Home » Restaurant Review » Review of Saddle Ranch Chop House Costa Mesa
Review of Saddle Ranch Chop House Costa Mesa

Review of Saddle Ranch Chop House Costa Mesa

Review of Saddle Ranch Chop House Costa Mesa

Save a steak, ride a Cowboy (or Cowgirl)

Would I consider Saddle Ranch Chop House a destination restaurant for it’s cuisine? Probably not. Instead, I view Saddle Ranch as an overall entertainment destination, with the good food being  just one of the elements to a good time. I recommend a visit to Saddle Ranch if you are looking for a place where you can you can enjoy good food, cocktails in a rock and roll environment. During the daytime and early evening, Saddle Ranch is family friendly. Although the later it gets into the evening, Saddle Ranch turns into a meat market.  

Saddle Ranch Costa Mesa is located at The Triangle

Saddle Ranch Costa Mesa is located at The Triangle, just next store to Sutra.

The original Saddle Ranch Chop house gained popularity in Hollywood due to the rock and roll attitude, bull riding, and Hollywood elite clientele. The concept expanded to Universal City Walk and then to Costa Mesa’s newly redeveloped “The Triangle.” The concept is even expanding into The Block in Orange. 

 

Food at the Saddle Ranch Chop House Costa Mesa

The food at Saddle Ranch is emphasized around grilled meats.  All of the meals we ordered were served on Texas sized plates and served with buttery vegetables and choice of side.  In addition, the entrees are served with a basket of jalapeno corn bread and mini country biscuits. I will say that the corn bread and biscuits were perhaps one of the better elements of the experience. The corn bread is speckled with sweet corn and small chunks of jalapenos.

Saddle Ranch Costa Mesa complimentary Biscuits and jalepeno Corn Muffins

Biscuits and Jalepeno Corn Muffins

The country biscuits were also great, but they tasted best hot and smothered with the creamy honey butter. Don’t come here on a diet. Our waiter was really good at ensuring that we always had a fresh basket of bread at our table. 

 

The New York Strip Steak

When I asked the waiter for his recommendation, he told me that Saddle Ranch is known for their meats, especially the steaks. I ordered the New York Strip Steak based on his recommendation. The steak was tender, juicy, cooked to order,  and topped with compound butter.

Saddle Ranch Costa Mesa New York Strip Steak

Saddle Ranch New York Strip Steak

The steak was very good, although it does not rank on my top 10 favorite steak experiences. Most folks will enjoy the steaks at Saddle Ranch, although do not come expecting the best steak over.

 

Extra Thick Pork Chop

My friend ordered the Thick Cut Pork Chop. When the dish arrived, it looked impressive and had a nice presentation. The pork chop is topped with stewed apple slices and a sweet bourbon sauce. My friend thought the pork chop was very good and she enjoyed it; although, it is definitely not one of her favorite preparations. 

Saddle Ranch Costa Mesa Pork Chop

The Extra Thick Pork Chop is served bone-in and topped bourbon sauce

Notice a theme running here?  I asked her what was wrong with it ? She said it tasted good, but lacked the flavor pizzazz that she tasted at other restaurants.

 

Baby Back ribs

Would you be surprised if I told you that the ribs were quite tasty, but not even close for the best ribs you have ever tasted? My Wife, Daniele, ordered the ribs and thoroughly enjoyed them. Although,  she say afterwards, “I have had much better ribs in the past.” With this said,  she proceeded to eat everything on her plate. The ribs were moderately meaty and had a nice hickory smoke in each bite. 

Saddle Ranch Baby Back Ribs

Saddle Ranch Baby Back Ribs

 

The Sides that we tried

All of the dishes are served with buttery vegetables and an optional side. I highly recommend the sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows and candied pecans. This side dish caused the biggest excitement at our table. The casserole is filled with sweet potato puree, marshmallows, and candied pecans. The casserole is then roasted until the marshmallows are expanded and toasted. This dish is an excuse to eat sugar and butter together, through the medium of sweet potato. It is absolutely delicious.

Saddle Ranch Costa Mesa  Sweet Potato Caserole

sweet potato casserole

 

Drinks

The beer selection was fairly basic with the usual suspects of Budweiser products, Blue moon, Newcastle ect. The only exception was a Lagunitas, which offered an IPA. The wine menu is also very basic with several selections of reds, whites and sparklers.  

Saddle Ranch really excelled with their cocktail program, which features carafe sized drinks. Saddle Ranch knows their target customers and they know that these types of drinks sell very well. You just have to look around and you can see a lot of early 20’s women sucking these carafes down. My friend Peggy ordered the Sweat Tea Carafe cocktail and said it was delicious. I know it was strong because her face was turning red about half way through the carafe. 

Saddle Ranch Costa Mesa Smart Cocktails Sweat Tea Carafe cocktail

Sweat Tea Carafe cocktail

 

Dessert

The dessert menu looks delicious with such items as half-baked chocolate chip cookies, butter cake, and a roast your own smores. My favorite, from a shock and awe perspective, is the three foot tall cotton candy ($8).  When you order the cotton candy, playing with your food is actually half the fun. Be sure to make cotton candy mustaches, wigs and braziers. Trust me the staff is used to this shenanigans and even encourages it. Just don’t get the cotton candy stuck in their seats.

Saddle Ranch Newport Beach Cotton Candy

3 foot tall cotton candy

Service Issues

Service at Saddle Ranch Chop House is chain restaurant average. One issue we experienced is the lack of product knowledge. For example, I asked for information about the beer and he could’t answer my question about the IPA. He covered up his lack of knowledge by showing off his personality. Even though I didn’t get my question answered, I was still entertained.

Another issue is that our meals took a long time to come out.  Our server did his best to keep us entertained, although I was seriously getting hangry.  In fact, I was getting fangry.  The server noticed my face and quickly brought out extra bread. 

Saddle Ranch Costa Mesa Interior

Slow Down guys!

The main issue I experienced is that the food runners are speeding through the restaurant at a full charge, often with hot plates of food. I watched twice as they bumped into each other and even the customers. Slow down folks, the tickets to Bruno Mars will not sell out.

My Final Thoughts

I would not expect my readers to tell me, “This is a great place for steaks and ribs”; rather, I would expect my readers to say, “We had a lot of fun at Saddle Ranch and had some good food.” Saddle Ranch Chop House fits the bill for a lively night out, while enjoying some good food and drinks. Don’t forget to try their mixed drinks and ride the mechanical bull, just not in that order
Saddle Ranch Chop House on Urbanspoon

Review of Saddle Ranch Chop House Costa Mesa Save a steak, ride a Cowboy (or Cowgirl) Would I consider Saddle Ranch Chop House a destination restaurant for it's cuisine? Probably not. Instead, I view Saddle Ranch as an overall entertainment destination, with the good food being  just one of the elements to a good time. I recommend a visit to Saddle Ranch if you are looking for a place where you can you can enjoy good food, cocktails in a rock and roll environment. During the daytime and early evening, Saddle Ranch is family friendly. Although the later it gets into the evening, Saddle…

Review Overview

Food
Service
Ambiance
Cocktails

Total Score

Summary : Great Environment, Good Food, some opportunities for improvement. Overall good experience. I will visit again.

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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.

10 comments

  1. Not only are there some BIG hunks of meat there but what’s going on with that cotton candy? It’s HUGE :-)

  2. Looks like a fun and entertaining place. The sweat tea cocktail looks rather yummy.

  3. I love finding a place that puts jalapenos in their cornbread! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Looks like a great place to have a great meal. I love the cotton candy mustache

  5. This is a wonderful review.. food here looks amazing, and great detailed pics…

  6. Looks like a great place, love the 3ft cotton candy:) who would not love that

  7. I loved Saddleranch and totally fell in love with that sweet potato casserole! We must go back again soon! I have some awesome cotton candy pics you should add to this post:)

  8. Now that’s a huge Cotton Candy! My family would love to try this..

  9. Wow, it looks like a great place to party.
    A good juicy is just what I need.

  10. That sweet potato casserole looks like it would be good right now!

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