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The Playground

Certificate of Excellence
$$
American, International, Pub, Gastropub
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220 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701 (Spurgeon)
(714) 560-4444
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Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Chef driven, ingredient driven affordable small plates and craft cocktails...
Chef driven, ingredient driven affordable small plates and craft cocktails and beers. A young and creative team of chefs led by Executive Chef, Jason Quinn, change up the menu daily to keep the dining experience fresh and exciting. Orange County's "Best Bartender" making exciting craft cocktails and Santa Ana's best beer program, with 15 craft beers on tap and approximately 60 bottled beers, including many rarities. The dining experience is different at Playground: You're expected to share, so don't think in terms of my dish or your dish, and we're stubborn about our no-modification rule. If you're adventurous you'll probably love it; if you need control over your dish preparation, you probably won't.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 116 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 81
    Excellent
  • 22
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Picked a bad night and wrong menu items

I've heard good things (no, make that great things) about this restaurant so I made a reservation for a month in advance. Yes, they were booked that far ahead for a Saturday dinner. However, the menu changes frequently, if not nightly, and it appears we picked a bad night. I started with a new... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 28, 2015
TerryfromToledo
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116 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2015 NEW

I've heard good things (no, make that great things) about this restaurant so I made a reservation for a month in advance. Yes, they were booked that far ahead for a Saturday dinner. However, the menu changes frequently, if not nightly, and it appears we picked a bad night. I started with a new menu item. The first item a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Anaheim, California, United States
Level Contributor
54 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2015 via mobile

We ate on patio. Pork chops with maple glaze with Brussel sprouts and champagne cocktail. Daughter had short ribs inside pasta and champagne. Both unusual and tasty. Service was excellent. Total $112 with $22 tip.

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Santa Ana, California, United States
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

We've been a few times & would definitely go back. The food is fun & interesting. A word of warning... they only serve their coffer strong & black, so if you are wanting a latte or other...looke elsewhere.

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Menifee
Level Contributor
68 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2015

I am writing this from firsthand experience. I came to this restaurant on Sunday at 8:30pm. I was with my husband and my 21 year old son. The hostess told us she would not seat us because they only seat a party of 4. If she would have explained that they are a reservations only restaurant on Sundays we would... More 

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Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2015

In town on business, I had a co-worker strongly recommend The Playground. I sampled a few appetizers, two new beers, and their dessert...and I have to say, it was all spectacular. The first bite of each dish resulted in...*eyes closed, sigh, chew, sigh, and "oh my gosh!"* Literally everything was delicious. Our waitress was very attentive, and extremely friendly. I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2015

Great vibe and even better food. Went for the second time last night and had a very good meal again. The menu literally changes every day although they do leave their signature items on the menu. I had the brussel sprouts Caesar salad and it was fantastic. Also had a fantastic Burrata cheese appetizer that was to die for. So... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Robert Q, Owner at The Playground, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your review. I wanted to let you know that we have identified our bar as a bottleneck and we're fixing it. We were originally a beer and wine place and didn't build a bar to handle artisan cocktails. We crammed in one "well" for making cocktails when we got our full-liquor license, but with only one... More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015

The only words in my and my friends mouth were the words "omg omg omg"..it was a send off dinner for one of my closest friend who is leaving out of country. And man what a dinner!! A dynamic menu which changes daily.. A customized mock/cocktail. Each person of the restaurant is so so passionate. And amazing...pls pls pls try... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2015

We dined here while we were vacationing in CA. I grew up in Orange County CA but I now live in Florida. Downtown Santa Ana sure has changed! We had a customized tasting menu prepared by Sous Chef Matthew Fontanez. It was fantastic! The dishes were all very creative and tasty with very unique flavor combinations I have not experienced... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
La Mirada, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Wonderful, brilliant tastes kept flowing out of the kitchen! Delightful! Perfectly described as each plate was delivered. We can't wait to return!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
The O.C., California
Level Contributor
82 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015

Playground is a very welcome addition to the revitalization of downtown Santa Ana. Dinner there was a GREAT experience. The menu changes daily with some reoccurring favorites. Plates are meant to be shared so that your table can explore as many of their offerings as possible. We ordered 9 dishes. Seating is at hightop 2's, 4's or community tables. You... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4

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Additional Information about The Playground

Address: 220 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone Number: (714) 560-4444
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Orange County  >  Santa Ana
Average Prices: USD 15 - 30
Cuisine: American, International, Pub, Gastropub

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 220 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
    (Spurgeon)
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Orange County  >  Santa Ana
  • Phone Number: (714) 560-4444

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 15 - 30
  • Cuisine: American, International, Pub, Gastropub

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining

Description

Chef driven, ingredient driven affordable small plates and craft cocktails and beers. A young and creative team of chefs led by Executive Chef, Jason Quinn, change up the menu daily to keep the dining experience fresh and exciting. Orange County's "Best Bartender" making exciting craft cocktails and Santa Ana's best beer program, with 15 craft beers on tap and approximately 60 bottled beers, including many rarities. The dining experience is different at Playground: You're expected to share, so don't think in terms of my dish or your dish, and we're stubborn about our no-modification rule. If you're adventurous you'll probably love it; if you need control over your dish preparation, you probably won't.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Playground and other visitors
1 question
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Santa Ana, California
5 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?