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  • Iva Lee's

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Iva Lee's
Iva Lee's
  • Address:
    555 N El Camino Real, Suite E
    San Clemente, CA 92672
    San Clemente
  • Cuisine:
    Creole / Cajun / Southern
    Price: $30 and under

Iva Lee's Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.ivalees.com
  • Phone: (949) 361-2855
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: 7 Nights Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Live Music Tuesday - Sunday
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Creole / Cajun / Southern, American
  • Executive Chef: Christopher Starr
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Iva Lee's offers full-service catering.

    Food, labor, bar & rentals.

    Our chefs can create any type of cuisine. We would be happy to create a custom menu for your event. Please contact our catering director, Lisa Wagoner at (949) 291-4269, for more details.

    If you would like to receive a copy of our catering catalog, please email us at ivalees@cox.net.
  • Private Party Facilities: We have a private heated and covered outdoor patio that can seat up to 32 guests.

    Our back dining room can accommodate up to 42 guests. Our front dining room can accommodate up to 24 guest.

    The restaurant is available for private events from 7:00am - 4:00pm Tuesday - Saturday. It's capacity is 98 guests (66 dining room/32 patio).

    The restaurant is available anytime on Sunday's or Monday's.
  • Private Party Contact: Eric Wagoner (949) 291-4859
  • Entertainment: Iva Lee's has live music Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

    We have a variety of great Blues, Jazz & Zydeco Artists.

    Check out our website to see who's playing.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Weekly Specials
    Blues Mondays-1/2 off all food
    Fat Tuesdays- Southern Food and Drink Specials all Night
    Wednesdays- 1/2 Off Selected Wines by the Bottle
    Thursdays- 1/2 Specialty Martinis
    Sunday Funday- Live Music and Drink Specials all Night

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Avenida Palizada
  • Public Transit: Bus stop nearby
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Private lot on side of the building with plenty of parking and street frontage parking available as well.
A word from Iva Lee's
Come on in, have a sit, and set a spell.

Welcome to Iva Lee's.

Iva Lee's is a southern style dinner house featuring Southern cuisine, live music & full bar.

Iva Lee's offers great specialty drinks like Hurricane's, Mint Julep's and the famous Georgia Peach Martini. It also has a great wine list.

Chef Christopher Starr creates dishes from various regions of the South and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He creates great dishes such as grilled pork chop with a brown sugar pecan glaze & pan seared scallops over Anson Mills cheesy grits with sautéed Southern vegetables.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Diner Reviews
  • "-The veggie stack was completely soggy and a lifeless -The snapper was pretty good -The apps seemed like they were just taken out of the freezer and heated up in the microwave. We were glad that it was half off night or we would have been pretty bummed."
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "Went there for dinner for the first time with friends on a Sunday night. We were disappointed that the interior seemed old and not kept up. Waiter was attentive but did not have his long hair pulled back [too much product and appeared greasy]. Appetizers and cocktails were good but the main courses were just okay and not great. Mashed potatoes were bland and watery. Even though the prices were very reasonable, we would not return nor recommend to others."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Everything we had was just ok. All of the food needed salt. I also felt that none of the food was very hot when it arrived at our table. My boyfriends red wine "reduction" was more of a broth texture. The service was fairly average, there wasn't any one thing that stood out (good nor bad). I would maybe come back just for drinks in the bar, it seemed pretty lively and with the music."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "We really didn't like it here. The food lacked flavor and authenticity. We had the gumbo, shrimp and grits, and jambalaya. I would not recommend it. The decor was a little dark and gloomy, but at least the service was good."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "If you are celebrating a birthday, not a great spot to be recognized. I had heard the Kalama brothers were entertaining but we must have seemed too old for the "help." I had mentioned that the day we reserved (08-13) was my 70th birthday. I forgot to ask to be seated to see and hear the entertainment. The hostess tried to sit us right next to the band which wasn't ideal. We sat in the restaurant part while we ate and then moved up to hear them at a cocktail bar afterwards. I wasn't impressed with the service but the food was good. I kinda felt that nobody really cared about us "ol folks" being there even though we are pretty hip folks!"
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "The bar has been expanded to accommodate the band and create a dance floor. The Cajun food was delicious. The band, Rhumboogie was awesome. Eric Lieberman and Alicia Aragon are always great! Perfect place to celebrate our 46th anniversary."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "My husband and I have been coming here for years. We absolutely love the ambiance and service. We brought some friends for the first time and they had a blast. The steaks were cooked perfectly and my Martini was excellent."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Always, Outstanding Food & Service, & priced reasonable... Tremendous live entertainment that keep you going all night, & some of the best blues bands on the planet... I was served by a young man by the Name of JC & he went above & beyond the call of duty with his polite & cordial ways of conducting business, & he definitely deserves a Service Compliment for a job well done... Sincerely !! Iva Lee's is one of San Clemente's Best kept secret's & my all-time favorite place for Good Food, Fantastic Specialty Drinks, & outstanding entertainment...!!"
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "I have spent a fair amount of time in New Orleans and Iva Lee's does an excellent job of recreating the typical atmosphere in the French Quarter. The food and bar are excellent. The dishes quite authentic. I always walk away from Iva's very pleased with my visit."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "I was very disappointed with the food at Iva Lee's. I went on a Sunday night and the menu was very limited. It was a very warm day and the air conditioning did not cool the restaurant even when it was empty. Once the number of people increased, the temperature was entirely to warm. I do not plan on returning."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Great venue, music an drinks were fine..overall, the food was lacking for the price. Fried chicken is better at Ralph's supermarket, but the meatloaf remains unsurpassed. Always good bands there, but I suggest ordering from the bar menu...more reliable."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Both dinners served cold/undercooked & side-dishes were bland. Servers overworked for crowd. My complaints were taken to manager and I was told..."how about a free desert to compensate". "Are you kidding me"....NEVER again....don't waste you money."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "We first dined at Iva Lee's when they opened many years ago (I say "many" 'cause at my age, time just flies by!). We have begun using this restaurant as a great spot to meet our many friends who live in Orange County (Irvine-Tustin and south) as we journey up from Carlsbad in North San Diego County. It's a perfect spot; the dining is outstanding; the bartenders make a great water old fashion (using simple syrup) and the ambiance is mindful of New Orleans comfort. I will gladly recommend this restaurant to anyone within what they consider comfortable driving range."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Once again, another great dinner with my special bro that did not disappoint! Service was excellent... with just the right amount of attention when needed and helpful suggestions when trying to decide what to pick! Reserved a High Top with a back in the bar in advance, that allowed us to see the entertainment after finishing out smack lickin' good meal. Yes!!!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "I brought a new local to the restaurant and she loved it. We were seated right away and our service was great. The food did not disappoint, it was delicious. The live music started at the end of our meal."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Great music. Loved the group Missy!! This group really rocks. They made the evening. They have added a sax player. WOW! What a difference. Great food, great music = great time!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I recommend you go on Monday nite and have order from their special menu. Great food at a great price and enjoyed the night."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Sunday Supper surprised and delighted us. We came early, worrying about the crowd of bargain hunters seeking the $18 prix fixe dinner. The restaurant was quiet and welcoming. While there are no performers on Sunday nights, our server, JC, showered us with virtuoso attention which created its own harmonies. He and his colleagues accommodated us in all ways. The spinach salad, blackened snapper, and bread pudding highlighted the menu's offerings."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "The food at the restaurant was stale and poorly prepared service was lacking"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Good food, cozy setting. Needed to be seasoned better but I am picky with that. Took great care of us and my 3 yr old was happy he got a bunch of New Orleans beads to wear home. Got there before the music/bands played so it was perfect for a conversation."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Every time we come to Iva Lee's whether it just be my husband and I for a date night or with friends and family, we always have a great time. Food, drinks, service is all top notch. Monday half off food and Tuesdays Fat Tuesday specials are always great times to go but weekends have live music so anytime you go, you will never be dissapointed!"
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "Iva Lee's is our favorite restaurant! The menu is filled with entrees and appetizers that I thought you could only get if you were sitting in a restaurant in the French Quarter down in Nawlins. The shrimp and grits is outstanding. The jambalya is filled with scallops and shrimp and has just the right amount of heat. Even the beer is authentic. Try the Abita Turbo Dog. I wish they would bring in the Abita Andy Gator though. The bar is fun and lively. Iva Lee's has live music too!!! Whether it's a band that plays the blues, classic rock or even zydeco the music is always great and brings the bar area to life. I love everything about this restaurant."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Took a group of friends knowing a great blues band would be playing that night (6/21). We purposely reserved a table in the bar. Our entire dining experience was great. We had a great server JC and all of the food was delicious. There were 3 couples so we ordered family style. We shared the shrimp and grits, jambalaya, and steak. Everything was amazing and prepared perfectly. We will definitely go back!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The menu is interesting southern cooking. We ordered the entire meal for $30 per person and it was excellent."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "This was my first time at Iva Lee's. Unfortunately I do not plan a return visit. My husband and I arrived at our reserved time at 7pm and was immediately seated in a wonderful area with a window view. That was the highlight of our evening. Once our orders were taken at 7:05pm, we did not receive our salads until 7:40pm. Granted Iva Lee's has a weekly $18 Prix Fixe on Sunday's and the place was packed. Yet our waitress did not stop by to state that our salads were forthcoming and apologizing for the delay. The food was very subpar and not worth returning for. The live band was very good. If for some unknown reason we return, it will be for the live music and we will sit in the bar!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "My husband said it best "great food, great wine, great service." JC was the perfect server. He was present at the perfect moments keeping us well taken care of yet never encroaching on our special evening. The braised short rib was amazingly tender and the pork chop had phenomenal flavor! The band rocked too!! "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Had great experience at Iva Lee's - food, ambiance, service…everything. The house-made sausage was superb as a starter. I ordered the prime rib on the recommendation of bartender Danny. It was good - not the best I've had - but no complaints. It is listed as Pepper Rib-Eye, but I did not detect any pepper flavor, certainly not pepper-crusted. We finished by sharing the flour less chocolate cake, which was also outstanding. I would not hesitate to go back to Iva Lee's. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We ate dinner in the bar area, and then danced to Jerry Hot Rod DeMink ? Great entertainer...kept the crowd on the dance floor and everybody seemed to enjoy them. Invite them back. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "They have live music, although on this Sunday evening, just piped music. Way too loud and rockin for my 75 year old parents, that we took to dinner. Food excellent."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "Heard about Iva Lee's for years but never made it down there. We were given a gift card which motivated us to check it out. My husband and I invited another couple to join us and we all thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The service was outstanding, atmosphere was fun, wine & cocktails were great & food was DELICIOUS! We all ordered salads, entrees and desserts. My husband and friend had the Jumbalya & both loved it. Our other friend and I each had steaks - both were outstanding! Melt-in-your-mouth kind of good. Was kinda unsure about the "blue cheese grits" but was very presently surprised.... ate every bite they were so good. After all that and a couple bottles of wine, our bill was over $200 but definitely well worth it!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "We have been dining at Iva Lee's (for special and semi-special occasions). We are never disappointed. Dave & Beth"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Dancing is so much fun here. The food is fabulous!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Have always loved this place. the food has always been really good and the ambiance is lovely."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "There were five people in our part on Saturday night and everyone really enjoyed their meal. My brother is a chef and usually finds at least one thing to criticize. He was pleased with everything he ate from the corn muffins and gumbo to the BBQ chicken. Someone else had the short ribs and raved about them."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Mouth watering Pork Chop - very Southern! My favorite. Every appetizer was outstanding and a shinning star in itself.. Must be because the Chef, Chris Starr, prepared them. WELL DONE!!! This dining experience will not disappoint. New menu was presented for the first time.the night we went. . We had our hearts set for the spareribs, but found they had been retired for a awhile to give the menu a new pop. Popcorn shrimp was a great substitute as well as the homemade sausage for an appetizer. Portions are abundant. Hearty eaters should not leave feeling hungry..We were too full for dessert. The bread pudding looked amazing as well as Chocolate cake. Thanks Iva Lee"s for a fantastic dining experience."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Iva Lees is definitely the neighborhood Gem. I frequent this establishment at least twice a week. & I'm always greeted w/ smiling faces & the Service is Always Spot On. Along w/ their Outstanding Service, Iva Lee's has a wonderful menu of Southern Favs & Seafood Specials that are sure to Wow your taste buds, & reasonably priced... They have a Great Wine List, and a staff that is trained well to help you in the decision making process...! I keep coming back to Iva Lees, not only for the Great Food & Service, but for the Entertaining & Talented Live Bands. Iva Lee's will never disappoint you, and you will leave the establishment w/ that good feeling of having had a good time...!! Truly & Sincerely !! These Guys do it Right...!!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Fantastic food!! Warm, attentive service! Loved it all! We ordered Filet Minign & BBQ shrimp. Both better than perfect! Meat cooked right & the best shrimp I've ever eaten! Even the sides were heaven. It's a bit too loud & warm temperature wise for me, but worth the food & service!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Went for dinner for my husband, daughter and son-in-law's March birthdays at the suggestion of my daughter. My husband and I had been there for brunch once and at that time thought the food a little rich for our taste ( maybe it was just because it was brunch). We actually looked at the menu before making reservations. Three of us had the gumbo which was excellent. The service was great, the server, I wish I could remember his name was very charming and not too intrusive. The wine was not overpriced."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "The place was jumping when we arrived and typical for Mardi Gras. While hard to hold a conversation at the dinner table, it was to be expected. Limited menu was a bit of a disappointment because we all had our favorites off the regular menu and they weren't offered. Oh well, great food anyway and excellent drinks. Fun to watch the crowds having fun."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Iva Lee's has been one of my favorite restaurants in San Clemente for years!!!! A must-dine for residents and visitors!"
    Dined on 2/27/2014