Embarcadero

Embarcadero

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://embarcadero-oc.com/index.html
  • Phone: 9497092266
  • 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.
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Embarcadero reviews from OpenTable diners
16 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food3.9
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (11)neighborhood gem (11)fit for foodies (6)good for groups (4)vibrant bar scene (4)great for lunch (3)special occasion (3)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (2)late-night find (1)romantic (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Pleasant atmosphere on the patio and great waiter service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dining experience!
    luvitalianfood
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Favorite Local Spot
    DocsMom
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    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?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Food
    rayu
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    The food here is excellent - the chef is the owner. The service could be more attentive, and the wine list could be more extensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A new favorite
    mmmmmmgood
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always great
    Kers
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Occasions
    DiningOutIsASpecialTreat
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very disappointed...over priced!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always a good Dinner
    1Flychik
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Took my parents there and it is always a good meal and service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 7 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.6
    • Food3.4
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 222 reviews are from the Embarcadero reviews archive.
  • Awesome food and service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very disappointing brunch
    rfuly
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just ok
    KKvm
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    The food was just ok. nothing special. would not go back
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Easter brunch
    Srb1
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome brunch
    businesstravelerVIP
    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!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Sunday Brunch
    rayu
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Super
    Kers
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    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!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Double Date
    Nette
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty Good Happy Hour
    masimca
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friday night visit with friends
    TandA
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brett - Great Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    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+
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great small plates
    rmanakaVIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday dinner
    vickyrep
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    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!!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Embarcadero is a good choice!!
    ksb48VIP
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden gem
    RSMer
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Three of us had dinner that
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Vday okay
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Seafood cooked right
    monsterfoodie
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    BLLL
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Some fabulous Food, Some not good
    rayu
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I never review, but this was awful.
    Greviews
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • one of the best in RSM
    janie
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Dining Experience
    ChrisVIP
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, romantic, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Service, Nice Selection
    1lovesputters
    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!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Date!
    Whitney
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous Meal
    rayu
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Server ERIC!!! You ROCK!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 12/8/2013
    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!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great new restaurant
    nefiga
    Dined on 11/15/2013
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • birthday celebration.
    birthdaydiner
    Dined on 11/13/2013
    The prices are a bit on the high side, but all the food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing Food!!!
    Justin1933
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    Went there with our friends and had an amazing dinner. Great Food and with amazing flavor! Highly Recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.