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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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