Home » Restaurant Review » Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern Brings Sexy Back to Dana Point Harbor
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern Brings Sexy Back to Dana Point Harbor

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern Brings Sexy Back to Dana Point Harbor

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern opens today,  across the street from Dana Point Harbor. The opening of this restaurant brings a much needed shot of  revitalization to this neighborhood, which has a market gap of modern restaurants. If you have tried eating in the Dana Point Harbor area recently, your choices sometimes feel rundown or stodgy like waiting room for a retirement community. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern brings sexy back to Dana, through its modern cuisine and hip vibe. See bottom of post for address, hours and phone number

JFAT Opening

The interior of Jimmy’s American Tavern is modern rustic,  with heavy use of dark woods, leather and  and modern industrial flare. Perhaps the best part of the restaurant is the open air patio that feels like a Vegas club patio, complete with fireplace and views of Dana Point Harbor.  This restaurant is unlike any other establishment in Dana Point.

Jimm'y Famous American Tavern Interior

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern in Data Point is modern, yet brings a rustic nod to the area’s nautical traditions.



The menu at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern’s menu is Modern American comfort food, with a nod towards Gastropub. The menu is very diverse, with items ranging from  yellowtail crudo to buttermilk fried chicken. There is a little something for everyone from the food snob to the “Veto Vote” picky eater in your family.

I visited the restaurant on it’s opening day, which also doubled as a fundraiser for the Point 5th Marine Support group, so I got to try sampling of their menu. Below are some “Sample” size portions of the food on their menu:

Jimmy’s Deviled Eggs was perhaps my favorite appetizer on the menu, and I consider myself and deviled egg snob. The deviled eggs has a slight tingle from the jalapenos and powder, although overall they were balanced in flavor. I can see myself order a double order of these eggs for dinner.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern

Deviled Egg Nest, just the right amount of zing


Tuna Tartar with guacamole and cream, served on a house made chips were delicious.  I loved the cool flavors  and contrasting textures. This is a must order next time I am here. The Tequila Laced Baja Style shrimp Cocktail  is made with shrimp, avocados, tomatoes, red onion and citrus juice, and jalapenos and a hint of tequila.The shrimp cocktail was cool and refreshing and hit the spot, after eating a plate full of deviled eggs.  Even though this dish has jalapenos, I did not find it to be spicy.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern Dana Point

LEFT – The Ahi Tuna Tar Tar         RIGHT – Tequila laced Baja style shrimp Ceviche


There is nothing more Americana then grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Jimmy’s nailed the soup with their herb organic tomato Bisque. It was nicely with their very cheesy and rich grilled cheese.  with a three cheese grilled cheese sandwich. Their house made potato chips were very good as well.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern

LEFT – House Made Potato Chips       RIGHT – Tomato Bisque and three cheese grilled cheese


We tried the slider sized versions of their famous burgers. They were all very good although my favorite was their famous 100% Certified Angus Cheeseburger with American Cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion. The clean rich flavors of natural beef was the star of the show. When I bit into the burger the juice dripped down my hand, that is the mark of a good burger.  Other burgers I sampled include:

  • Cowboy Burger – made with onion rings, BBQ sauce, bacon and cheddar
  • Spicy Fried Chicken Burger – made with fried buttermilk chicken, jalapenos slow and chipotle Aioli
Jimmy's Famous American Tavern

LEFT– Their famous 100% natural Angus cheeseburger Right – Spicy fried chicken burger


The cocktails stole the show that night, due to their creativity and playful mix of ingredients. The Basil Press is made with Belvedere citrus vodka, white peach puree, fresh basil , simple syrup, and ginger beer. This cocktail reminded me of a mojito that went to finishing school and came back smooth and sophisticated.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern Cocktails

The Basil press was refreshing, but packed a punch. I could tell when I stood up and felt my sea legs


The Gold Rush got my engine running! This bourbon based cocktail is  made with Bulleit Bourbon, Clover honey syrup, and fresh lemon juice. If you like bourbon cocktails, then you have to try this one at least once. I liked the interplay of sweet and tangy over the maltiness of the bourbon.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern Cocktails

Left – The Gold Rush                        Right – Cucumber Cool

It was a warm day by the beach and the Cucumber Cool hit the spot . It is made with American Harvest vodka, St. Germaine elder flower, fresh cucumber and lemon juice. Aside from their cocktails JFAT also features boutique high-end wine on tap, craft beer and micro brews.



Next time you are thinking of a hip restaurant with a relaxed environment think of trying Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern. I know I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of food and pleasant atmosphere. Like I said at the beginning of the post, this is the restaurant that Dana Point needed to attract dinners back to the city. During my next visit, I plan on ordering their caste iron skillet brown butter chicken while sipping a Gold Rush cocktail.

Prices: Starters: Most Starters $8-14  Most Main Courses: $16-26

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern Address:

Located in Dana Marina Plaza –25001 Dana Point Harbor Drive Dana Point, CA., 92629

Phone Number: (949) 388-8900 


Hours of Operation:

  • Lunch Mon – Fri 11:30am – 4:30pm
  • Brunch Sat & Sun 10:00am – 2:30pm
  • Dinner Mon – Thurs 4:30pm – 10:00pm
  • Fri – Sat 4:30pm – 11:00pm
  • Sun 4:30pm – 9:00pm

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern on Urbanspoon

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. That Angus Cheeseburger looks good! Then again, the spicy chicken burger looks pretty good too!

  2. Yes to mini hamburgers and home made chips!! I am not a shrimp gal, but I thought the cocktail was pretty interesting ! The Gold rush caught my attention as well…thank you for the great read..now it’s time to eat!

  3. Sounds like a great place for happy hour. I would love to be in the open air patio with the views.. The spicy fried chicken burger sounds good!

  4. The tuna tartar and the Tequila laced Baja style is that what I crave now

  5. I have to say…the Ahi Tuna Tar Tar….is my all time favorite. This dish looked very fresh and delicious!

  6. All the food looks amazing, now I’m hungry!

  7. Those burgers look to die for. In fact, I think that is what I will make for dinner. Probably no where near as good as theirs but I am not close to Dana Point to get theirs!

  8. Cowboy Burger sounds sooooo YUMMY!!! You did an awesome job again!!! Keep up the great reviews!!!

  9. I am definitely going to be adding jalapeno to my devilled eggs in the future! What an incredible idea.

  10. I love deviled eggs too! That would be my gauge of how good the restaurant is.

  11. I want to buy a ticket to California just to go here you made it sound so good. That Tuna Tartar looks amazing and I am imagining eating it right now. What a great blog!

  12. The food in you’r restaurant are really mouthwatering but I am more interested with your cocktails, The Gold rush and the Cucumber Pine looks very refreshing. Moreover the place is really nice.

  13. Jimmy’s was definitely a fun place! We need to go back again soon..Maybe we should go for a happy hour before the summer ends to enjoy the cool ocean breeze and some of those yummy cocktails again:)

  14. What a nice looking display that is making me crave an Angus Burger and homemade chips now!

  15. WOW! The menu looks fabulous… I love how your article gives us a real-life glimpse into what the restaurant has to offer… That ‘famous’ sign looked really cool too :) Love the insider-look you gave :)

  16. The burger looks fantastic!!! I’m going adventure seeking in a few weeks near our new home in Lancaster, PA. Lots of great restaurants around. My head to Philly as well as it’s only 45 minutes to an hour and I know there are great restaurants there.

  17. What a great review. Very thorough and well thought out.

  18. Those burgers look amazing!

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