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  • Embarcadero

  • Online Reservations

  • Address:
    22332 El Paseo
    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
    Rancho Santa Margarita
  • Cuisine:
    Price: $30 and under

Embarcadero Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://embarcadero-oc.com/index.html
  • Phone: (949) 709-2266
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch/Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday: 11:00am - 10:30pm, Thursday - Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: George Valdovinos
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We have a private patio as well as a section of our dining room that can accommodate 30 guests.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Santa Margarita Pkwy
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Embarcadero
Embarcadero California Bistro is George Valdovinos' newest restaurant and is located in the El Paseo plaza in Rancho Santa Margarita. Embarcadero hosts an innovative menu featuring small plates, signature salads, homemade pizzas, creative sandwiches, and entrees with a new twist. We also boast a full bar featuring specialty mojitos, martinis, and an extensive wine list. We will have live entertainment in the bar on most weekend evenings. The staff at Embarcadero looks forward to seeing you all in the very near future.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Pleasant atmosphere on the patio and great waiter service."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Eaten here a few times and have never been disappointed. Service is great. Good wine list. Great menu variety. We had the bacon wrapped mahi mahi and the scallops. Both excellent dishes with a delicious mix of flavors. Excellent dessert options as well."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The food here is really, really good. Consistently. The service is tremendous, you can talk at the table without needing a megaphone, they have a nice patio and a great bar. Every time we go, I leave wondering, why don't we eat here more often?"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "The food here is excellent - the chef is the owner. The service could be more attentive, and the wine list could be more extensive."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Their Sunday brunches are wonderful. We've chosen Embarcadero both for Mother's Day and Father's Day because the food is so excellent and the price is a fraction of other brunch buffets in the OC. The spicy eggs benedict is different from anything I've ever tasted. I wish I could eat it every day that I'm on this planet. The $5 unlimited mimosas with fresh squeezed OJ just topped off a great experience. They have brunch buffets every week, not just on special occasions."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "We come to this restaurant all the time. The food is consistently good and the service is always excellent!! We love Tanner, Eric and Matt! George is the greatest-so friendly and welcoming ...ALWAYS!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "We typically order to go on special occasions, but we finally dined in and more than enjoyed our food and the service! Not everything on the menu is available for pick-up so we got to try something new. Everyone in the party loved their selections from appetizer to entree to dessert. We will definitely continue to enjoy Embarcadero for special occasions!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "For the price you pay...I was expecting a high quality meal. Definitely not the case. Menu sounds great, but taste plain. We were celebrating my wife's birthday so I wrote a note in the reservation...no acknowledgment whatsoever...not even a simple happy birthday when we checked in. Very disappointed!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Took my parents there and it is always a good meal and service."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful Ahi Tuna and Swordfish dinner here. Service was great. We brought our own bottle of wine, and they took good care of us and gave us a romantic little booth because, "you guys look like you're on a date". Very nice experience. Will try for happy hour!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "We waited a long time to go for brunch at Embarcadero. We finally were able to go there for Mother's day brunch, arriving around 11:30 am. We were very disappointed to see that the food trays were all empty, the appearance of the food left on the trays was not very appealing, and the choices were very limited. It was definitely not worth paying the $30/head for that. What a bummer!!! So, no more brunches at Embarcadero."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "This was our first time at Embarcadero's. My husband and I loved it. He ordered the rib eye steak and it was cooked perfectly. I ordered the bacon wrapped Mahi Mahi it was excellent. We are defiantly going to return. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "The food was just ok. nothing special. would not go back"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "I chose embarcadero because I've been there several times with great experiences. However, there Easter brunch was horrible. My daughter, girlfriend and I had 3 plates each from the buffet without really eating anything. The bacon was so hard it cut my Gf's cheek. Everything was over cooked or not fresh. We actually went home and made lunch for ourselves since none of us ate. I will revisit this restaurant for their normal menu in the future. I think it was just a one time deal for brunch. "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Pricey, but worth it if you're hungry and like variety! Standard omelet bar, but lots of great surprises. Food kept pretty fresh and replenished. Unlimited Mimosas for another $5. Plan to be there for a while, and you'll get your $$ worth!"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "We tried the Sunday Brunch and it was wonderful. The food was excellent and the selection varied. Unlimited champagne for $5 is also a bargain."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "This restaurant is tucked away in the corner of many shops and I don't think people remember it's there. The food is EXCELLENT as well as the service. They have a great brunch with bottomless champagne and it is great!! Tell your friends!!!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Great drinks and tasty food on the patio. The girls split sliders and burrata cheese bruschetta - delish! Guys had salmon and pasta dishes and licked their plates clean."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Made reservations for dinner, but decided to indulgent in happy hour at the bar instead since most food items were 50% off. Food was good (especially the clam chowder), but non-happy hour prices will destroy your wallet. Regular menu prices are very high. Priced like a luxury restaurant (Morton's, Houston's), but missing the atmosphere and service. Don't get me wrong, its a nice place, but prices like the big boys, but its not."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Met up with our friends on Friday night. Had a great time as usual at this restaurant. Service was great. Food was delicious and the staff was attentive as always. Perfect neighborhood location that we can easily walk to. Recommend it for any occasion."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Everything was great for dinner. We came in around 6:30pm and the restaurant was busy. We got seated & served right away. Brett was right there for anything we needed and was also able to customize our meals. A+"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Great small plates. Service was OK, but my mother never received a warm-up on her coffee. Parking, however, is very difficult...leave time for cruising the lot."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "It was my friends Birthday and she chose Embarcadero. Our group has been to this restaurant many times and will continue to go back. The food and service were very good. It's a great neighborhood restaurant!!"
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "We love the appetizers and wine/cocktail offerings. It's a great place to go on a date night for good food and a great vibe. The servers are friendly and helpful without rushing you. I love the cioppino which is delicious and full of yummy seafood. Hubby had fish and loved it. We will return"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Tucked in a corner next to big chain stores and odd shops is this hidden gem. Beautiful outdoor patio with pleasant sounds from the water feature. Nice variety of well prepared foods with generous portion. Truffled tater tots are fun appetizer, cooked just crisp with earthy truffle flavor. Salmon salad on the lunch menu has really fresh baby greens, avocado and a large piece of oerfectly grilled, seasoned salmon. Attentive service made the complete package. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Three of us had dinner that had been rescheduled multiple times since last year. None of us had been here before. Our waiter was great, not too many people in the restaurant but it was early on a Sunday night. The food was excellent - the filet was perfectly cooked and the house steak sauce was great. We will be back again!"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Bret was our server. We had him before. Same mistakes. Doesn't listen to what we wanted. The food was good . Ordered the scallops. Unfortunately they ran out of mash potatoes. My husband lives the surf and turf. The Creme brûlée was waters down. The drinks were good. Get a booth if you can. The Brie potatoes were good."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We went on Valentine's evening and had an excellent meal of truffle tots, roasted beet salad and 2 incredibly prepared fish entrees (salmon and sea bass). We will definitely be going back. A true neighborhood gem!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Went there for Valentine's Day. The food was excellent. My wife had the filet. I had the sea bass special. The hot fudge brownie was the only item that was mediocre. It was a disappointment considering how great the rest of the food was. The service was a little slow, but they were pretty crazy that night. I will definitely be back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Four of us had Valentine's dinner at Embarcadero. The Salmon was fabulous, as was the Cioppino. The pork chop was dry and tough. The Lamb was so overcooked it had to be sent back. The wine list is not up to date since it includes items they no longer stock. So overall, you may get a fabulous meal or you may be disappointed."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We went there on a Sunday evening & it was nearly deserted. There were more staff members/cooks than there were diners, however we took a booth & waited... & waited... & waited. Finally a server came with waters, but didn't offer to answer questions or take drink/food orders. 10 minutes later we were approached again and we ordered our meals. The server never asked if we wanted drinks, so we didn't order any. Although we did order an appetizer, which never came. When we told the server, there was no apology, & we told them to not worry about bringing it, now that the meal was over. One of us is a vegetarian & ordered the grilled cheese minus the Maine Lobster. We were charged the same amount as if the sandwich included the lobster. A waste!"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "Great food and outstanding service. I recommend this to any foodie. Especially good seafood. My husband usually gets non seafood, and the steaks and lamb are superb."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "My husband and I came in for dinner on Friday, January 31st to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. The wedge salad was fabulous - they added a thick slice of tomato and onion slices on the side so that you could leave or take what you wanted with each bite and I liked that. My husband had the berry salad with herbed chicken and it was plenty. We then shared the mahi mahi wrapped in smoked bacon..to die for! The reception and waiter were both kind and attentive. After dinner, we walked over to the bar where a group of four musicians played a bunch our favorite tunes from Adelle to Allman Brothers and Steely Dan. Nice bar atmosphere but a bit crowded for seating. Get reservations ahead of time!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "We had fantastic service. Wow. As good as I've ever experienced, and I spend a lot of time on the road in high-end corporate-card restaurants. Food was pretty good, I had a decent ribeye and a great wedge salad. Others at the table enjoyed a nice beet salad and a potato wrapped salmon, both great size portions and high quality flavor. Drinks were pretty good, good selection of beers on tap and my wife enjoyed her Martini. Once again, what great service. Will definitely be back soon!!!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "My husband and I got away for a nice dinner and thoroughly enjoyed our experience. Great food and atmosphere allowed for a romantic night of talking and laughing away from our children."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "I believe that the chef is the owner of Embarcadero. Every meal here is fabulous and presented in an interesting manner. The crab cakes are some of the best we've ever had and the salmon as well as the scallops were superb. I highly recommend the Embarcadero. The only negative is the layout. If you can't get a booth, you may feel a bit uncomfortable."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Eric was the best server that we have had in a loooooong time. We didn't have to ask for a single thing. He was like "Flash" right there when we needed refills, plates cleared, etc... A+ ERIC!!!!"
    Dined on 12/8/2013
  • "Embarcadero has a great menut that isn't just limited to a couple good items. This means whether I want steak or salad, something light or something filling, they seem to have something that sounds good to me."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "The prices are a bit on the high side, but all the food was delicious."
    Dined on 11/13/2013
  • "Went there with our friends and had an amazing dinner. Great Food and with amazing flavor! Highly Recommend."
    Dined on 11/9/2013