Orange County Restaurant Week 2016 Top Picks
Orange County Restaurant Week 2016
It is Orange County Restaurant week time again! This year the number of participating restaurants is impressive, with over 100 restaurants participating. There are choices for all tastes and budgets. This is Tom’s Foodie Blog top Orange County Restaurant Week picks for Dinners.
Prix Fixe meals are offered at participating restaurants that include appetizer, main course, and desserts from March 6th-12th.
- Dinners are offered at $20, $30, $40, $50 and Luxe dinners at $80.
- Lunch is offered at $10, $15, $20
Tom’s Foodie Blog Top Pick Criteria
I am very picky where I choose to eat for restaurant week since it only last 7 days. I have the following criteria in place when selecting the best restaurants.
a) Value – The offering represents a good deal to the consumer? Is the deal better than their normal menu?
b) Variety – Does the menu offer a variety of choices? For example I rarely include restaurants that only offer 2 choices per section. Unless they offer 4 courses.
c) Quality – Does the menu offer “Their Best” offerings? or is it the “Easiest” that they can make for large crowds. If I see a menu heavy on simmered chicken, short ribs and pasta, that tells me you are serving wedding food.
e) Reputation of Restaurant – The X factor is the reputation of the restaurant. High quality restaurants participating will always get some extra attention. Keep an eye out for up and coming new restaurants looking to make a mark during restaurant week.
Tom’s Pro Tip
Don’t be a dick, tip your servers well
$20 Dinner Picks
My $20 dinner pick is an amazing new restaurant called Kutsi, in Downtown Santa Ana. Chef Chris Tzorzin is presenting some of his restaurants absolute best menu items like the mole steak and chorizo clams. Kutsi is presenting one of the best dinner menus for the value.
- House made chips and salsa and fresh house made sangria
- Chorizo Clams
- Beet Salad
- Mexican Sweet Corn
- Seafood Relleno
- Steak Mole
- Tacos Callejeros Your choice of: Beef, Chicken, Shrimp, Fish, Carnitas.
- Enchiladas Choice of Red, Green, Mole, or Suiza Sauce. Served with rice and beans. Chicken, Beef, Shrimp
- Chocolate Tres Leches
- Maria Bonita Pastel
Other Top $20 Dinner picks
$30 Dinner Picks
This is the only restaurant that I am recommending that I have not eaten at multiple times; although, I was impressed by their variety and quality of offerings. With al fresca dinning, this is a great choice for our warm Southern California Winters.
- Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread
1st Course Choice
- Brussels Sprouts
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Smoked Chicken Wings
- Stuffed Avocado
2nd Course Choice
- Herb Roasted Chicken
- Small Jambalaya
- 7oz Smoked Beef Brisket
- Twisted Mac & Cheese
- ½ Rack of BBQ Ribs
- Chocolate Lava Cake
- Lemon Curd Cheesecake
Other Top $30 Choices
$40 Dinner Picks
Social Costa Mesa is still one of my favorite restaurants in Southern California right now, with their innovative Chef driven menu. Social’s Orange County Restaurant Week offerings are very generous and offer some of their best menu items.
Course 1 (choice of)
- Beets and Burrata Salad – Shaved Fennel, Pepitas, Market Citrus, Honey Thyme Vinaigrette
- Brussels Sprouts -Honey, Sweet Potato, House Tasso Ham, Hazelnuts
Course 2 (choice of)
- English Pea and Prosciutto Toast – Whipped Burrata, Italian Salsa Verde, Pain de Capagna
- Beef Tartare – Smoked Mussel Aioli, Salt and Vinegar Chips, Poppy Seeds, Sunflower, Capers
Course 3 (choice of)
- Spanish Octopus – Pamplona Chorizo, Fingerling Potatoes, Gremolata, Chicharrones, Smoked Romesco
- Wagyu Tri Tip – Shrimp & Tasso Maque Choux, Crispy Shallot, Smoked Tomato, Jalapeño, Radish
Course 4 (Choice of)
- Butterscotch Budino
- Profiteroles – Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Hot Fudge
Other top $40 Restaurant Picks
$50 Dinner Picks
#1 Steakhouse 55
Starter (choice of)
- Steakhouse 55 “Wedge” Salad
- Tiger Prawns Cocktail
- Onion Soup Au Gratin
Entrée Course (choice of)
All Entrée’s Served with Sautéed French Green Beans and Scalloped Fennel Potatoes
- Grilled Center Cut Filet Mignon
- Moroccan Spiced King Salmon
- Black Angus Slow-Roasted Prime Rib
- Maple Glazed Kurobuta Pork Chop
Dessert Course (choice of)
- Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
- Chocolate Mousse Cake
Other $50 Restaurant Week Picks
$80 Dinner Luxe
#1 Hane Re
What Chef Atsushi create artfully creafted sushi. I have eaten at this restaruant and it is pretty amazing with attention to detail. This is a good deal at $80 for the quality and variety of food offered.