Our Dining Critic’s “Where should we eat?” Cheatsheet

It’s the question our Dining Critic Gretch Kurz hears most often.

Vaca Paella

For romance…
First date: SideDoor has the perfect ratio of cozy to casual, plus an ace bar to calm any jitters.
Second date: AnQi oozes glamour with stunning fare, sexy design, and a killer soundtrack.
Anniversary: Studio at Montage is a splurge worthy of the wait.

For wowing visitors…
Adventurous foodies: Broadway by Amar Santana has an insider vibe and Amar’s dazzling fare.
Scene fiends: Mastro’s Ocean Club delivers premium people-watching.
Indie spirits: Lola Gaspar is quirky, delicious, and walkable to other cool spots.

For meals with a view…
Panoramic ocean vista: Bluegold’s crow’s-nest view shows the best side of Huntington Beach.
Surf’s edge: The lower patio at Splashes is hard to beat for toes-in-the-sand proximity.
Hilltop outlook: Orange Hill restaurant’s vertical drive-up pays off with huge sunsets fading to twinkling city lights.

For a killer steak…
Cost is no object: Selanne Steak Tavern delivers the goods, with a side of sports celebrity.
Dry-aged beauties: Vaca does it best.
Offbeat choice: Anjin honors yakiniku tradition with remarkably marbled meats you grill at your table: ribeye, short rib, A5 Wagyu, and skirt steak.

For groups…
Families with kids: Pitfire Artisan Pizza welcomes squirmy kids while serving grub that grownups love
Rowdy birthdays: Bosscat Kitchen is loose and roomy, with trusty drinks and fare.
Gracious gatherings: Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens is an outdoor entertainer’s dream—minus the headaches and cleanup.

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