This new restaurant is off to a great start: Service was friendly and attentive; food was interesting and just plain delicious; parking was convenient and the atmosphere was relaxing. Do not miss the charcuterie plate. The wine list was brief but fairly priced. Overall it was a very good dining experience. Recommended!
6/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Drinks were hustled to our table shortly after ordering. Wife ordered the baramundi; I opted for the Tagliateli with Lamb Neck Ragu and English peas. I didn't think the peas added much to the dish (with the exception of color). On the other hand, my wife's baramundi, served over a bed of red quinoa and braised greens was SUPERLATIVE. Inventive, flavorful, BALANCED and creative, this dish is an absolute keeper. We also ordered the heirloom tomato salad ... here comes the uncoordinated service story. They brought the salad to our table just a few minutes AFTER they served our entree ... no problems, as we ate the salad after the entree ... The Salad? ... best version of this I've ever had ... the quality of the tomatoes was A+++ top notch
7/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Enjoyable dinner at Little Sparrow
We took a friend here for a Rues. night dinner. Tried several small plates, as well as two entrees. The lamb sausage with polenta was a standout. The burrata tomato salad was a winner- a huge pile of burrata, and heirloom tomatoes. The only negative was my husband's chicken which was drier than he would have liked. Great bar with interesting recipes. I had a great ginger mojito. Will be back.
7/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Glad you took over a vacant high profile spot in downtown Santa Ana and really invested in this little location. Wonderful food and french style atmosphere. Super cozy. We will be back!
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Little Sparrow is probably the best restaurant I've been to in years! We tried several of the brunch items, including eggs benedict, pain perdu, chicken fried steak, and the charcuterie, and every single item was so wonderful and seasoned to perfection. The stand out was definitely the pain perdu, it was like crispy caramel bread, seriously, so amazing. Their cocktails are right up there with their food as well. They have a beautiful lounge where you can meet up with friends and have some of their delicious (and unique) cocktails. Try the sazerac, you won't regret it. I took one of my more discerning foodie friends, and he loved it so much that he booked a birthday brunch for 15 right there. Just go try it, you won't regret it.
7/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
The Oxtail and Polenta and
The Oxtail and Polenta and Peach Cobbler gets added to my "Best Thing I Ever Ate" List. Everything else was outstanding
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Now I know where the good French fries went - to The Little Sparrow. Memorable hamburger too.
7/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Nice Little Restaurant
Dining at Little Sparrow was a very enjoyable experience. There is a full bar and lounge attached to the restaurant, but it's down a long hall so there isn't a problem with noise coming in. The full bar does make the cocktail list extensive, so all the good with none of the bad. As for the food, we ordered the bone marrow, a corn ceviche, and some sweet breads. The marrow was quite good, but rather difficult to eat. The corn ceviche was really really good, very sweet and creamy. Like a combination of creamed corn and ceviche, very tasty. The sweet breads were the best thing we had. They nice small portions and crazy delicious.
7/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything was very good and
Everything was very good and great food. My only complaint was that we went early to the bar and ordered some cocktails and it took close to a half hour for our round of drinks (5 of us). They need to speed that up, 2 of the drinks were a beer and a glass of white wine--it took too long and it wasn't very crowded. I did enjoy everything else and will definetly go back.
8/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Recently had brunch at Little Sparrow and I can't rave enough about the pancakes!!!! I do not even like pancakes, but I was sharing brunch dishes with my husband and just one bite and I thought I had died and gone to heaven... yes, they are that good!!!!
8/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
This place was a surprise.
This place was a surprise. The dining area was quite subtle but the food coming out was amazing. I didn't know until the end of dinner that there was a cool little bar in the bar. The cocktails are amazing as well.
8/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
An all-around experience...
Enjoy the great good in the restaurant area, then retire to the speakeasy for smokin' drinks (literally) from mixologist genius Joe. The variety -- from bone marrow to popcorn -- on a relatively small menu is great. The owner and staff are as nice as it gets, too. My only quibble? The portions of the drinks are too small for the price. (My twist on a Whisky soda was great -- but hardly more than 4 ounces, for $14.) We love this Santa Ana secret!
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Little Sparrow big on flavor.
Our second time there we brought our good friends. We get together for Burgers And Fine Wine experiences. We had read that he burger at Little Sparrow was a must. Started off with one of their fabulous artisan cocktails. The Burger was fabulous . The pretzel bun was perfect. The burger is straight forward. Quality ingredients, perfect medium rare, packed full of flavor. Amazing with the wines we brought. We all left satisfied and ready to come back.
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Booked a part for 12 and left a message with the restaurant to make sure they can accommodate, and also be flexible with 4 vegans. Got a call back promptly and felt very reassured that the chef and staff would be just fine with our requests.
Ambiance is fantastic, lively, great for a Friday after a long week.
Food was outstanding. Farro mushroom salad was incredible. Everything we tasted was wonderful.
Had Kim as our main server - she had great energy and really took care of us. We will definitely be back!
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
This was the first time that I have eaten at the Little Sparrow. The food was creative and very well executed. The staff was cordial and pleasant. The overall experience was very positive and though I live about ten miles away in an area which is full of good eating places, I will certainly be back, and soon.
8/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
See the Barkeep
This place feels like a true upscale city bistro with the added benefit of a spectacular bar. No visit to Little Sparrow would be complete without trying one of Joe the Barkeeps personal concoctions. He makes his on shrubs, vinegars, infused spirits and recipes based on old favorites. Seriously, try ANYTHING he puts in front of you. In fact, just ask him to come up with something just for you based on your tastes! Then, totter down the short hallway to the restaurant side of the joint for a fabulous meal and attentive service. We had scallops that were prepared simply, but perfectly. Menu items change depending on what's in season so your sure to have a fresh, delicious meal. I have one gripe: I wanted more peaches in my peach cobbler!
8/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food, a paucity of ambience
This new restaurant offers a variety of interesting food items, run by a French-American chef. The waitstaff and hostess are true ambassadors of this restaurant, very friendly and knowledgeable. The down side is that there is little or no ambience, just plain walls and a 1930s-style floor of small, hexagonal tiles. The noise level was quite high at the time we were there and conversation was difficult. But if you want a wonderful menu to select from, you should try it.
8/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
As DTSA locals, we've been
As DTSA locals, we've been to the bar side of Little Sparrow a number of times (amazing cocktails and bar snacks). We've been wanting to give the restaurant a try for a while, and finally came for brunch on Sunday. I started off with a delicious bloody mary, which we were told is made with heirloom tomato juice. It really was one of the best bloody mary's I've had. We also started with some biscuits and a pain au chocolat. Both were absolutely phenomenal. Our party of four all loved our entrees as well - and again, my corned beef hash (on special) might be the best corned beef I've had. We will absolutely be back for brunch, and really would love to try dinner as well.
8/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
My husband and I had a wonderful
My husband and I had a wonderful meal. The ravioli was delicious and the Salmon was the best Salmon I have ever had. It was the thickest cut. I couldn't believe how fresh everything tasted. Our drinks were awesome as well as our waitress.
8/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
My husband and I picked this restaurant somewhat randomly from Open Table. What a great find! This small restaurant in Santa Ana's artists' village was amazing. The menu was unique and seasonal. Our server, Christopher, was attentive, friendly, and well informed. We ended up taking all of his recommendations from cocktails to dessert and were thrilled with all our choices. Definitely worth checking out. We will be back for dinner and I really want to check out their brunch as well.
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Gem of the Artist District
My fiance and I went here for dinner after hearing about it online. I ordered the strip steak and it came out perfect. It was supposed to come out medium rare, but I think it came out more on the medium side. It was very tender and juicy. It was served a top a squash puree, which had a little spicy kick to it. The steak was good on its own, but it tasted even better with the puree.
We ordered the Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. It is big enough for 2 people to share. The plate had three "cakes," which were more like biscuits. The two pieces on the end were topped with whipped topping and strawberries. The middle one was topped with a sorbet. It was good, but not great.
8/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Our favorite new spot.
Little Sparrow is a perfect blend of everything we love about dining out. Wonderful food with fresh ingredients, friendly wait staff, low key but lovely ambience, and a terrific bar w/ a fantastic bartender who really cares about his product. The atmosphere of the restaurant changes over the course of the day, from sunny cafe to romantic restaurant, yet we feel equally at home there having brunch (best Eggs Benedict!), lunch, or dinner.
Truly a gem!
8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
A new gem in Santa Ana
Cocktails and every plate we had were amazing but slow to come out. Manager comped drinks. Will definitely be back. This place gives playground a run for their money.
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Couldn't be happier!
Went here for a celebration dinner and it was truly a special evening. The food was INCREDIBLE. Highly recommend the New York Strip steak and Salmon - out of this world.
Also has one of the best bars in Orange County. Joe, the bartender, is an ARTIST! Go for the Penicillin #2!
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
We were a party of 4, so we had 4 different drinks, 4 different appetizers, and 4 different entrees. We all tried each others' orders and every one of us loved everything! That is very rare. Would definitely go back!
9/11/2013 5:00:00 PM
Little Sparrow proved to be the perfect place for a lovely dinner with our late twenties son and girlfriend. Great food and ambiance. Fun evening!
9/25/2013 5:00:00 PM
Santa Ana feels like San Francisco
So happy to see downtown Santa Ana making a fantastic comeback. Little Sparrow is a real gem. The ambiance made the restaurant feel like a great bistro in San Francisco or New York. We had a great evening and will certainly be back.
9/27/2013 5:00:00 PM
Friendly helpful staff! Love
Friendly helpful staff! Love the craft cocktails- lots of interesting choices. Don't be shy - ask about those unique ingredients!
Our steamed mussel and sweet onion risotto starters were delicious! The salmon entree had a wonderful sear and flavor. There is something for everyone on the menu. Noise level was uncomfortably loud. Maybe some soft surfaces to help mute the volume.
9/27/2013 5:00:00 PM
I've been to the Little Sparrow three times, for lunch, dinner, and now brunch. All were wonderful experiences although vastly different. Changes to the menu, lighting, and decor for different meals make an incredible difference in the ambience for each meal and greatly add to the enjoyment. But let's get to the important part, the food and drinks. The drinks are creative and tasty and the food is delicious, perfectly portioned, and sure to satisfy both picky eaters and foodies. Highly recommended.
9/28/2013 5:00:00 PM
Wanted Something Different
It was a Friday night at 5pm and my niece had dropped in unexpectedly and I had no food in the house. Too late to get a res at my fav's in Old Town Orange so I searched Open Table for 7pm openings in the area. Little Sparrow came up and had some awesome reviews so decided to try it. The food was great, our server was very attentive and sweet to boot. The cocktails, as everyone said in the reviews, were very creative and fun. Overall a great experience. I've eaten at a couple of the new places in Santa Ana and have not been disappointed. I'm happy to see these changes, it was busy and vibrant on the streets, quite different from the Santa Ana of old.
10/4/2013 5:00:00 PM
Little Sparrow will be a regular
This is a great find. Been wanting to go since they first opened, but finally had a chance this past weekend. In downtown Santa Ana by parking garage, we were there Artwalk night, so the area was busy with good energy. The food and service was excellent. We got the last 2 barramundi left in the kitchen - which was excellent. The server was excellent, perfectly attentive. Very nice wine pours, with food and drink reasonably and appropriately priced. We will definitely be back.
10/4/2013 5:00:00 PM
Little Sparrow lived up to
Little Sparrow lived up to all its reviews - food and ambience was excellent. next time want to try the bar with its menu.
10/8/2013 5:00:00 PM
Not for the birds!
This little cafe is on the corner of 3rd and Main, and is a gem! I can't wait to get back and try the bar/dinner menu! The fresh halibut on cibbatta was heaven! My hubby's patrami was like no other, but needed a little more sauce/dressing on the sammy. I wanted the BanhMi, but was already sold out for the day........a reason to return
10/9/2013 5:00:00 PM
My third time back an just as great as the first two. I will be back soon.
10/15/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great Service, Great Food
Had dinner here with my boyfriend and my mom. My mom and I both have allergies and dietary restrictions, and it was not a problem at all for the staff and kitchen to make sure there was something for us to enjoy. Our food was all excellent and the staff was great as well. The owner was there while we had dinner and we had a nice conversation with him. It's always nice to see the owner actually present. Will definitely be back to try their weekend brunch.
10/17/2013 5:00:00 PM
This was our first time to the restaurant and we were very pleased with our meals and our cocktails. Also, we were treated like guests and made to feel welcome to this very hip spot. We were a group of four Baby Boomers and are foodies so we loved the menu and really enjoyed the Champs-Élysées cocktail.
10/18/2013 5:00:00 PM
Best OC find
I truly would rather keep this place to myself, but when I recently read Orange Coast Magazing about dining in Santa Ana and Little Sparrow wasn't on there. I thought who was in charge of this article. Little Sparrow is hands down the best restaurant in Santa Ana and I would bet one of the best in the OC. I don't work for this restaurant or know anyone there:). In just a foodie who happens to live in Santa Ana
10/31/2013 5:00:00 PM
After reading about this little gem we decided to have our monthly girls dinner at Little Sparrow. We were not disappointed. The bar is just a hidden delight, very cozy and perfect to just sit and talk with friends.
Our server was equally as good. Her recommendations were appreciated and spot on. The crafted cocktails were original and so very tasty...A sweet & savory mouthful.
Our dinner likewise was memorable. The bone marrow, oh my..So rich and cooked just right. The burrata creamy and the tomatoes dressed perfectly. The mussels and their au jus was a match in heaven for dipping the grilled bread.
Overall I left calling my husband saying I have to bring him here for dinner.
11/5/2013 4:00:00 PM
Dinner at The Little Sparrow
Dinner at The Little Sparrow was exceptional.The sweetbreads with eggplant were a delicious twist on traditional mixing the rich savory with a surprising sweet. The scallops with green beans were perfect, and just the right amount of salty. They were a great complement to the sweetbreads. My husband started with the beet salad and followed with the heritage pork chop. He loves pork chops but it not easily satisfied with the preparation, so I was concerned. He love his meal! I think he told me how perfectly prepared it was every time he took a bite. The dishes were not served with heavy carbs, so we had room for desert. He had the pear cobbler and I had the chocolate cake with apricot sauce - devine. Cocktails - fabulous & intersting
11/5/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great little place near my work that I always wanted to try. Finally did and was not disappointed. Will come back again.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
A nice addition to Santa Ana
This small but excellent restaurant is a very nice addition to the burgeoning food scene in Santa Ana. The decor is simple and clean and well thought out. The food is excellent. The service is very good and friendly without being overly so. I would recommend it to anyone.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
There is no disappointment here.
Enjoy yourself. A great restaurant. Excellent speciality cocktails. Food you will remember. Headed back soon.
11/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Enjoy a dining experience
Please try this restaurant! Every dish was well prepared. The craft cocktails were interesting and tasty. I will definitely be back.i highly rrcommend this restaurant.
11/12/2013 4:00:00 PM
Little Sparrow is a treat!
There are a few things here that are incredible... The bar serves up some amazing signature cocktails, and the menu has only a few options, but each are more fantastic than the last! Grilled octopus was perfectly cooked, and the Veal Sweetbreads were the best thing we have eaten in months! The lamb neck was braised to a tender perfection, and the porkchop is something you CANNOT pass up! We will definitely 100% be back here! One thing to mention is the parking situation, make sure to bring cash for the structure which won't accept cards or change for the meters... Come to happy hour before dinner for some free savory popcorn!
11/12/2013 4:00:00 PM
Little Sparrow - Big Good
Saturday was our second visit for dinner. This time we invited 2 other couples to join us. The menu was unchanged from our last visit so my wife and I picked a different dish from the barramundi that we both enjoyed last time. My wife enjoyed the lamb and pasta and I enjoyed the pork chop. Everyone else in our group enjoyed their food as well. Service was excellent. The hostess was amazing, remembering to address my personally by name. Great job of accommodating our last minute change from 2 to 4 then to 6 people - even though 1 did not make it. The server was also great. No complaints, just a very positive experience. Looking forward to their menu change.
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great Little Find
The Little Sparrow was wonderful. The atmosphere and food splendid. My co-worker and I went for dinner right after work. It had been a rough day and the restaurant was within walking distance. I had heard about from a few reviews so we thought we would give it a try. It was an excellent selection. We had the appetizer that was on special with our cocktails. My friend had the pork chop and I had the salmon entree (as they were out of the barramundi). The food was bright and flavorful and simply delicious. In addition, our servers were great and very attentive. Our glasses never went empty even we we continued to hang out for awhile after dinner. Out table was cleared promptly of empty plates/platters. We will definitely go back.
11/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
True bistro in Santa Ana
Very good food in a casual atmosphere. Subdue decor to blend in with the neighborhood.
A super find and a pleasant surprise indeed.
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great food, good service
Hard to decide what to order from such an intriging menu, but we each ordered something different and shared. Must compliment the chef on the beef tongue appetizer. I could have made a meal on this alone. The barramundi and salmon were cooked to perfection, nice and moist and packed with flavor. We ordered extra bread to dip in the sauce that came with the mussels, so as not to waste a drop!. My sister-in-law ordered lamb neck, which was really tender. The only disappointment? No salad on the menu, and we were never offered coffee with our dessert, which would have been nice. Will definitely return to try the pork chop!
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Focused on Food
The Food is the definitely the star at this place. We were warmly greeted, and did not have to wait. Loved the relaxed and friendly feel. Everything on the menu sounds delicious without being stuffy or overly precious. We went crazy for the marrow bones, sweetbreads and charcuterie. The pork chop was succulent and flavorful and much larger than expected. The NY Steak with the wild mushrooms was cooked perfectly and was delicious. Best, best, burger, ever! Even the chicken breast was moist and delectable. Fun cocktails served with giant ice cubes use fresh ingredients. We were way too full for dessert, but there will be many more visits and plenty of time to sample them as I see nothing but success in this restaurant's future.
12/3/2013 4:00:00 PM
Diamond in the rough
Understated and unassuming restaurant in the historical district of Santa Ana. Good food to pair with friendly service.
What can one ask for? A cozy and inviting bar is available to relax before or after dinner. A very good combination indeed!
12/4/2013 4:00:00 PM