Chapter One: the modern local

4.5
416 reviews
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$30 and under
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Gastro Pub
Our eclectic food and spirits fuse the exotic with the traditional, always created with our own playful twist. Our kitchen, led by executive chef Jason "Chicken Wang" Montelibano, features local, sustainable, seasonal and all-natural ingredients. The atmosphere blends the pleasures of elegant dining with the relaxed conviviality of a local pub. Our cocktail list, highlighted by our award-winning fresh ginger Moscow Mules, also features over 200 whiskeys from around the world.
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What 416 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A nice, local, quiet spot for lunch. Not the biggest menu, but good food and great people.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

The waiter was very confused since the beginning, she was rude when I asked politely for a refill on my mimosas. The food was ehh not something that I was crazy about. And the overall service was okay.

WR
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been to Chapter One many times! I love it, great food, drinks and great vibes.

r
Orange County
26 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant overall was great!

We were seated at a booth which, unfortunately, wasn’t cleaned well. There was dried up food on the side I sat on. That was my only downer.

The service was wonderful.
Food and drinks were delicious.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoy the food at Chapter One. Brussel are Sprouts amazing. Flat Bread, Lumpias,
burgers all yummy.

MM
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best time ever. Went to the wasted chocolate dinner and it was amazing!!!! It was so fun and great!!!!

GF
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal!

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a great experience! Our server was very attentive and everything ordered always came out timely! We had a newborn with us and when we requested to turn the music down she was very accommodating! The food and drinks were very tasty! Will definitely be back!

JC
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was amazing. Fantastic service, great food! Our server went out of her way to accommodate us when more people showed up than our reservation was for!

LM
Los Angeles
29 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time here! Brussels sprouts are delicious I went for burger week so we got a good deal. My burger was great. It had a jalapeño jam that was so goooood!! The dessert was AMAZING!! That white chocolate soufflé will bring me back here time and time again!

C
Orange County
23 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the perfect place for my wife and me to experience Orange County Burger Week. My wife had the Sweet Jalapeno Burger and I had The American Burger with pork belly. We could have shared either one because the portions were huge. They were well presented and tasted great. We ordered medium done but they were more on the medium-well side, but still tasty nonetheless. (Next time we'll order medium rare.) The service was friendly and the food came out quickly. Our orders included duck fat fries and the mini-monkey balls dessert, all for a very reasonable $20. The place is warm and welcoming and we plan to return to try some of their other interesting menu items. As a bonus, they also had a live band playing, even though it was a Monday evening.

KS
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came in for OC Burger Week. My husband had the Royale and I had the Sweet Jalepeno. The burgers were delicious, the fries came out crisp and hot, and our server was very attentive. He brought me a couple tastes of beer no problem so I could find the one I wanted to order a glass of. The burgers came with monkey balls for dessert. They were unreal yummy! Highly recommend.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

It was too loud, food mediocre, service was fair and they charged me an extra $10 on my credit card when I didn’t add an extra $10. So gonna have to call them to get that money back😑

SL
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was good

AN
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

Chapter one was my favorite Santa Ana restaurant until today.
The ribeye was tough.
The brussel sprouts were raw.
The ceviche was inedible sour face big time.
The potatoes under cooked.
I hope this was just a bad day in the kitchen.
I'll have to think twice about recommending it to friends. 😥
It's a shame because the service was great

LB
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Linsey our server was great! The entertainment was awesome. The food was so good as always. Definitely worth the trip and will definitely be returning for brunch again.

SC
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great staff, food is great, service was awesome and the mimosas were flowing

MM
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Only bad thing I had to say was the
Hostess was a bit rude. As she was checking us in she told us there was another reservation at 12:30pm and we have to finish by that time. I’ve never had any restaurant give you a time limit, I felt rushed and couldn’t enjoy my time.

BV
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Reserved a table 30 minutes ahead for 4 people on a Saturday before Father's Day. The parking was street parking with a parking structure across the street for the surrounding businesses. We were sat immediately and the hostess gave us time to order. We got the steak and potatoes, lomo Saltado, and French toasts. Everything was delicious and perfect for lunch. We spent about 40 minutes here. We did wait quite a while for someone to bring us the check, but all in all the meal and timely food/drink service was exceptional.

OT
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

As usual, Chapter One delivered good food and excellent cocktails. We were a big group in for a birthday. Lindsey, our waitress, was wonderful!

PN
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great happy hour prices! Excellent service. Will return and definitely recommend to others.

KK
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

I typed up a long review, but apparently I need more characters to tell the full story.

In short, my experience at brunch on 5/19 was terrible - mostly due to our server, the food was decent. A couple of the friends I was with have been before and have enjoyed it, hence their recommendation, but I will likely not be back for some of the following:

- My coffee tasted like hot water with a hint of coffee and when I politely asked for a fresh cup, I was told that their coffee is made in bulk so it will taste the same
- All drinks, minus the water that was brought immediately by a nice gentleman, took ten plus minutes to receive
- My shrimp and avocado salad was missing avocado and took ten minutes and a reminder to receive
- Two of my friends had ordered the breakfast sandwich and were disappointed bc the menu said it came on an English muffin (it was on a brioche bun, so more burger like) and it was missing the bacon
- One of my friends sat for over 10 minutes waiting to order a drink. When we flagged our server down, my husband noted that we had a new person at our table and she'd like to order a drink, to which our server said she's not new, she's already greeted her and said water was fine (not true)
- Another friend, and the fourth of us to order a coffee, asked if there was soy milk instead of dairy creamer and was given an eye roll. When she went to use the creamer on the table, it was almost empty but instead of getting a new one the server instructed my friend to empty that one into her coffee and she'd come back with another

I'm not sure if our server realized she was in the service industry or maybe giving attitude is hip now? Of course we received our bill with an 18% automatic gratuity added, so maybe she didn't want to put in any effort on a large table. Or maybe she was having an off day and we were unlucky patrons. I don't know, but I don't plan to go back to find out either.

OT
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved Chapter One! Food was amazing- the poke, mac and cheese, and the duck fat fries were my favorites. Cocktail menu is also good with an awesome mule selection. Dancing at night too. Would totally come back here!

CH
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We loved the rabbi who performed. He made our time there so fun and memorable!

J
Los Angeles
39 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The food was very good. It was very loud though and difficult to hear each other talk. And it’s in a dicey part of town.

D
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

This was delicious. The duck fat fries were delicious and there is a different specialty entree everyday

B
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Poor service from hostess.
Table service average.

OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had their appetizers which are so good.

OT
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Reservations were made for my mother's birthday.
When we got there we were seated promptly, served as well. However, my mom French toast dish was served raw not cooked, she didn't get any birthday item just like table near us that got a birthday item, and I was told by email live entertainment at 11am....no live entertainment.
3 items suffered and not remedied. I did let server know it was my mom's birthday
Even by reservation email....mom's birthday.
I will not return.

r
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always great. Drinks are phenomenal (and not that pricey). Music was a little loud for a Sunday afternoon, but, we're old (40's), so there's that. Overall, food, drinks, and service are consistently good.

SM
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 1

Im not a fogey, but this place was SO unnecessarily loud for 4:30 pm on a Sunday afternoon. Couldn’t talk to my family. You may not mind if you’re an 80s/90s retro-pop aficionado, I guess

Food was hit-or-miss. Duck fat fries are awesome. Burger is big and confused, and comes w a bland fondue sauce for cheese. Brick chicken was pretty terrible. Portions are huge if that is your thing

SD
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Outstanding service the best all around dinning experience I have had.

W
Orange County
88 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

First time and we will be BACK soon. Brittney, our server, was spot-on with her menu information. I ordered the shrimp and avocado salad (no feta, added burrata). The shrimp were small but very tasty and plentiful. Bibb lettuce was so fresh! Avocado was delightfully ripe and luscious. The burrata was wonderful; creamy and light bodied, but there was a lot of it (so, I got my money's worth). Hubby ordered the salmon with pureed squash and pomegranate seeds . . . perfect balance of sweet to tart. The fish was cooked to perfection with skin so crispy -- YUM. Both glasses of wine were supremely drinkable = The Haymaker (sauvignon blanc) and the Killka (I think it was a Malbec) very tasty and served at the appropriate temperature. We had a great time and look forward to NEXT TIME.

r
Las Vegas
10 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Very disappointed in the level of service from the help there. They were rude and if asked for something extra forgotten: response " well we are real busy tonight". Poor attitude was the focal point

n
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious! Endless mimosa flights, great service & great music! Overall my favorite brunch spot!

SP
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

My Fiance and I come probably once a month, we like it there. There are a couple of great bar tenders that just make our drinks perfect.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and really enjoyed ourselves.

B
San Francisco
139 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

I have enjoyed many lunches at Chapter One, but this fell short. We ordered soup and an entree, expecting the soup first. The food took forever to come out, and when it did, the soup was with the entrees. No one came by the table to check, so we didn't have the chance to ask why the soup/food was taking so long.

OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Staff was very nice and friendly. We had a reservation and were seated promptly. At 4:30pm, it’s not that busy, so we were able to secure booth seating away from the bar. Although there aren’t that many people at early afternoon, the music is quite loud.
Their steaks are cooked more on the DONE side, so I would strongly recommend requesting a level or 2 lower than what you are accustomed to. This is especially recommended for the ribeye, since it is served alongside a hot skillet of butter (adding the ribeye slices into the skillet will result it in being more cooked).
Overall it was a fun experience and we would visit again.

JD
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Went Saturday asked for the OC restaurant taster menu and waiter and hostess both said there was no taster lunch menu which the web site had clearly had one. Had to settle for the brunch menu which is so so. Also had an IPA which the menu said was in a 16 oz glass, but clearly the glass was 10 or 12 oz. If they are not truthful or uninformed makes me wonder about other menu claims, like is their claims of organic really true.

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