I know Irvine has a ton of good chinese food, but not really looking for that. Open to other suggestions but particularly interested if there is any good izakaya in the near vicinity (ie. doesn’t have to be in Irvine).
My go-to’s in the Irvine area include North Italia, Bosscat Kitchen and Houston’s. Or you could stop at The Mix in Costa Mesa for (time permitting) oysters at Shuck and dinner at Taco Maria, Pueblo, or ARC.
If you’re coming from LA and taking the 405 there is a Shin Sen Gumi off Brookhurst. There is a ramen place and izakaya right next to reach other. It’s in the same plaza as Paderia bakery. Great malasadas.
If you’re not looking for Chinese food, unfortunately yes, for the most part. With the exception of Chinese food, Irvine’s restaurant scene seems to follow it’s master-planned sterility. If there are any notable non-chains there, I’d love to hear about them.
One non-chain restaurant that did come to mind in Irvine is Bistango. It’s a bit of a scene, but the food is solid.
Bosscat is not a chain. Neither are any of the restaurants that I mentioned. in The Mix in Costa Mesa. Yes, I know the non-chains I recommended are not in Irvine.
I thought about that, too. Both are great, and the izakaya part is in our regular rotation. The kids call it “the sticks place”. Funny how the izakaya side is now usually more busy than the ramen side. It used to be the other way around. That may change with cooler weather, though.
Yes. That and the Thai Steak Noodle Salad are my go-to’s. I’ve actually made the salad (sub rotisserie chicken) at home from Bon Appetit’s recipe, and it’s pretty spot-on.