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220 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 560-4444
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Ranked #1 of 612 Restaurants in Santa Ana
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: American, International, Californian, Gastropub
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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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104 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    75
    17
    6
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015 NEW

Went here for the first time last night with my wife and didn't really know what to expect. On first glance, the menu was like a foreign language. I could pick out words here and there that I recognized like "chicken" and "wagyu beef," but almost every dish had me thinking, "uh... what?" After consulting the waiter, we decided on... More 

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Huntington Beach, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

This place is sweet I really like the atmosphere and service. Menu changes so you have to visit often, lol. The Pork Belly buns are to die for. I could live off them for a few days at least...

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San Antonio TX
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2015

Had dinner tonight at The Playground and EVERY BITE was amazing! The cocktails are unique and they have a great wine and beer selection, too. We had three vegetable appetizers (Oh, Brussels sprout Caesar, I love thee.) and the fried chicken - freshly fried and seasoned deliciously! Have the fig toffee pudding - you won't regret it. The staff was... More 

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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2015

On a business trip in Santa Ana and found this place courtesy of trip advisor which has never let me down. Great restaurant with a chef and staff that obviously care very much about the food and atmosphere experienced by their customers. The food was fantastic. You can tell these folks have a real passion for their work. This is... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015 via mobile

We so enjoyed this restaurant. From the start to finish, amazing! Flat steak chimichurri, nice.....to the fig pudding.....WOW!!!! Please try this place......

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Robert Q, Owner at The Playground, responded to this review

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to give us a review. More than that, I am very happy that you had such a great experience. Getting positive feed-back like this is why we get up in the morning. Happy New Year from all of us at Playground. More 

Defiance, Ohio
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2014

My wife and I are big Food Network fans. When we found out that this place was owned by a previous foodtruck winner, we knew we had to try it out. Wow! We shared a butter lettuce, cherry vin, pepitas, apple, red onion, and manchigo cheese salad, and I must say it was the best salad I've ever eaten. This... More 

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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2014

We were staying in town for some business meetings and had a chance to try this out on our last night. Inventive cocktails led the way, as we tried to decide which tasting plates to pick. Let our waitress and the chefs call the shots omakase style, which ended up being a genius move. Got to try a wide variety... More 

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2014

Was in Orange County for business earlier this week and wanted a nice meal at a local place. Looked on Trip Advisor for some suggestions and selected The Playground. This is an extraordinary restaurant by all measures - environment, staff, menu and of course the food. There were three of us and none had been here before. Faced with so... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Orange County, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

We had heard the hype and came with an optimistic attitude but left very disappointed. The wait staff and front desk seem to be doing their jobs, everyone is circling around like well trained restaurant employees. The Manager is also checking up on every table and it all seems well orchestrated. We ordered fried chicken, 4 pieces and a wild... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Robert Q, Owner at The Playground, responded to this review

Clearly we're not your kind of playground, but just as clearly we are appreciated by many others, so even your review's title puts me off. Why tell other people that we're not their kind of playground? I was naturally horrified by your review to the extent it reflected badly on my staff. I shared your review with my managers and... More 

Wilbraham, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

This is a great small locally sourced restaurant, menu can change daily, had roasted Brussels sprouts, very good. Meant to share. Everything was great, had the sticky toffee pudding, had four guys at the table in great food comas. Awesome!!

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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, Californian, Gastropub

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