Chapter One: the modern local

4.4
395 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 395 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
4.5
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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KK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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.

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OT
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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!

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CH
Orange County
4 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!

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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.

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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

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

Poor service from hostess.
Table service average.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had their appetizers which are so good.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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W
Orange County
85 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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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

Food was great and really enjoyed ourselves.

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B
San Francisco
134 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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Cleveland
8 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
4 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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