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Playground
Small Plates Restaurant$$
Today 5:00 – 10:00 pm
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220 E 4th St #102 Santa Ana, CA 92701
220 East 4th Street #102USCaliforniaSanta Ana92701
(714) 560-4444playgrounddtsa.com
$$Small Plates Restaurant, Bar
Small Plates Restaurant
Bar
New American Restaurant
Today 5:00 – 10:00 pm
Monday ClosedTuesday 5:00 – 10:00 pmWednesday 5:00 – 10:00 pmThursday 5:00 – 10:00 pmFriday 5:00 pm – 12:00 amSaturday 5:00 pm – 12:00 amSunday 3:30 – 8:30 pm
Menu
Playground restaurant. Chef driven small plates, full bar with fifteen craft beers on tap, another 60 or so by the bottle. A selection of nice wines you've probably never heard of.  Artisan cocktails.
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4.4
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4 reviews
Creative chef Jason Quinn's modern gastropub offers changing New American fare & top-shelf drinks.- Google
"Brussels sprouts, pork belly steam buns, fried chicken."
"What must NOT be forgotten is the sticky toffee figgy pudding."
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Darryl Yong
a month ago
We ordered every single first plate and dessert and didn't regret anything. There were lots of great items: albacore, tomato panzanella, pan roasted corn, fried chicken. Seriously, get the fried chicken. The food is inventive, fun and delicious. Really.... Get. The. Fried. Chicken.
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Kim L
2 months ago
Brussels Sprouts Caesar (Jalapeno Dressing, Cotija, Radish, Cilantro, Tortilla): 5 stars This is one the best dishes that I had for this evening. The flavors from each of the ingredients of this dish perfectly balanced this dish out. Avocado, Cara Cara Orange, Beets, Radish, Red Fresno, Chile Bruto: 3.5 stars A good refreshing healthy starter dish that's refreshing enough to get you up & ready for the next upcoming dishes. Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken: 4.5 stars Very moist, not overpowering with vinegar, good combo of honey & vinegar. This was not as crispy as I would have liked but the meat just melted off the bones. No wonder this is one of the signature dishes here at Playground. Charred Satsuki Rice & Alaskan Halibut Cheeks (Edamame, Shishitos, Crispy Shallots, Grated Daikon Marinated in Soy Misoyaki Sauce, Nori, Lime): 4.5 stars This dish came with thin nori wraps which was a great way to roll up the halibut. The halibut had a slight citrus taste but was extremely fresh & tender. The delicate soy misoyaki sauce misoyaki sauce tied this elegant, yet delicious dish together. Dragon Roasted Asparagus (Lemon, Garlic, Chile, Black Rice): 3.5 stars A healthy vegan dish that people will enjoy, this was a bit on the salty side but the black rice balanced this dish out. Hillarys Papparadelle (Dungess crab, melted leeks, Burrata, Lemon, Chive): 3 stars This was one of the weaker dishes because the pasta could have been cut up into pieces or this would have made a good ravioli dish. The sauce was a bit on the bland side but the pieces of dungess crab was nicely portioned. The Labor of Love That Is The Italian Springtime (Artichokesm Confit in Calabrian, Chile Oil, Peas, Fava Beans, Pickled Baby Fennel, Goat Cheese, Pine Nuts, Lemon): 3 stars This was a good spring time themed dish that was light, healthy & refreshing but I think it was just missing something to tie all of these flavors in. Manila Clams Cooked in Dashi: 4.5 stars The clams were very fresh & tender in this dish. The dashi, creme fraiche and garlic enhanced the clams' natural taste & smooth texture. Wolf of the Sea Crudo (Cucumber Soda, Kumquat, Jicama, Sweet Onion, Pickled Chile, Cilantro): 4.5 stars This was a very light and refreshing with a citrusy delicate finish to this dish which reminded me of fresh sashimi that you would order as an Omakase dish which means, essentially, "chef's choice." The light citrusy sauce tied this whole dish together. Markee G's Pork Cheek Barbacoa Tostada Plate (Mezcal Roasted Pineapple, Black Beans, Pickled Red Onion, Queso Freso, Cilantro): 4.5 stars This was extremely tender & yummy because the pineapple balanced out the hearty flavors of the pork cheek. Maple Glazed Pork Chop: 5 stars The sauce is a bit salty on the outside of this pork chop but on the inside, the meat was extremely tender. Brussels sprouts would have been a good side dish. The meat by the bone is a bit saltier than by the outside but this was still an amazing dish overall. Bruleed Ojai Pixie Tangerine (Hazelnut cake, Aerated Hazelnut Milk, Orange Sorbet): 2 stars This was one of the weaker desserts which we felt that the flavors were on the bland side & the hazelnut cake wasn't represented much here in this dish. Grape & Meyer Lemon Sorbet: 3.5 stars A very light, citrusy and refreshing sorbet that will help you cleanse your palate after a hearty meal. Carmelized Sweet Potato Pie (Sage Meringue, Granola, Milk & Honey Sherbet): 2 stars We felt that the sweet potato in this pie was too light & the sherbets tasted like air & did not add any flavor to the pie either. Black Mission Fig Sticky Toffee Pudding: 4.5 stars I think that Jason read my last review regarding this dessert being too sweet & overwhelming; so this time around I was extremely surprised at the transformation of this dish! This bread pudding was not overly sweet at all but instead, very well balanced & delicious. Yuzu Cake: 4.5 stars This yuzu cake has made a complete turn around since the last time that I was here, now it's very light & refreshing.
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Christina Woods
5 months ago
Experimental food at its finest. The place is sort of cool, small, kinda hip and fresh sort of feel.Come for some great eats that pack a punch in the flavor department! And how fun is a menu that is constantly changing, only serving the freshest they can get their hands on that day. I think that's a great concept, and all the better that the results of such creative minds is something edible and delicious! Portions are small to medium sized, a little larger than tapas style. What must NOT be forgotten is the sticky toffee figgy pudding. It will haunt you, it's so good.
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Marvin P
6 months ago
Without a doubt, Playground is my absolute favorite establishment in all of Orange County. Chef Jason Quinn orchestrates a menu that finds the perfect balance between taste, innovation, and consistency. This attempt is something you can definitely appreciate and the best part is that the ambience and staff -- makes it approachable. There are constantly new items offered with each visit, but the money makers are always still on the menu and with absolute reason to be so. I've had the opportunity to sit down and have dinner prepared directly in front of Jason at his much more intimate dining experience - Playground 2.0. This guy is crazy, there's no reason to hide that. His motivation and excitement is translated to what's placed on your plate and the reason why I keep coming back.
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Soccer Mom
2 months ago
A simple apology would hahe sufficed. Whoever Jason Q is is in the wrong business. Instead of "I'm sorry you had a bad experience" it was excuses, excuses on top of rude.To set the record straight somebody named Jason Q said I reviewed the "wrong" restaurant however he proceeded to give a million excuses for their horrible service and they share an address and location name. On the off chance there are 2 different places I will cover all my bases and review both. Shame on you. I drove out here with my son and my husband from Temecula on Sunday evening about 8:30. We had anticipated so many great things from this place based on the reviews. Guess what? We walked in the door and there were plenty of empty tables all over the place, the blonde hostess said "I'm sorry you can't eat here because we only serve parties of 4 or more". REALLY? There were 3 of us. We were adults and would have ordered drinks, appetizers, dinners etc. The rude hostess refused to budge she wouldn't make an exception. So after driving am hour we were basically tossed to the curb. If this is how they treat customers then they are not worth my time, money or patronage. I could understand if we looked like vagabond homeless people who were not going to give them any business but my husband and I are both professionals and my 21 year old son is also a college educated professional musician. This was one of the worst experiences with a restaurant we have ever had. Please think twice before giving this place your business. The next person they refuse to serve could be you. We went across the street to Tacqueria Guadalajara and had some delicious food and cold beer with great service. Go there instead and be treated like a human instead of a second class citizen. Get your story straight! Is it because we weren't a party of 4? Fresh food? No reservations? You give so many excuses it's not clear? How about a simple apology? Instead of EXCUSES?! No where on Yelp or Trip Advisor says MUST have reservations on Sunday! Have you heard of updating your websites? Rude. Rude. Rude. People don't give this rude place your money.
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hyuk kang
6 months ago
Just like the restaurant name, this is Chef Jason's ultimate playground for his cooking. He is creative and bold in his approach. I got a chance to try their course meals with a large group and I must admit, they did a great job in bringing each course with good execution. My favorite of the night was probably their porkchop. I will post the picture so that everyone can envy. I would love to come back here for more.
David Broomell
6 months ago
I had the best dining experience of my life at the Playground. My brother, sister, and I went here for Valentine's Day after reading some reviews. We sat down at our table and read through the "About Us" paper they provided. When we saw the "Omakase" option we threw caution to the wind and placed our faith in our server, Josh. It was the best dining decision we've ever made. Josh nailed it and delivered a perfect meal. The Playground is an amazing food experience with fantastic service and great drinks.
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Bradley Jerome Bartos
2 months ago
Basically the best dining experience I can imagine. Absolutely one of the best meals of my life. Brussels sprouts, pork belly steam buns, fried chicken.

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