Chapter One: the modern local

4.6
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439 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Gastro Pub

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Casual
Fun
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 439 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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ME
Maldives
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The girls and I were celebrating Valentine’s Day. We had tickets for The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Frida Cinema and wanted to grab a bite at a nearby restaurant before the show. What great luck to have found Chapter One! Every dish was unique and very delicious! The mushroom stuffed Pear Potato in truffle sauce started us off on our culinary adventure followed by fabulous (and very spicy) Roasted Brussels Sprouts. The Shrimp and Avocado salad had generous sized shrimps and the Salmon Flatbread was rich and savory. Next time we hope to save room for dessert! Great ambiance, great service. Highly recommend.

B
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Music was a little loud. Waitress was very sweet! Food was good :)

OT
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great date night spot! Very cool atmosphere and all of the food is always delicious

OF
San Diego
24 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

From the Mac & Cheese to the Bahn Mi, our food and drinks were delicious! And the chocolate pot de creme was the perfect ending. If they’d had a black tea without bergamot, it would have been perfect. A great Valentine’s Day all around!

o
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great place to go and spend some time with friends.

m
Orange County
102 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

I held my birthday party at this restaurant. We went for brunch. The food was delicious. It was very busy and so our food orders came out slow. One of our orders was quite cold. However, the kitchen redid the order quite fast. The star of the show was the entertainment done by "Blue". He was hilarious and quite versatile with his music. I recommend attending brunch just to hear him! Thank you Chapter One for a memorable birthday!

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was delicious celebrated me and my best friends birthday, we were charged for birthday shots but other than that it was great. Josh took them off right away but implied I should write a yelp review on him?! I think he did fine for our big group.

LM
Los Angeles
42 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a hit!! Everything was great as usual.

BC
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the live music on Monday evening. We tend to go to restaurants that offer live music and we were very happy they have live music in the bar every Monday evening as few places have live music other than on weekends.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

We went the day before NYE, which apparently is not the day to go here! When we tried to order the Steak and Feta salad, our server informed us that a number of items on the menu (basically every steak dish) were unavailable because they were saving the food for the New Year's party the next night. We ultimately got the mac and cheese and the shrimp salad - both very good - but it felt like our business was less important than the potential future customers the next night. Seems like an easy problem to fix by ordering enough ingredients to feed your customers every day!

JG
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place! Great food great vibe! The man who sings is awesome! Very involved get the crowd going! I love it here !!

c
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall2food4service4ambience2

They seated us in the midst of a huge office party claiming it was wrapping up. It didn’t and made conversation in our party of four extremely difficult. Horrible experience. Won’t go back anytime soon.

DC
Orange County
19 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food and atmosphere was great. Noise level was very loud, which we expected but it was super loud...difficult to carry conversations. Generous portions, hamburger buns were fantastic, good variety...something for everyone.

OT
San Antonio
2 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall2food4service3ambience3

The only saving grace was that our server was very nice. They need a better host who actually welcomes people and isn’t full of attitude.

IG
Los Angeles
35 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

We tried Chapter One for the first time on a Saturday night. We started with the mac n cheese and the choke relleno. Both arrived quickly and had good flavor. The only disappointment was that they really weren’t hot. Both appetizers were lukewarm. The steak entrees were cooked perfectly. The steak salad was good, but the menu description did not match what was on the plate. There was only one slice of roasted pepper and the roasted beets were more like shaved beets. The steak was good, but had chunk of fat on it. The restaurant is dark, so it’s hard to see the fat on the steak. Our server was attentive and we didn’t complain to her. They just need to make sure the food is hot and the steak is trimmed. We would try it again. All the dishes we tried had good flavor.

W
Orange County
16 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

The restaurant was deafeningly loud and the food was tasty but the soup was warm and not hot like I wanted it to me. Maybe if we sat outside where it was quiet it would have been better.

KP
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Decent food. Nice atmosphere...

LM
Los Angeles
42 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Been here several times and it’s never disappointed me! The Brussel sprouts are fantastic and the soufflé is always a must have!!

S
Indiana
6 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

The food was fantastic! We started with the Duck Fat Fries and the Brussels sprouts. WOW! I highly recommend the pork belly aioli for the fries! Its amazing! The pork chop was thick and juicy! AMAZING! My only gripe was when the waitress accidentally spilled water on me and my guest. Granted it was just water but it would have been nice to have been comped a drink or something in exchange for sitting through dinner with a wet shirt/pants - But we weren't going to let a little water spoil our evening. Overall the place is amazing! I only wish I lived closer so that I could come more often.

XL
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Food was good. Service was amazing! The DJ was amazing !!

A
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience3

The waiter was terrible, very disorganized. The food was great.

CP
Minneapolis
8 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came here as first time diners for our 20 year anniversary and the service/food was exceptional. The limited menu is perfect and offers real food done well. We recently moved here from a very foodie city and haven’t had the best luck finding local haunts that we were used to but this place hits the mark and reminds us of our old hood. Great spot with plenty of parking options and nice ambiance. Music was great as well!!

MC
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

I love this restaurant. I was excited to show a new friend this place. Unfortunately I felt an uneasiness with the hostess. No eye contact. Came off a bit short answered. Which to me lacked the respect on both ends. Arrived to a table to find out the table is very sticky. Asked twice to get a wipe down. Hostess wiped table. Didn't really wipe it down well, same demeanor again. Mind you I am very understanding when it comes to customer service, but to have the hostess with the body language and lack thereof, was pretty upsetting. It was not a busy night. Again. Maybe she was having a bad day. But there isn't wrong with killing it with kindness either.

OT
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience4

The this was my first brunch experience at Chapter One for my friend’s birthday. I ordered the lomo saltado. The meat was so chewy and after trying different pieces hoping to score one that was edible, I gave up. Just ate one of the eggs and some of the rice and fries.

When the server came to ask if I wanted to take it home, I let him know that the meat was so chewy. He apologized but still charged for it.

Even though they checked me in at the front desk under my reservation name, they notified open table that I didn’t make my reservation.

Not a good experience for a special occasion.

M
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

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 on August 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

r
Orange County
31 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

MM
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal!

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
42 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
25 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall2food2service2ambience2

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
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was good

AN
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.