Ways & Means Oyster Bar
Ways & Means Oyster Bar

Ways & Means Oyster Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.wmoysters.com/
  • Phone: 7145161800x
  • Hours of Operation:

    Monday - Thursday: 11:30am - 10:00pm, Friday: 11:30 - 11:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 10:00am - 10:00pm.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Seafood, American
  • Executive Chef: Chefs de Cuisine Benjamin Wallenbeck, Justin Odegard
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Special Events: Monday fresh Maine lobsters $9.99 ~~ Tuesday Cork & Pork 50% off bottles of wine for our newsletter subscribers! *excludes directors’ list wine, plus a special pork dish at a special price ~~ Wednesday traditional clam bake. $9.99 ~~ Thursday Cocktails with Mr. Belvedere – from 4:30 – 7:30; $6 Belvedere martinis! ~~ Fizz Friday – selection of champagne cocktails for $6; prestige champagne for a fantastic price ~~ Saturday Prime Rib dinner $29 ~~ Sunday brunch from 10:00 – 4:00 $15 bottomless fruit mimosas ~~ Sunday Market Feast – three course $35; seasonal items from our farmers’ market ~~ Social Hour - $2 oysters; $6 select wines/martinis at bar; Sunday – all day; Monday – Friday – 4:30 – 6; Saturday 5 – 6:30 ~~ Chapman Special - $10 daily special for students, staff, alums with id ~~ Industry Special - $10 daily special & social hour beverages


Getting there

  • Cross Street: Shaffer
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Free Private Lot
A word from Ways & Means Oyster Bar
Located in historic Old Towne Orange, Ways & Means cuisine features fresh, sustainably-caught seafood and seasonal ingredients. Inspired by classic oyster bars and fish houses found in coastal cities around the world, the restaurant also offers tender, prepared-exactly-how-you-like-it aged steaks, plus a rotating mix of East and West-coast oysters at its oyster bar.

The innovative wine list, which complements the coastal influenced cuisine, features selections from Europe to Australia and California to South Africa. It offers guests affordable wines by the glass, as well as more extensive offerings by the bottle. The thoughtful bar program includes classic cocktails prepared with a twist and premium beers.

Desserts are not an afterthought. In fact, you may want to come for the desserts alone.
Continued
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Ways & Means Oyster Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
84 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (52)fit for foodies (40)special occasion (39)romantic (27)good for groups (19)notable wine list (17)great for brunch (15)great for lunch (13)vibrant bar scene (9)hot spot (7)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Pleasant Suprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Decided to try this place out after I got a seafood craving while shopping in old town. The food was delicious and the service was prompt and curteous. We will definitely be coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and ambience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    My husband and I had a great experience here! We enjoyed chatting with the chef, and later in the evening were able to meet and chat with both Parnell and Jennifer, the owners. They have tons of experience and it is reflected in every detail of their new restaurant Ways and Means. I highly recommend it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Small Portions
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The portions were very small with no sides. two ounces of fish
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Stay away and I Mean it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    I brought a group of friends to celebrate a birthday the other night. Had heard some good reviews and was looking forward to trying this restaurant. Had a very disappointing experience. They were out of several things we ordered, we found a hair in a side dish and 2 of the main courses (the ahi and the braised short ribs) had to be sent back for lack of flavor. Will not return!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Creative Menu, Great Oysters, Staff
    OCNeighbor
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    1st time here. New (1 year) in an 80 year old building, once a church and then a series of various uses, has a great staff, excellent creative menu. A bit pricey but excellent food. Given the building they are working with, a reasonable job on ambiance. The many half circle booths are nice. The owner congratulated us on our Anniversary. Started with oysters for me and lobster bisque for wife. I had seared Ahi, excellent but nice to have had some rice, polenta or other. Wife had prime rib special, entire dish excellent. Unusual wine list with by the glass, $30, $40 and $60 pricing pages per bottle. We enjoyed an Italian sangiovse blend. Check their daily specials. Example, $9.99 maine lobster dinner Mondays all day while they last!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • perfect for date night
    DannyO
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    my wife and i got a sitter and wanted a special meal for date night. ways and means did not dissappoint. great oysters, many different kinds, from different parts of the world. staff is very knowledgeable about their seafood. ask what the daily chef special is. the chef picks some fresh that morning and prepares a special for the day. we sat at the main bar (not oyster bar) and enjoyed great drinks and a full dinner menu.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Oysters
    crazyabtfoodVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Good selection of oysters and Wine. Super friendly staff.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lobster Monday
    brunonikolaus
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Lobster Monday is great. Even better now that you can order and reservr Lobster Meal for evening dinner.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It was great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    So my wife and I celebrated out 2 year wedding anniversary last Friday 8-15-2014. It was our first time here and I have to say I was impressed and so was my wife. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for great food, great service and cool atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Special Occasion Birthday party
    luv2dine
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Had an excellent evening with some close group of friends to celebrate my beautiful and lovely wife birthday
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    PDRMANVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Unassuming in old town Orange! Beautiful on the inside and an amazing experience and FOOD! Great raw bar. Great appetizers such as the happy hour scallops!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Samyankee7
    Samyankee7
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Outstanding service, food and atmosphere. Highly recommend. Michelin quality.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We ordered 16 oysters and queen tower...some of the seafood was so bland. For main entrees: black cod, tuna and beef shortribs...all very flavorful and hit the spot! Ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio and another white that our waiter suggested both excellent! Sat in a corner booth and my four other girlfriends and I had such a great time eating laughing and talking! Def will be back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • boopkaVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Let me just say that I like this place a lot and have eaten here several times in the past year. Last Friday, the service was atrocious, far below the standard expected of a high quality, fine dining establishment. While other tables were served an abundance of bread, we had to ask and were given three very small rather stale slices. Our water glasses sat empty most of the night and we had to ask for another cocktail--twice. Our food was great as usual. In conclusion, is this place simply a bar (the bar area was packed the way)? Or is it a fine dining establishment where the food is the central focus? Do the owners want us to dine or to go the bar for happy hour? I think this place needs to define itself before it's too late.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresh and fabulous
    Savanlek
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Everything we ordered was fresh and delicious. We had the oysters, ceviche, and deviled eggs with salmon for appetizers. The service was tremendous and they made our birthday celebration special by throwing in glasses of rose for our whole table. Overall a wonderful dining experience. We went again the following week for their lobster Monday special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Experience
    DinerVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Finally, a first rate, outstanding restaurant in Downtown Orange. One that rivals the finest Los Angeles restaurants. Run, don't walk to this incredible culinary experience where you are warmly & graciously greeted by Kate. Menu is concise, yet each carefully selected and expertly chosen item is so well put together. Our waiter Aaron - also very warm and accommodating to our individual needs/wants,without hesitation was able to craft a perfect dining experience from start to finish. Caesar salad - original; bread- freshly prepared; duck breast - amazing/cooked to perfection;clams in wine sauce - mouth watering; dessert - wonderful. Parnell, one of the owners was so warm and gracious. This team truly cares about your dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    Dinemaster
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We were surprised to find this restaurant, which had once been a Co' Co's in Old Towne Orange. The remodel is open light and looks upscale. Our waiter, Victor, was excellent and attentive without being intrusive. We would love to go back, if only the food were reasonably good. It is not. The bread served with frozen butter is marginal at best. I had tuna and my wife had shrimp. Both were served luke warm and tasted bland. We will not be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Melts in your mouth!
    TrishasTemptations
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We both had steak and it melted in our mouths. Best steak ever! Potatoes were great also.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't bother - choose another place
    lizyapVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    First Clue: 7pm Sat night resv. was available on Open Table on Fri.! Craft cocktails were the highlight - "All Dressed up" & "Mule" were excellent. Oysters OK - got 4 - 2 pump & juicy, 2 small & unappetizing. Scallop app was great & pricey (3 scallops in broth for $23) Lobster bisque was very light, but had good flavor (no lobster meat) Had Mary's Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara - both good though not warm enough. Service was appallingly slow, which totally ruined the experience. We felt neglected & had to repeatedly ask for water, bread, our orders! Spent 2 of the 3 hour dinner waiting for food. Won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • may give it a try
    kittyVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Nice decor, great services, oysters are better than the clams - would not recommend the clams. Limited choices on the menu But it's good to try it once (only).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mostly underwhelming
    Overpriced
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    The decor was nice and the noise level was good. The food was acceptable but overpriced and the service was lacking. We won't go there again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this restaurant!
    Willbeback
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We celebrate birthdays here. It's our first choice. I will say the Angus Petite was not as tender as our previous visit. On our first visit you truly could cut the steak with a spoon however on this visit the meat was delicious but not as tender. The service was excellent. All of the staff from the moment we entered the restaurant were exceptional. Aaron was our waiter...very attentive! Awesome oyster shooters!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bill
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We celebrated our anniversary and we informed the restaurant of that fact. When I gave our name to check in to the manager(?) he wished us a Happy Anniversary. That was nice but It is always nice to have a free dessert in celebration. The owner/manager should go to Roy's restaurant at Fashion Island to see how it is done.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Orange Plaza's Ways & Means!
    VikingDNA
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    A great restaurant of "choice" not only for the Orange Plaza area, but for all of Orange County! Great meal selections, excellent service, friendly staff, and quite a variant music selection, that will appeal to everyone!! Ample, convenient parking accommodations, which is not typical for Plaza restaurants.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fizz night
    3onthetownVIP
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    Tonight we had side salad, Lobster for $9.99, wonderful bread, and french fries. Terrific as usual.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • LoopholeVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    A really great menu and the food was very well prepared. Everyone was very helpful and attentive. Would definitely recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loving it.....always!
    3onthetownVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Short ribs and mushroom risotto was wonderful, did not even need the knife they brought me. Had a wonderful fizz, champagne and guava sorbet, so good had to have another.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unique food without being weird
    LouisianaN8v
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    We really enjoyed our dinner here. Took advantage of "Friday Night Fizz" and had the champagne flight as well as the $10 half dozen oysters. Instead of boring rolls, there was a passed option of baguette, sun dried tomato or the excellent Guiness bread which tasted almost like a moist muffin (so good). Excellent Seafood and Meat choices for dinner. My filet was perfectly prepared and even came with butter and an escargot to top it off. Ordered the side of broccoli and it came with leaves on and was extremely tender and perfectly cooked. All the food had a little twist that made it great. Since we made a reservation they had my number and called the next day to see how we enjoyed it. Definitely will go again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fathers Day Brunch
    30thanniversaryVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    We had reservations for 10am and were greeted promptly at the front door and seated immediately. Our server brought out fresh coffee for me and a bloody mary for my husband. For brunch I had the duck hash with poached eggs and it was very good. My husband ordered the special that consisted of 7oz steak, 2 eggs, 3 large shrimp that were grilled. Our food was delicious and we really enjoyed our brunch at Ways and Means. Give them a try.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gem in Orange
    BobD
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Good start with lots of parking in rear, greeted & seated immediately, mixologist made excellent cocktails, fresh oysters, good selection of entrees & sides, $15 corkage is reasonable. Different unique special each evening- eg Wednesday clam bake, Sunday market feast. Overall an enjoyable & memorable dining experience & we're sure to return
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • rick
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Good seafood and steaks, but known for their oysters. Wednesday night they have a clambake and it is very good. Interesting wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful Experience
    Toni
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    As always everything was perfect. Reservations were handled professionally (especially since I didn't make them until 9:30 for a 12:30 lunch). Wait staff and kitchen were fantastic as always.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Epicurean search
    2foodiesVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Good dining experience overall. A scaled down brunch menu with good choices available. Very good and attentive service. The restaurant has an impressive wine list. Management seems to have a special menu/event for each day of the week. Cannot wait until the next visit.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Date Spot
    BB07
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    My hubby and I went here for a date brunch. Great atmosphere. Was quiet, quaint and had nice service. We were also among the first people there so we had impeccable service for the first half of our meal but as other patrons arrived, it took a while to see our waitress again when we needed her. It was our first time there and our waitress was great at explaining everything. Portions were a bit small for my preference but taste was spot on. We can't wait to go back for happy hour and try some oysters!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Not for me
    Lovetodineout
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We had high expectations for this restaurant. Reviews in the local newspaper were great as well as reviews from a few friends. Our group thought the restaurant was overpriced for the ambience and the food. Although we loved the caesar salad and the arugula salad, the portion size was small for the price charged, and the main course was not memorable. We had 2 orders of the short ribs and they came with 3 asparagus, a small amount of risotto, and an average size of meat. The service was very good but there was too much upselling and I felt like we were expected to have more courses and oysters or a seafood plate that we didn't want. I cannot recommend the restaurant to others.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What a Great Place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    This was a cute little gem to find in the Anaheim area. The food was very good and the service was exceptional. I always love when the owners come around to say hello. It makes it just a little extra special. I am looking forward to coming back next time I am in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely dining & food
    rjensenjd
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    This is a lovely new restaurant near Old Town Orange, and it's intimate atmosphere and friendly staff make you want to come back soon. If that's not enough the young chefs here are inventive, creative, and creative works of art that taste good, too! I highly recommend this to all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • threegirls
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this great new restaurant. We thought the food was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • definitely worth trying
    Barbeach
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Our girls foodie group tried this new place and we LOVED it Great service, very knowledgeable staff and great craft cocktails too! Extra Bomus it was Tuesday and they jusrted 1/2 off wines on Tuesdays. Especially liked the oysters, shrimp and short ribs Also save room for the amazing decadent and very different deserts We all would definitly go back!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tuesday night dinner
    PointhoarderVIP
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Greeted by one of the owners. Nice touch. Liked the $2.00 oysters and the drink specials at the bar. Great bread. Enjoyed the lobster bisque but the bowl is so large it looks like the world's tiniest portion. Seemed a little pricey for the main items. Want to come back for lunch. Fish being served at the table next to us smelled a little too strong. They were having a special chef that night and the bartender said it was a famous local Italian chef. Too bad no one told him that Pascal Olhats was French. Then again, the bartender was wearing an untied bow tie. Didn't know if that was his hipster look but it looked out of place.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 44 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 109 reviews are from the Ways & Means Oyster Bar reviews archive.