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All 601 Santa Ana Restaurants

The Playground

220 East Fourth Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
+1 714-560-4444
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Ranked #1 of 601 Restaurants in Santa Ana
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $15 - $30
Sun 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tue - Wed 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thu - Sat 5:00 pm - 2:00 am
Cuisines: American, International, Californian, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Spurgeon
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.
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91 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Orange, California, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2014 NEW via mobile

We live not too far away and finally tried this place, I'm sorry we waited so long. It's in a newly gentrified area of downtown Santa Ana with some other good options located nearby. We were able to grab two seats at the bar early one Friday evening, any later we would have needed reservations. The menu changes daily, no... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Robert Q, Owner at The Playground, responded to this review

Thank you so much for this review. I say that not because it was so favorable, which we sincerely appreciate, but because anyone who reads this review will understand exactly who we are. You've warned anyone who feels a need to modify dishes and you've highlighted that everything we serve is intended to be shared. So you've scared off people... More

lake forest, ca.
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2014 NEW

We went here for dinner tonight, and since we are fans of the Lime Truck, we had very high hopes. Let me just say, they did not disappoint. One of the best meals that I have ever had. I can't wait to go back!!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2014

My husband took me to The Playground for my birthday dinner last year, and he loved it so much he chose to go back for HIS birthday this year. Due to the cost of the experience, it's only something we can afford to do for special occasions. The Playground is a restaurant in which the menu changes pretty much everyday,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Los Angeles, California
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014

Three of us had dinner on a Friday evening....Décor unimpressive, noise level very uncomfortable, clientele young and hip, food was very good and imaginative. The menu changes quite often so you can go back and discover very interesting food combinations. We shared most of the dishes we ordered and everything was very good except Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken (he must... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fullerton, Ca.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

We have been to the Playground 5-6 times and always going with different friends. We LOVE introducing people to this restaurant! Never a disappointment! Always a fun food adventure, and the pricing is very reasonable. I have discovered several foods I never thought I would like. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and accommodating! My only negative is the very loud... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Orange County
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 via mobile

The Playground is a place where the menu changes often and everything from the ingredients, beer selection, and food preparation is well thought out. They think really hard about things and when they decide how to make them, that is how they make them. Don't try to ask them to "hold the onions" or you will get a polite "I'm... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Santa Ana, California
Top Contributor
274 reviews 274 reviews
240 restaurant reviews
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014

Our first thought was disappointment inasmuch as we'd made reservations for the four of us (two couples) as we were celebrating our anniversaries and anticipated we would have a table for four. Well, when we got there we were seated at one half of a high bar-table for eight. My wife is very short and didn't really want to have... More

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

Thanks so much for taking the time to review us. Thanks too for keeping an open mind after your initial disappointment in the seating. Personally, I usually love communal seating and wish there was more of it in American restaurants. (Last Saturday I went to another restaurant and requested the communal table.) But I understand that there are times (like... More

Orange County, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

My new favorite restaurant in OC!!!! Went here for my wife's birthday with some friends. All I can say is Wow! This was truly a wonderful food experience. Dishes are meant to be shared, which is such a fun way to enjoy a dinner. All of the dishes were unbelievably unique, creative, and executed perfectly. Amazingly, the menu also changes... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
so cal
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

Six of us had a reservation for dinner. We were seated promptly, and the whole experience was one of efficiency and a food delight. I think it is best to come here with 6 people, as the dishes are meant to be shared. Six was the perfect number to let everyone get enough of each dish, those who proclaimed to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
The Woodlands, Texas, USA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

Great beer and cocktails. The menu changes daily, but there is nothing you can go wrong ordering. Perfect portions and incredible tastes. Best hamburger I have ever had, though it is not on the menu and in limited quantity. Desserts are wonderful also. Wish I could take this place back to my town. You will need a reservation so plan... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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