Tustin Ranch's winding splendor of gorgeous landscapes, waterscapes, and hazardscapes earned it plaudits from the Orange County Register, which named it the area’s Best Golf Course in 2009. Nine holes of links at The Big Easy, a short executive course divided into two separate nine-hole sections, provides a brisk, easy-to-schedule game ideal for beginners. Hop into the provided cart and rove through the meticulously maintained greenery, rife with gleaming lakes, waterfalls, and gold statues of Bing Crosby, and sharpen your swing in a challenging variety of stages. The tee party is made merrier by the respectful, professional staff members, who infuse a private feel to the public course.
Perched atop the hills of its namesake, Orange County Mining Co. pairs an eight-part champagne brunch with 19th-century nostalgia, as wagon wheels and cacti impart a rugged prickle to the restaurant's cozy atmosphere. The brunch offerings warm diners with carved prime rib and ham, cheese blintz, and other toasty tastes, before cooling palates with iced shrimp, snow crab legs, and lox. Ravenous miners can pile culinary ore into made-to-order omelettes, pancakes, and waffles, or gather steam with tamales and menudo at executive chef Horacio Barragan's Mexican station. To cap off appetites, baked delicacies and other sweets are either devoured or skewered for a dunk in the chocolate fountain.
Cherry on Top assists in cooling overheated bellies with a self-serve frozen-yogurt bar brimming with a medley of mouthwatering flavors and toppings. Enter a pleasantly chilly wonderland and choose from a host of tart flavors such as blueberry and green tart, and crème creations that include banana-nut bread, peanut butter and jelly, and cheesecake. Instead of throwing on an apron and sneaking out through the kitchen, cap off a dinner date with sorbet blends such as watermelon and margarita. After picking their icy foundation, customers can top yogurt mountains with a choice from 43 toppings, including pineapples, sprinkles, gummi bears, and butterfinger pieces. A healthier dessert alternative than eating chocolate-syrup-doused snowballs, many of Cherry on Top's flavors are naturally low-fat foods.