We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Book a Stay + Win a Getaway Book your hotel on TripAdvisor and you could win a great trip!

The Playground

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
220 E 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701-4644 (Spurgeon)
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Closed now
All hours
Tue - Thu 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

166 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 164: English reviews
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This another one of those great places worth the drive to in Sanata Ana. Jason, who started the restaurant 7 years ago is an amazing chef. The craft beer and food change daily. If your a foodie and want to experience something new and exotic, this is the place.

Thank Scott F
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The food was spectacular. Our server was great. The fried chicken - although sounds a little strange - was PHENOMENAL. This is a place to which you must go.

Thank Justin H
Villa Park, California
Level Contributor
174 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2016

We love The Playground for it's location, food and atmosphere. All the servers are knowledgeable and the menu is wonderful. They have a very good wine selection, as well. Make sure to call for reservations far in advance because they get booked up for weeks. That right there tells you how good it is!

Thank Christie V
Orange County, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2016

My girlfriends took me here for work celebration. There are no substitutions and I believe the menu changes daily depending on that the chefs have on hand. Everything was really tasty. Even their signature cocktails that they run out of if you don't jump on it.

Thank DrMom14
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2016 via mobile

This was my first time here, and I can't WAIT to come me back!!! Every single bite (and we tried four dishes) was incredibly unique, tasty, and fun to eat. Having traveled all across the country and even lived in Vegas for a year, I have never experienced anything like this. The waitstaff was down to earth, friendly, and helpful... More 

Thank Elizabeth L
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2016 via mobile

My hubby and I have enjoyed coming here for the last few years! Jason's use of spices and food is amazing and there is something for everyone to enjoy! This restaurant has opened my eyes to foods I would never have considered ordering! I appreciate that the Playground does not make any changes to their dishes. The creations the kitchen... More 

Thank JNPHamrick
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2016 via mobile

4 COURSES, 3 CHEFS, 12 DISHES IN TOTAL. What a meal. Dining with culinary enthusiasts and served by the culinary creatives themselves is quite the dining experience. Where else in Orange County is your palette entertained with such artistry? The genuine passion for transforming an everyday ingredient into a food delicacy is demonstrated at Playground 2.0. A must for local... More 

Thank ED G
Santa Ana, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2016 via mobile

Food is made to perfection. Drinks are superb. Staff is down to earth, knowledgeable, attentive. Not open on Mondays!

Thank Tim M
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2016 via mobile

This place seriously rocks. Amazing eclectic food and a fantastic drink menu (especially beers). We let our server (Jordan) choose our food, and every course blew us away. We particularly loved the Filet Mignon steak tartare and Grilled Peach.

Thank Bob V
Orange, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2016

My son and his fiancée had eaten at The Playground several times and decided to have their wedding rehearsal dinner there. Before making a final decision, they took my husband and I for dinner at this wonderful eatery. We ordered our meal omikaze (several different courses, chosen by the server) and were in heaven with each course. The sous-vide pork... More 

Thank Karen P

Travelers who viewed The Playground also viewed

Santa Ana, Orange County
Santa Ana, Orange County
Santa Ana, Orange County
Santa Ana, Orange County

Been to The Playground? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
$30 - $50
Seafood, American, International, Gastropub
Restaurant features
Television, Reservations, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Full Bar
Dining Style
Casual Dining
Good for
Special occasions, Bar scene
Open Hours
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 220 E 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701-4644
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Orange County  >  Santa Ana
  • Phone Number: 17145604444
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
Ask a question
Santa Ana, California
over a year ago

See all questions (1)

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?