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“An adult meal for an adult museum” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tangata at Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

Tangata at Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
2002 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92706-2731
714-550-0906
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Ranked #9 of 607 Restaurants in Santa Ana
Cuisines: American, Eclectic, Californian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Main and 20th
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“An adult meal for an adult museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere of this restaurant. I had the soup of the day and breadless tuna melt and my friend had one of their salads. Everything was very good in both taste and presentation. The noise level is high because of the ceilings and several large parties. Staff managed well for a very busy Saturday lunch crowd. Reservations are recommended and can be made at Open Table

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    22
    18
    4
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Moorpark, California
Top Contributor
408 reviews 408 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 113 cities Reviews in 113 cities
192 helpful votes 192 helpful votes
“Great lunch!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

This is my second lunch at Tangata; both meals were excellent. This time I tried the Riggatone with Braised Short Ribs for $19 and it was sooooo good I'm still thinking about it. It's a very filling dish, so no need to order anything else. The patio location is nice but they could use some more ground level foliage and a fountain would be nice. Service was excellent (thanks Jeff!) Dine here and visit the museum's "Cut! Costume and Cinema" that runs till March 10; you'll enjoy a special day. (Have your parking stub stamped at the restaurant to be reimbursed your $6 parking fee.)

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Niguel, California
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Elegant dining in a museum setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

If you are used to cafeteria-style dining at museums, you will be delighted to stop in for lunch at Tangata. Located off the Bowers Museum lobby with views of the Mission-like gardens, the dining room, bar, and patio tables with heaters, offer a limited but sophisticated menu. I always order the crab cake appetizer as my meal; it's small but well done and just enough for those watching calories. The presentation is creative and the service is attentive and as swift as you want it to be if you are eager to get to the exhibits. We reserved through Open Table and I was glad I did since the restaurant was crowded with a short wait the weekend before New Years. I especially like the glass ceiling which makes the dining area feel particularly open.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anaheim, California
Top Contributor
186 reviews 186 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Tangata, a hidden gem of sophisticated California cuisine in Santa Ana, CA”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Compressed Salad of Baby Arugula is topped with manchego cheese, Fuji apples, dates, candied walnuts and tossed in pistachio vinaigrette. This salad has a brilliant combination of flavors – bitter from the arugula, salty from the manchego, sweet from the apples and dates, smoky/sweet from the walnuts and pistachio vinaigrette. This was the most perfectly balanced salad I’ve ever had. Thumbs up, way up!

Short Rib “Stroganoff” is braised Angus short rib “Stroganoff”, housemade pappardelle pasta, creamy red wine sauce, and roasted crimini mushrooms. The braised short rib was extremely tender, no knife necessary, and wonderfully flavorful. The creamy red wine sauce was velvety and matched perfectly with the beef and pasta. The vegetables were expertly roasted to perfection. This was a great way to incorporate the short rib element into a stroganoff dish. Thumbs up, way up!

Vanilla Crème Brulee made with Tahitian vanilla bean. This is a fantastic crème brulee! Creamy, custardy goodness topped with a crispy burnt sugar crust. The Tahitian vanilla beans speckle the entire custard filling your taste buds with vanilla essence and provided a beautiful contrast as you dive into it. Thumbs up, way up!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Johnson City, TN
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Unique and wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

My husband and I were visiting Santa Ana on business and I found Tangata on Trip Advisor. I would not have found it otherwise and boy am I glad I did. The restaurant is nestled into a courtyard like setting that is reminiscent of Tuscany or Rome with both indoor and outdoor seating. We chose to sit outdoors and ordered the Lamb and Hummus and Tuna Melt to share between us. Both dishes were excellent and the service was top notch. Call the restaurant before you go to get specific directions. It's inside the Bowers Museum but the address doesn't always correspond to Google Maps directions!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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