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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, Late Night, 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 119 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 83
    Excellent
  • 23
    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
Frankenstein meets Bobby Brown!

I kid. Jason Quinn is a madman renegade heretic. Untethered by tradition - a celebrated dissenter, and holder of controversial opinions; he engenders insurrection and unsullied autonomy. His menu preparations do not capitulate. His work is absolute, yet kind. He, like his cuisine... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 25, 2015
Dachonger
,
Irvine
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119 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Irvine
Level Contributor
79 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015

I kid. Jason Quinn is a madman renegade heretic. Untethered by tradition - a celebrated dissenter, and holder of controversial opinions; he engenders insurrection and unsullied autonomy. His menu preparations do not capitulate. His work is absolute, yet kind. He, like his cuisine, propagates and embraces transformation and rebirth. Resist no longer and concede defeat to the Quinn Empire.

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Orange, California
Level Contributor
45 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

First time here, really liked it but I don't really see bringing my man. Lot's of amazing small plate offerings (Which us women love) although I did see the largest pork chop ever at a table when a couple of guys. The service was great, the food was great, the drinks were great. Try it out and have fun,

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Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

My husband and I made reservations a month in advance for this restaurant-which yes, is a normal wait here. I was referred to go by a customer at work and am so glad we went!! Our reservations were for 5pm which is the first time slot for the night. Upon arrival we were greeted with a warm welcome and quickly... More 

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Level Contributor
25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2015

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 

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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
Level Contributor
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 53 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

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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
6 months ago

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Questions? Get answers from The Playground staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?