Chapter One: the modern local

4.4
378 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 378 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
San Francisco
129 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.

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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.

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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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OT
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was good, service was very slow and meals took far too long.

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BP
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, atmosphere and beer selection and spirits were top notch

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OT
San Antonio
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and even better food!

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SC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just a terrific experience overall! I was in Anaheim on business, and wanted to get a feel of the local favor away from the convention. The menu offerings we amazing, and the food was superb! I met a friend, and we sat at the bar instead of taking our table, and had just s wonderful time. Staff was very gracious with their suggestions on wine & beer choices. I can't wait to visit again!

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

Great service. The food was delicious. Awesome experience!

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HS
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

Expensive for quality, messy, menu not up to expectation.

Maybe this is okay for Orange County -- I'm new to the area. I'm from New Orleans, where I can get food three times as good as Chapter One for half the price.

Also, the music was terrible. Really, really, really terrible.

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W
Orange County
13 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food especially for restaurant week. There was a live band and we tried to leave as soon as possible because they were hard to listen to. Really awful. But before that it was a great experience. The only thing I would say is to ask them to slow down. I had not even finished my appetizer before my entree came out and then all of the sudden poof my dessert was there. But great food and we will for sure be going again

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g
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The place has some big hits and misses, but if you know what to get it will be excellent. The noise was very loud due to peoples voices and the music. Places doesnt have anything soft to reduce noise.

Apps - the apps are more like side dishes lol...Brussel sprouts were amazing and every bite was a little different depending on what you scooped up. It had pork belly, egg, and some orange sauce that made it different enough than most places. The portion was a good size too. The mac and cheese was disappointing in every way. Small and bland. Even the bcon on top didnt have much flavor. It was bad, but not worth $12.

Mains - the salmon was perfectly cooked and tasted good by itself or with the puree. Garlic spinach was also good. I was suprised at how good everything was. The ribeye was disappointing. A little over cooked and dry and it’s a ribeye! Could have got a better steak at Outback. The side dishes were plain and boring.

Desert - the monkey balls were unique and good but not overly special. Portion seemed small or maybe we just ate them fast lol. I had big expectations for the white chocolate suflee, but it was disappointing. The white chocolate sauce was very mellow and I couldn’t taste the strawberries in it. It was good, but could easily be improved.

Drinks - my kettle mule was watery. Maybe the ginger beer was flat? It was also $12. I can get better at places for $8

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m
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

The shared items were excellent - very creative and wonderful flavors. The medallions of beef and mashed potatoes were just ok. Over cooked and the bacon wrapping them was way overdone.

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

The food was exceptional. The bressel sprouts were flavorful and cooked perfectly.

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JS
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Cool atmosphere, and liked the concept. Unfortunately for us, the rest of the experience fell short. Service was indifferent, and felt impatient. Recommendations simply went through the motions. Food was alright, but not enough to overcome the feeling of not being wanted. Duck Fat Fries, which could have been really impressive, were simply french fries with ketchup. The brussels sprouts were probably the best tasting and best presentation.

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JG
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, staff, and ambiance! Really enjoyed our time here!

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T
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Kewl place Enjoy dining there Food is good but pricey Drinks and Dessert were delicious I would go again for Happy Hour and maybe coffee and dessert Service was solid

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j
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a good time here. Good food and good service.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Neat place but the service that night was inattentive and absentminded.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time brunch for my date we loved it!

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c
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 5

Although i love this place and have been coming here for Years with my family and built great relationships with the severs.. we always have a issue with this new manager they have “amy”. it’s teally sad because we come here for a food time and she doesn’t disappoint us with bringing drama. there was a mistake with the seating (which happens all the time i make a reservation). we soon accepted and moved passed her mistake while she went and told all the servers and bartenders while we were trying to enjoy our time which is very uncomfortable and unprofessional. it’s sad to see such a great place with such a chilidish and power hungry manager. JJ, i hope you see this and fix it soon.

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OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waitress was wonderful and very helpful when asking for recommendations. I had the lomo saltado and it was delightful. I always recommend this restaurant.

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C
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter was patient and fun. The music was so on point! Seasonal food-amazing! Drinks strong and tasty. The strip it’s located was prefect for bar hopping. Love this place.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, quick to get us a seat. Great food! Just a tad expensive

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VC
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service!

Had lunch here with a group of 12 and the staff were very accommodating. Originally booked for 1 pm but moved it almost an hour earlier on the day itself with no issues with the restaurant staff. Servers were really cool and pleasant all throughout our lunch.

Was able to try the poke bowl and fish and chips and they were great. Had a whiskey cocktail and it was good as well. My family also had only good things to say about the food and service.

Would definitely come back and recommend to my family and friends.

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KS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Server took forever that we had to go to the bar to get our own drinks and pick them up after they had sat there for 20 mins but food was delicious as per usual

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RM
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came here prior to our Winter Formal. Service was great. Ambiance was great. The burger is devine. Thanks Chapter One. Will be back soon.

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R
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been to Chapter One many times and it is always amazing. The food is consistently good, the service is amazing and the drinks are to die for. A+++

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

Awesome time great food but the soufflé was epic

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was yummy

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OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food !

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B
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Inventive dishes that mostly hit the mark, with a very busy atmosphere and a substantial noise level. Charming interior design with open ceilings, expansive windows that bring in the street nicely.

Service was a bit sub-par, slow and sometimes forgetful. But overall a sweet spot in the old part of Santa Ana.

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OT
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Service was not great as we were seated in the back. Would have preferred seating in the front.

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Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Three words - Duck fat fries! Royale burger is also tasty.

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DS
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food is outstanding. Unparalleled. But the noise level left me without a voice at the end of the evening. Had to shout all night unfortunately. And we had a table of six. We ordered drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts. The full shot. One entree was delayed (a pasta dish). If the noise level was 80% less, it would have been a perfect evening! The salmon is my favorite.

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J
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is awesome. That's it, that's all. Great food, service and mimosas.

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OT
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Menu limited.

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SW
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Chapter One was not a good experience and we will not go back. We were there more than half an hour and were not even offered a drink or menu and it was not busy. People adjacent to us walked out without ordering. Finally I got up and asked for service and the waiter gave us attitude. The food was mediocre at best and the $27 salmon was barely edible. Poor service and food. Go somewhere else.

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A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chapter One is a very energetic place to go with very good food,comfortable, good service in a very nice area.

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KO
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Our server was great and the food was great! I did not enjoy waiting for (what felt like) 10 minutes for the hostess to acknowledge us after seating someone else who came after us while we had a reservation. She then seated us in the bar, where our nice dinner turned into a yelling match because the music was loud. I guess we should have been more demanding but I was hoping a reservation was a clear sign that we wanted a nice dinner at a restaurant not a nightclub.

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JP
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was fun place for drinks and for taking people from out of town.

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