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San Clemente Area Restaurant Recommendations?

VoodooMedMan

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Something nice. Not 200 bucks a person nice but something better than average. A good steakhouse or seafood or something but more than casual. Flemings, Mastro's etc are all half hour to 40 minutes plus away. Any local joints a little closer I might be able to swing a reservation for Saturday night? Not a fan of waiting around for 45 minutes to an hour.
 

dryhoze1

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Something nice. Not 200 bucks a person nice but something better than average. A good steakhouse or seafood or something but more than casual. Flemings, Mastro's etc are all half hour to 40 minutes plus away. Any local joints a little closer I might be able to swing a reservation for Saturday night? Not a fan of waiting around for 45 minutes to an hour.

Fisherman's on the pier
Hapa J's
South of Nicks
Sonny's pizza for Italian

Not to many restaurants more than casual in San Clemente. Lol
 

sirbob

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All the places mentioned are great - both Nicks spots can be hard to get into depending on when you go.

My favorite is Vine it's accords the street and down half a block from South of Nicks. In fact I'll be taking my wife there next week for her birthday.

And btw - there really is no 200 dinner place in San Clemente - unless you count drinks of course !
 

OldSchoolBoats

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Not to far away, a little north on PCH, is Salt Creek Grill. That is one of my favorites. I used to love Rib Trader in San Clemente, but I think it closed down.
 

VoodooMedMan

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Thanks. Yeah Nicks only does like 4 reservations per hour. Said wait around 6:30 is about 45 minutes usually and only reservations left were 4 or 9.

This is a weekend away with my oldest son. Some discussions and activities etc including the birds and the bees. Saturday dinner is supposed to be special and I bought him a pricey watch for his special gift.

Anyhow Fishermans seems casual with plastic chairs and all and they don't accept reservations.

Hopefully that helps with recommendations.

I know San Juan Capo and Dana Point are up the street too if that helps.

I'll check into some already mentioned. I'd rather not drive to Irvine etc. but I'd kinda rather do that with reservations than sit and wait with a crowd.
 

OldSchoolBoats

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Thanks. Yeah Nicks only does like 4 reservations per hour. Said wait around 6:30 is about 45 minutes usually and only reservations left were 4 or 9.

This is a weekend away with my oldest son. Some discussions and activities etc including the birds and the bees. Saturday dinner is supposed to be special and I bought him a pricey watch for his special gift.

Anyhow Fishermans seems casual with plastic chairs and all and they don't accept reservations.

Hopefully that helps with recommendations.

I know San Juan Capo and Dana Point are up the street too if that helps.

I'll check into some already mentioned. I'd rather not drive to Irvine etc. but I'd kinda rather do that with reservations than sit and wait with a crowd.
Salt Creek takes reservations. Try it out. Beautiful drive up PCH to get there. Only about 20 mins north of San Clemente up PCH.
 

DeltaSigBoater

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Sorry VMM, I don't have any recommendations as where to eat down in that area.

But after reading through all the reply's I got to thinking... I am going to have to drive down to Dana Point and hit up A's Burgers :thumbsup
 

BajaMike

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Harbor Grill in Dana Point harbor is good for seafood, I'm sure they have steaks but I don't think I have ever had one there....all the food is cooked over an open fire in the kitchen you can see from your table (or you can eat on the patio)...there is a small view of the harbor but it is not on the harbor like some places but the food is very good.

http://www.harborgrill.com/?gclid=CIObw6b6tssCFYdlfgodWysEIw


Waterman's is on the harbor, great view and good food, just opened about at year ago where Jolly Roger used to be (by the launch ramp). It's totally remodeled and very nice, you can sit outside down at the harbor level or up stairs. When they first opened people complained about the high prices ($15 hamburger) but they re-did the menu and it's better now. Nice upstairs bar and downstairs oyster bar.

http://watermandp.com/


I like the Chart House up on the Bluff above Dana Point Harbor, and it's good for large families, they have big booths and you all know about the great salad bar and the menu at Chart Houses.


Carbonara Trattoria on Del Mar in San Clemente is excellent if you want Italian. The manager Justin Rider and bartender Mike G are long time friends (tell them Mike Chase said Hi), this is a 30 year family business and my family has been eating there for 30 years and having them cater our parties and the food and service is great and always has been.

https://www.facebook.com/CarbonaraDunwoody/?pnref=lhc


Salt Creek Grill is Ok, they have a great Sunday Brunch.

Choices are limited in San Clement/Dana Point, but I hope this helps!
 

VoodooMedMan

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Thanks guys. Got reservations at Salt Creek.

Oh wait. Just saw the last post. Going to look at that stuff.
 

pronstar

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Try a locally owned spot...Salt Creek is a chain - good food, but can get it anywhere.
 

VoodooMedMan

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Salt Creek looks like a nice place but still a little casual.

Chart House seems perfect. Got reservations.

This place never disappoints.
 

VoodooMedMan

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Try a locally owned spot...Salt Creek is a chain - good food, but can get it anywhere.
I agree. And not just for me. Since our kids got their first two teeth they started eating what we eat. So by this age they really have developed a decent palette. However they do enjoy Mac n cheese and such. My wallet is thankful on those days.
 

saucedaddy

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Salt Creek looks like a nice place but still a little casual.

Chart House seems perfect. Got reservations.

This place never disappoints.
Cannons in DP sounds like what your looking for? Break away from the chains like Chart house.
 

OldSchoolBoats

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Try a locally owned spot...Salt Creek is a chain - good food, but can get it anywhere.
3 locations in California

Original Salt Creek Grill is the Dana Point location. It is named after "Salt Creek" which is a well known surf spot right down the street.

2nd location opened in Valencia back in the late nineties - early 2000's.

3rd location in El Segundo.....not sure when that opened.


2 other locations in New Jersey.



Hardly a chain that you "can get anywhere."

A chain is something like Yardhouse or BJ's
 

dryhoze1

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Looks like everybody's got you covered :thumbsup

One more
Cedar Creek in San Juan Capistrano
Right across the street from the mission & a good spot downtown for a after dinner stroll.
If ya go poke your head in the Swallows bar for a cold one.
Lot going on this week, with the celebration of the swallows coming back to Capistrano.
Even tho they stopped coming back 20 years ago. Lol

Enjoy the quality time with your son. :thumbsup
 

VoodooMedMan

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Cannons in DP sounds like what your looking for? Break away from the chains like Chart house.
Nice. New reservation made. Open Table must think I'm nuts. I better not see a Sysco truck when I pull Up.

I better not come back into this thread before I go or I might change my reservation again.
Looks like everybody's got you covered :thumbsup

One more
Cedar Creek in San Juan Capistrano
Right across the street from the mission & a good spot downtown for a after dinner stroll.
If ya go poke your head in the Swallows bar for a cold one.
Lot going on this week, with the celebration of the swallows coming back to Capistrano.
Even tho they stopped coming back 20 years ago. Lol

Enjoy the quality time with your son. :thumbsup
That looks nice. Will have to try it some time. Brea is close to home.

Thinking the view at Cannons will be nicer for him.

He's a little too young to pop in anywhere for a cold one.
 

pronstar

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Looks like everybody's got you covered :thumbsup

One more
Cedar Creek in San Juan Capistrano
Right across the street from the mission & a good spot downtown for a after dinner stroll.
If ya go poke your head in the Swallows bar for a cold one.
Lot going on this week, with the celebration of the swallows coming back to Capistrano.
Even tho they stopped coming back 20 years ago. Lol

Enjoy the quality time with your son. :thumbsup


I'm not sure if "go poke your head" into a bar called "Swallows" is quite the endorsement you think it is LOL
 

VoodooMedMan

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Highly Recommend:

Selanne Steak Tavern
1464 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone:(949) 715-9881
Nice. Will check that out on a date night down by the beach.

Dana point is closer distance and Cannons seems on point.

Find out some great places from here. Went to the Hobbit and to the Ranch because of this place.
 

sirbob

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Nice. New reservation made. Open Table must think I'm nuts. I better not see a Sysco truck when I pull Up.

I better not come back into this thread before I go or I might change my reservation again.


That looks nice. Will have to try it some time. Brea is close to home.

Thinking the view at Cannons will be nicer for him.

He's a little too young to pop in anywhere for a cold one.
Cannons is great - ask for Beth as a waitress.

Tell her Jim mentioned her name - she grew up across the street from me when we were kids - her brother and his family are our go to family to travel to Havasu with!
 

BajaMike

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Cannons is great - ask for Beth as a waitress.

Tell her Jim mentioned her name - she grew up across the street from me when we were kids - her brother and his family are our go to family to travel to Havasu with!

Sorry, I haven't been there in a long time...I retract me negative comment.

I've lived in or had a place in Dana Point/San Clemente all my life. You end up going to the same places where your buddies hang or work and the girls are hot and the drinks are strong (Turks).
 

VoodooMedMan

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Sorry, I haven't been there in a long time...I retract me negative comment.

I've lived in or had a place in Dana Point/San Clemente all my life. You end up going to the same places where your buddies hang or work and the girls are hot and the drinks are strong (Turks).
Website shows new owners a few years back. Maybe that changed things. If it sucks I'll be sure to let you know.

Thanks for the help.
 

JB in so cal

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Jimmys Famous is good. Fried chicken is off the hook! As are the deviled eggs:thumbup:
 

sirbob

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Sorry, I haven't been there in a long time...I retract me negative comment.

I've lived in or had a place in Dana Point/San Clemente all my life. You end up going to the same places where your buddies hang or work and the girls are hot and the drinks are strong (Turks).
No worries - I'm not offended in any way -

Now on to hot girls and strong drinks... The morning of my wedding I spent at Turks getting ready with my groomsmen right after a breakfast burrito from Proud Mary's !!
 

Havasu Surfer

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Something nice. Not 200 bucks a person nice but something better than average. A good steakhouse or seafood or something but more than casual. Flemings, Mastro's etc are all half hour to 40 minutes plus away. Any local joints a little closer I might be able to swing a reservation for Saturday night? Not a fan of waiting around for 45 minutes to an hour.
The newest place in town (SC) is http://www.hhcottons.com and I have heard nothing but accolades. Good luck bro!
 

TPC

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We like Nicks and South of Nicks.
 

Paul65k

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Something nice. Not 200 bucks a person nice but something better than average. A good steakhouse or seafood or something but more than casual. Flemings, Mastro's etc are all half hour to 40 minutes plus away. Any local joints a little closer I might be able to swing a reservation for Saturday night? Not a fan of waiting around for 45 minutes to an hour.
As a 30 year plus resident of the area I would say that the 2 best choices are The Vine (as previously mentioned) in downtown San Clemente or Salt Creek Grill up the coast a little 10 - 15 minutes right on PCH. There is also Cedar Creek in San Juan Capistrano (10 minutes max) right across the street from the Mission on Del Obispo.

There are lots of restaurants in the area including some good Sushi places and mexican restaurants in the area as well as a few good casual places like Taco Surf in Dana Point on PCH........of yeah I just remembered a new (couple year old place) called Tavern on the Coast also on PCH 5 minutes away in Dana Point....actually that place is very, very good and take reservations.....very much in the new California/Napa cuisine style.
 

dtp92648

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My girlfriend lives is SC... Haven't been in a couple years, but the we used to go to the Stonehill Tavern at the St Regis Hotel in Dana Point. Their "deconstructed" Lobster Pot Pie is pretty insane (both taste and presentation). Parking is a breeze with the valet being right by the restaurant. And our table had a pretty rad view!!!

Just my 2 cents.
 

Heylam

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I'd go Pedro's tacos and drive down to T street and eat while watching the sun set. I prefer experience over ambience.
 

lIQUIDATEDdAMAGES

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Looks like everybody's got you covered :thumbsup

One more
Cedar Creek in San Juan Capistrano
Right across the street from the mission & a good spot downtown for a after dinner stroll.
If ya go poke your head in the Swallows bar for a cold one.
Lot going on this week, with the celebration of the swallows coming back to Capistrano.
Even tho they stopped coming back 20 years ago. Lol

Enjoy the quality time with your son. :thumbsup
This weekend is swallows day in San Juan. Probably don't want to get too close if you don't want to wait in lines...
 

BajaMike

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No worries - I'm not offended in any way -

Now on to hot girls and strong drinks... The morning of my wedding I spent at Turks getting ready with my groomsmen right after a breakfast burrito from Proud Mary's !!

I see you know Turks......:thumbup::thumbup:
 

No Butt No Putt

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Nicks
Hapa J's get a order of "Man Frys".
If you like Irish food or clam chowder that blows Fishermans out of the water go to Molly Blooms. They only have chowder on Fridays. Best I've ever had. Tell Dermit, Sean says hi.
 

VoodooMedMan

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Hapa J's get a order of "Man Frys".
If you like Irish food or clam chowder that blows Fishermans out of the water go to Molly Blooms. They only have chowder on Fridays. Best I've ever had. Tell Dermit, Sean says hi.
Thanks. May look into that tomorrow night. Not doing super expensive two nights and he loves soup.

Booger is already getting a new Citizen Eco Drive.
 

VoodooMedMan

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Well kind of wish I would have stayed with the Chart House.

Cannons was okay. Calimari was fantastic and the chowder was solid. Seafood Medley was cooked well but nothing standout.

Problem was the service. No point in reservation. Something about a 45 minute wait but I could go downstairs to self seating and it was quieter. Yeah sit in the basement in the wrong atmosphere and take a couple hours for service. Not what I was looking for at all. Might have been worth it if all the food knocked my socks off. My review on Open Table spelled it all out. Only way I'm going back is with some gift certificate to woo me back and take my wife out. Maybe it all stemmed from terrible hostess.

Now I did see HH Cottons and it looks nice as well as Nick's. Hit either on a Friday early with no wait or get a reservation and that could be good. Looks nice.

Fisherman's-Did end up going there Friday. It was raining and the hotel kind of messed up is having extra time to good off that night too. Well the weather made For Fishermans not being busy. Momma packed us breakfast and lunches so I splurged on dinner as my boy loves seafood. Well this isn't a fancy joint but it is right on the pier. It's not Michelen star cuisine but everything is cooked right and lots of it. We got the fishermans feast and had to be rolled out of there. Everything fresh and good for a decent price. I've only eaten Yellowtail raw as sashimi or sushi before. For my first time cooked as that nights special it was cooked perfectly and it was delicious. I'd eat there again. Wait was only 5 minutes even with only inside seating because of the weather.

Now some other places in here I'd like to try.
 
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