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“Gem of a spot for great light fare”

Ellie's Table at North Beach
Ranked #4 of 229 Restaurants in San Clemente
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $10
Cuisines: American, French, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast
Description: Ellie's Table is a celebration of Eleanor Mastroianni, whose cooking and baking skills helped turn Jay's Catering-which she co-founded with her husband, Jay-into a true catering dynasty. As a husband and wife team, Jay and Eleanor Mastroianni began a small catering business out of their home in 1972. Today, the company is considered one of Orange County's best caterers. Ellie's Table completes a circle of food industry experience, beginning with Eleanor's first job at Conway's Corner-a small diner in Rochester, PA-and culminating in this cafe, which is dedicated to offering up some of her famous specialties and favorite baked goods. Even though she was a trained nurse, Eleanor took her first steps toward a career in food preparation and entertaining at Conway's Corner, which is also where she met her future husband, Jay. After marrying in 1953, Jay's mother, Maria, taught Eleanor how to prepare classic Italian Mastroianni family recipes. Then, in 1958, Jay and Eleanor moved to Garden Grove, CA, where a new chapter of their lives began. When customers at his milk delivery depot in Westminster inquired about private party catering, Jay accepted the work, knowing his wife was a phenomenal cook. Her specialties included Italian lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and a signature carrot cake. Jay dreamed of becoming an all-inclusive caterer, providing one-stop shopping for clients and the best service available, regardless of the event size. However, Jay needed Eleanor's cooking skills in order to accomplish the dream. When the couple's catering company began to take flight, Eleanor quit her job as a nursing supervisor in 1970 to work full-time alongside her husband. Two years later, Jay and Eleanor introduced their famous palm-sized sandwiches. The turkey, ham and roast beef sandwiches, along with the egg and tuna salad options, became the basis of a lunch program sponsored by Huntington Beach's Mercury Savings. Three salads-potato, coleslaw and ambrosia-as well as a relish tray, completed the delectable meal. Participants in the lunch program were quick to spread the word about the delicious, freshly-assembled sandwiches, and business for the fledgling catering company began to flourish. Eleanor headed up the kitchen while Jay managed every other aspect; the help of their three children-Linda, John, and Michael-was also critical, as the family worked to become a household name in the catering world. In 1975, the family moved to a larger "catering house" in Garden Grove in order to accommodate growing business. A few years later, in 1987, the catering company's accelerating success made it necessary to relocate to a still bigger, more modern facility on Garden Grove Boulevard. Behind all this growth stood a woman known for her ability to cook, improvise, and supervise a large kitchen-Ellie Mastroianni. Not only did she do much of the cooking herself, but she also taught her staff to prepare her specialties, too. Eleanor later helped Jay run an Italian restaurant, called Ciao Bello, at the Los Caballeros Sports Club in Fountain Valley beginning in 1989. The popular restaurant featured musical entertainment and enjoyed a steady clientele, all of whom relished Eleanor's Italian specialties. Weddings, family reunions, and parties of all sorts took place in the banquet hall upstairs. Both Eleanor and Jay slowed down in 1994 when their daughter, Linda, became the Chief Operating Officer of Jay's Catering/Mastroianni Family Enterprises, but they never strayed too far. Until his death in May, 2013, Jay and Eleanor visited Jay's Catering nearly every day together. When asked, Jay described his wife as honest; friendly, intelligent, loyal, and possessing a great deal of common sense. Thus, a legacy of hard work and great food established by a wonderful wife, mother, and cook lives on here at Ellie's Table. We hope you can tell.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

A friend who recommended our hike north from the pier on the San Clemente Beach trail to North Beach told us we had to stop at Ellie's Table for refreshments. When we got to the North Beach parking lot, we headed inland just past the Ole Hansen Beach Club and spied the inviting outdoor patio and the Ellie's Table sign. Arriving at the counter around 1:30, the server asked if this was our first time there. When we said yes, she was crestfallen--because they had sold out of so many things. We still had plenty of delicacies to tempt us and we shared a piece of pumpkin cake, plus fresh squeezed lemonade and an excellent large coffee--all for under $9. It was indeed delicious and we can't wait to arrive a little earlier so we can try some of what we missed along with the tempting lunch items. The outdoor tables have a great peek view of the ocean and of the historic Beach Club building. Definitely worth a trip, by foot or by car.

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1  Thank TooMuch2Do
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Armand B, Owner at Ellie's Table at North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2014

Dear TooMuch2Do,

Thank you for making the trip to come and visit us! Thank you, as well, for your wonderful review. We hope to see you and your friends back at Ellie's Table!

Sincerely,
Armand Barragan

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148 - 152 of 152 reviews

Reviewed November 23, 2013

Ellie's Table is the best thing to happen to North Beach in San Clemente since they finished the Beach Trail. Friendly people behind the counter explain the day's fantastic breakfast offerings, pastries, salads, sandwiches and breads. Baked on the premises, the breads and pastries are excellent. This is the perfect place to take a break, have a morning coffee after a walk on the beach trail or meet friends for a quick and tasty lunch. With indoor and patio sitting the feeling is California beach casual. Views of the ocean, palm trees and historic San Clemente sites add to the sense of a relaxed enjoyment. Highly recommend it for visitors and residents alike.

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Thank Patricia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Armand B, Owner at Ellie's Table at North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2014

Dear Patricia P.,

Thank you so very much for taking the time to review us. I was elated to read about your experience at Ellie's Table and can't wait to see you back soon!

Thanks again,
Armand Barragan

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Reviewed March 26, 2016 via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2015
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Reviewed May 18, 2015
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Armand B, Owner at Ellie's Table at North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2015
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