Art ranks among the highest achievements of any world culture, and The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art aims to enrich our own by sharing some of the finest works from Native American, Polynesian, African, East Asian, and South American cultures. The museum’s vast collection—and buzzing calendar of new exhibits and special events—has earned it a decades-long streak as the Orange County Register’s pick for Best Museum in Orange County.
Geisha House, a modern Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, fuses classic dishes and sushi rolls with a contemporary flair in a chic interpretation of a traditional geisha house. The Cowboy roll ($12) lassos fillet of beef, asparagus, scallion and cream cheese, and the surf 'n' turf roll ($22) combines lobster and filet mignon in a sweet sesame-miso sauce. The chef prepares grilled mongolian lamb chop with creamy sesame and cucumber salad ($21), and gently lulls baby japanese eggplant ($11) to sleep with sweet miso and wasabi cream sauce and a hypnotic battle rap. The 10-ounce grilled Kobe rib eye steak ($46) plunges into Asian barbecue dipping sauce and comes flanked by sautéed asparagus life preservers.
Inside Chapter One: The Modern Local, high, lofted ceilings, geometric light fixtures, and chunky wooden furnishings complement Executive Chef David Martinico's menu of seasonal contemporary cuisine. Patrons clink glasses of handpicked brews or craft cocktails?such as the restaurant's signature moscow mule?as they dine on locally sourced produce and humane meat. Meals draw on flavors from across the globe: ?touf?e fries covered in spicy Cajun roux bespeak a New Orleans influence, and yakisoba stir-fries and a housemade sausage topped in kimchi import East Asian tastes. The Frank Sinatra?themed Sunday brunch pairs classic dishes such as brioche french toast with bacon-bourbon bloody marys and other creative drinks. Chapter One: the modern local also breaks up up the drudgery of the workweek with regular events such as charity bingo, jazz performances, and a fortnightly burning of uncomfortable business shoes.
Tucked away in Santa Ana's Artist's Village, Vineyard R?z
provides visitors with a retreat from the chaos of everyday life. Its elegant decor and plush seating set a relaxing tone inside, where guests sip hand-selected wines from an array of locales, vintages, and vineyards. Hungry patrons can also dine on various small plates, salads, sandwiches, and entrees, or they can consult the knowledgeable staff on the perfect pairings for the wine they've selected.
Although he specializes in American comfort fare, Executive Chef Diego Velasco wields a packed cabinet of culinary styles and spices, elevating meetings and cocktail parties to a higher gastronomic plane with custom menus crafted from many fresh, locally sourced ingredients.. Midday meals get a savory infusion from the corporate-catering lunch menu, which includes a signature sandwich tray ($54 for 16 half-sandwiches)—a selection of up to four of the various bread-bookended taste-fests, which include a brisket po boy. The hot lunch buffet ($14.95/person for 15–50 guests, $13.50/person for 50+ guests) offers a flavorful cornucopia of meatloaf, ribs, and cornmeal-fried catfish. Appetizers by the dozen grace the à la carte menu and include the grilled scallop lollipops with saffron aioli ($26), and the mashed-potato pancakes with American caviar ($22), a laid-back affront to the snobbishly monocled Caspian variety. Chef Velasco's epicurean enthusiasm runs rampant throughout the entree offerings, which include buttermilk fried chicken, and grilled leg of lamb accented by pineapple-mint vinaigrette.
You can always count on being well-fed and entertained at Dave & Buster's. The sprawling entertainment complex features a full bar with specialty cocktails and a dining area that serves burgers, steaks, sandwiches, and other dishes. The franchise is known for its Million Dollar Midway, the uber game room that consists of rows and rows of blinking, ticket-spewing arcade games — more than 130 total with hundreds of prizes to redeem for.