half of it was great!
To top it all off, we received a complimentary creme brulee for dessert, compliments of everybody at Rooster PM.
I gotta hand it to these ladies and gentlemen, they know how to right a wrong, and they do it in style. I'll come back just on that knowledge.
Oh yeah, the homemade pesto sauce kicks ass.
Once again, Sloth and Gluttony got the better of me as the girlfriend and I decided to head for the Newport Yardhouse instead of the usual Spectrum Yardhouse.
Like virtually everybody else who comes to Yardhouse, I go for the happy hour. I rationalized my two deadly sins by telling myself that there's no way the Newport crowd would settle for anything less than that offered at the Spectrum location, so how bad could it be?
Unfortunately, this Yardhouse location has provided me with nothing else than a base of comparison that showed me just how much better the Spectrum Yardhouse is.
Walked in at 9:45PM for the 10PM Happy Hour. I told the waiter this, but still put in an order of truffle fries to keep him interested in us. Having just finished Tony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, I watched my server's body language instead of my menu as I communicated with him, and as soon as I mentioned the fifteen minutes we planned on waiting, he checked out. Didn't write down my order of fries, and walked away. Fine with me, to be honest, at least he made no qualms about providing shitty service.
Like everybody has already mentioned, beer selection is mediocre by comparison to the Spectrum location. If you're a CMB person, then you don't care about this, but one of the fun things about Yardhouse is pairing your beer with your meal, and that's made much more difficult if they offer a glorified D&B's selection.
Another waiter comes along at 9:56PM and graciously takes our Happy Hour order. Girlfriend got her usual pear cider, which we both swore to the gods was club soda and syrup. My Old Speckled Hen tasted like the pub ale it should have. We ordered the Bearnaise sliders, nachos, Thai chicken pizza, and crab cakes.
The Yardhouse food quality seemed pretty much the same all around, which is good; I like dependability. Unfortunately, the food came out about 30 minutes after we ordered it, and the waiter forgot to put in our crab cake order, even though he repeated it back to us when we ordered it. Those truffle fries, needless to say, never came.
Our frustration curbed only by our satisfied appetites, we asked for the bill so we could get home before midnight. Fifteen minutes later, I found myself tracking down the bartender in lieu of our magic disappearing waiter to finally settle up.
By saving ourselves an eight minute drive down to Spectrum, we ended up spending two and a half hours at Yarhouse, the majority of that time spent waiting for somebody to pick up the ball and run the restaurant. Finally got home at the stroke of midnight, full of greasy food and Wrath. Kevin Spacey was right--people should be punished for their sins. I sure was.14/06/2011 Hi Justin, we're glad to hear that you enjoy visiting us in Irvine! You provided some excellent… En savoir plus
A stop here should do nothing other than give you a brief but welcomed respite from the horror of meandering the South Coast labyrinth. Thus, my expectations are high, but in theory easily met and even exceeded.
The ice cream is Häagen-Dazs quality: rich, creamy, and whipped. This higher quality is backed by a price that reinforces the façade. Which is why I am at a loss as to why they provide the cheapest quality plastic spoons. It's like eating hard ice cream with a wet bowtie noodle. Holding on to the bowl of the spoon to provide support for scooping and getting ice cream on your hands should not be a necessary part of the experience. Misers. 5 stars for ice cream, -2.5 for not seeing the entire experience through to the end.
What else is left to be said about the pub? Nowhere else in Irvine can you get nice and silly for negligible amounts of funding and still make it to class on time. And nowhere else can the bartenders get to know you by face on a student budget OR by recognizing you from a class. Shout out to Pam and Adam and Kevin!
The pub has a ridiculously excellent selection for a campus whose beers of choice tend to consist of CMB. That's Coor's/Miller/Budweiser for all you non-pompous asses out there. Scott, the man responsible for choosing the selection, is a graduate of UCI, and while I do not know if he learned much in the classroom, he acquired a plethora of knowledge on the finer points of hops and malt from somewhere.
The stoner fries STILL bear mention for the twentieth time in Yelp reviews. This place has been a haunt of mine since my pre-legal (drinking, not law) days, but now it's a four or five times a week ordeal. Between the selection, the bar food, and quarters club,there is little to be desired. Also, if you are a poli sci major or otherwise regularly watch CNN, come out to trivia night. You will easily be a serious contender. The Anthill pub is a serious contender in my personal decision on whether or not to stay a fifth year.
Prices are the same as mentioned in every other review ever, Happy Hour 4-7 is packed more often then it's not, and that's understandable. I've made more than one friend by table crashing, though. Just don't try it with those still Asian wanksters who come in every once in a while. They like to pretend to pick fights. Which I guess could be entertaining if you're in the right mood.
TL; DR: Sometimes a bit noisy, but that's only because everybody is raving about how delicious and affordable Thasos is. Or laughing with the waiters who love to chat with you if you so desire.
Thasos was yet another yelp discovery for me. Credit where credit's due.
This place is first on the list for myself and the industrial food processor that I have for a girlfriend. Intimate, elegantly rustic decor, no corkage fee, delicious food, personable service, and NO CORKAGE FEE.
Seriously, there has not been a time where I have paid more than $40 for two voracious eaters. A taverna platter, a wrap, the Thasos salad, and an extra side of hummus--$40 out the door. Lamb Stew, moussaka, dolme, and baklava--$40 out the door. Though they have several retsina as well as other wines to choose from, I'm not a major fan of Greek wine, but I will drop my drawers for free corkage any day of the year.
Eligh, the bright young gentleman who works here, is one of the most attentive and personable waiters I have ever had the pleasure of being served by. The rest of the staff get their jobs done efficiently and expediently as well.
There can sometimes be a wait, but it's never more than 15 minutes, less if you're willing to share the 8-top they have with another couple. If you're too claustrophobic to do that, Thasos probably isn't a suitable place for you to dine.
Seriously ladies and gentlemen, given the dearth of suitable date night establishments in the Irvine area, Thasos stands alone in its combination of affordability, food quality, service, and ambiance. Check it out.
It pains me to see people who just don't get Taiko. Pains me to see them take up space at my sushi bar, that is.
Taiko is STILL a birthday tradition for me and all of my friends. This year was no exception. Called ahead to let them know I was planning on bringing a party of twelve. No, they don't normally take reservations, but they will accommodate loyal nigiri/sashimi gourmands. Or maybe my inner pushy New Yorker comes out when I make inebriated phone calls. It was my birthday, after all.
Now don't mistake me--under no other circumstances will I sit at a table here. I will happily wait an hour for the sushi bar. It is always worth the wait. Always. There is nothing like hanging out with Suzuki-san and Akio-san in the far corner of the bar. Which is why I write this review, as it was the second time in four years (and thousands of dollars worth of toro sashimi) that I sat in the dining room. It's not easy to grab twelve adjacent seats at the bar.
Turns out I have some deadbeat friends, so we ended up with only nine heads. Didn't hear a peep out of any of the waitstaff or management about this. I assume it was because we ordered a bottle of Asahi and a bottle of sake per person before we even sat down. Added to this were the obligatory toro, hamachi, tai, amaebi, sake (the salmon kind), and saba. I use the Japanese names because these are the only words I know in Japanese. I learned them here.
I will concede that the nigiri and sashimi served tableside pales in comparison to what is served to you at the bar. I assume they do this because the people who sit in the dining room are the same who order items other than sushi, and they're not going to know the difference either way. That being said, the sashimi we received is the only part of the night I cared to remember with any clarity. Sure, friends toasting to another year of putting up with my shenanigans are right and good, but you can't eat them.
Service, as always, was perfectly attentive without being intrusive. Food began to arrive just in time for the second round of drinks, which I time at about T+9 minutes. It continued at regular intervals, arriving just in time to be swapped out for the empty plates on the table.
All said and done, we ended up entirely filling the three empty place settings of those MIA with all of the dead Asahi and sake bottles (staff tried to take them away, but we kept them there because the sight of empty bottles makes me happier than their absence). We also managed to convert $450 of sushi and booze into nine stumbling Omega-3-infused buffoons, as well as a hell of a lot of work for the dishwasher.
"$450?!?!" you exclaim? Subtract a nice tip for superb service, and factor in about $20 a head for the libation, and all of a sudden the math makes a lot of sense.
One more nugget to glean from this update: Don't waste my (or that of my fellow 4+star chosen ones') time coming here for the California or Philly or anything-with-a-kitschy-name type of cut rolls. GTFO. Go to Costco. They sell Purina Cat Chow in economy-sized bags. You won't know the difference.I am very picky about my sushi. The Americanized stuff (Philly, California, Dynamite, etc.) just… En savoir plus
Nestled deep in the heart of of the merry land of frolicking hipsters, sharing parking space with the Yoga studio, the tattoo parlor, and an Urban Outfitters, you can find the Old Vine Cafe. I like Old Vine because it's just like the rest of the Camp/Lab--you know you're usually NOT cool enough to be there, but today is Saturday hangover day, and you forgot to shave, threw up on your nice clothing last night and thus was forced to throw on that ratty old black v-neck. You walked outside, and the beautiful California sunshine jabbed into your retinas and felt like they set fire to the alcohol still in your blood in your eyeballs, so you grabbed those gigantic sunglasses and threw them on. Congratulations, you unwittingly qualify for the dresscode of cool, and you can get away with eating at the anti-mall today. Old Vine's menu items are very eclectic, what with the sparkling sake, yerba mate, and a whole list of fancy ethnic offerings and just as many cross-ethnic offerings. I came here because the gremlin--er, girlfriend likes trying food recommended by Yelp and the only way to keep her satiated is to keep her fed. Plus I thought I was getting a free pair of Top Siders out of the deal after because we were heading to South Coast after.
Arrived and decided to sit on the bar seating facing the patio. The menus are attached to little paintings, so scenepoints for that. She got some coffee, I got some mate. Coffee was strong in a very good way, and the yerba mate was in a teabag, but that's okay--I didn't expect them to serve it in the traditional gourd cup with that bombilla strainer straw that my post-Machu Piccu purist father is so fond of. Girl got the Spanish omelet, and I got the beef and truffle panini. Both were fantastic. The omelet was perfectly cheesy, and everything used in it was fresh and new. The pistachio nut butter for the toast that came with her omelet was fantastic as well, and the beef in my panini was tender and perfectly cooked, the truffle oil complementing the beef nicely, not overpowering at all.
Service was cordial, prompt, and unobtrusive, which is about as good as I can ask for at any time, but especially on a Saturday morning with the ladyfriend.
Minus one star because I didn't get my Top Siders afterwards. Seriously though, minus one because they didn't have the homemade macadamia nutbutter which was, along with the promise of free shoes, was the reason I was convinced by the Gremlin to take her out here.
I like Old Vine because the portions are just large enough to keep you satiated while not affecting the rest of your day. I like the selection of food and drink for its regional eclecticism, and if you don't mind feeling cooler than the next guy (though you probably are anyway), Old Vine is a great place to enjoy the warm SoCal sun while you enjoy a cool SoCal take on pairing cuisines from around the world.