Our server guided us through the menu and educated us about the chef and his intentions with each plate. We selected a variety of dishes, paired them with cocktails, and enjoyed every bite
I have had Playground bookmarked for a couple of years, and the innovative menu did not disappoint. Dare I say it lived up to the hype? For me, it did, so yes, I dare say it! 😆
Jared's service was awesome. He brought me a new drink when I wasn't super sold on the first one... even though I tried to tell him it was all good. He simply wanted to make sure we were thrilled with everything.
The brussel sprout caesar salad is to die for - I could eat it all day long. Uncle Lou's fried chicken is super moist and packed with flavor. Highly recommend both. My "date" loved the Eagle Rock pale ale so much that she ordered a second.
Look forward to returning and bringing more newbies with me.
Playground gets a lot of hype; while the quality of the food was great, I was not impressed with the uppity approach they have taken. The menu states that substitutions and modifications will be "politely declined." This statement is so ridiculous. This is not a prix -fixe menu or a world-famous restaurant. In any case, I would argue that asking for a steak cooked to medium-well is not a menu modification, and a reply of "no" is not exactly polite. They were kind enough to call in advance to ask about food restrictions/allergies. I told them I absolutely could not tolerate cilantro and I believe the reply was "good to know." When I mentioned that to the waiter, I was told they would not be able to remove cilantro from any dish. Hilariously, when my friend ordered the dish I inquired about with cilantro, there was literally one tiny spring on top! Is the staff really so intent on this "no modifications" thing that they could not leave off a sprig of cilantro? We all enjoyed the food but the pretension was just too thick for us to return.
Wonderful little gem! Went for a date with my husband. Can't wait to go back!
Fab food fab service fab atmosphere fab people.
The best !
I've been here a handful of times and each time, the service gets less desirable. we were so excited to have a restaurant that served such unique dishes that we could try and feel like we're on a discovery with the chef but it's becoming less appealing to me over time. our reservation was at 8:30p and they were trying very hard to make sure we leave by 9:30p. it was uncomfortable and disappointing overall. When we left around 9:45p, all the doors were locked and they just watched us trying to find a door that was open instead of letting us know which one it was. And, i tore my ACL in my knee so that was not an easy task. Don't be in this business if you don't want to be nice.
So glad we discovered Playground. Kara was awesome. She was fun to talk to and answered all our questions regarding the menu and chefs. The food was delicious and interesting.
My only concern was a glass of Chardonnay was on the 'high end'. Not so with the beer or cocktails.
Will definitely return.
Just celebrated my birthday here with my family. It was the first time any of us had been there and we absolutely loved everything we tried!
Very nice place ! Special and weekly changing Menu ! Very friendly !
Playground food was delicious and the people who waited on us were awesome.
We loved the recommendations of the staff, and the ambiance of this special place.
Incredible food with a vast array of styles. Worth every penny.
Didn't eat. Way to loud for my taste so we had one cocktail and left to find a quieter place. Hard to get a drink, very busy place.
This place is for those who really appreciate food.
Had a blast, food and cocktails were fantastic. Loved it!
very good service. They called in advance to verify my reservation through open table and asked for any food allegy. We enjoyed every dish we ordered. definitely will go bavk another time as they change menu every week!
Awesome experience. The food was great, everything prepared perfectly. Cocktails were delicious. Service was attentive and helpful. The bartender even came over to get our input on one of the cocktails. Can't wait to go back.
They have a small plate format. Some of the dishes were very good, but most were just ok. The restaurant is far to pricey for the dishes it serves.
Definitely want to come back! Our server, Jared, was a good listener and helpful in suggesting what to order according to our tastes. He was upfront about what to expect and contributed to our good experience. The food was really tasty and there was no need to send anything back because it was that good. I've already started telling all my friends to go. It's pricey, but I can see why. Worth the money!
Our waitress was full of energy and very helpful with suggesting unique dishes
I am a huge fan of this restaurant and chef. Friday night I brought my girlfriend and her Aunt to playground, I introduced my !)girlfriend to playground and she as well is enamored with this gem . My girlfriendson Aunt is an amazing woman with a giant resume including studying under Wolfgang Puck for many years as a chef, that being said I was a little hesitant to bring to my favorite spot thinking she would pick it apart..........just the contrary, she loved it ! She raved about the texturesame and the flavors the right sized portions and the cocktails .Just wanted to say thanks to the entire staff for making me look like hero .Huge fan and I will continue to visit this amazing eatery as much as possible
The first thing the hipster waiter did was tell us how unsnobby they were. But we were turned off by the whole vibe which from the menu names to the writing on the chalk board screams pretentious. Lighten up Francis.
just too odd. ANd I like different and creative -- but the meals simply weren't good brought out on teeny tiny plates - which wasn't a comfortable situation for eating. The warm brussel sprout /jalapeno salad was interesting and good, but so over gooped with rich sauce it wasn't edible for more than a few minutes. I am sure these chefs are amazing -- but you have to make things people want to eat.
Food was outstanding, server was outstanding. Overall outstanding experience as always!
We had an awesome time! Jared waited on us and he did an outstanding job, thank you! Can't wait to come back!
We started off with some great craft cocktails. I loved all the starters and vegetarian dishes, but wasn't wowed by the main courses. The best 2 dishes were the burrata cheese with miniature Japanese green peaches and the Brussels sprouts - the flavors were delicious. I don't usually order fried chicken but a friend recommended it - I wouldn't order it again, the vinegar finish is not my thing. Many of the dishes have a little bit of heat. I would go back to try their burger which is supposed to be amazing. The sticky toffee pudding was a very tasty finish.
All dishes were spectacular! Our waitress was so helpful and helped us with the menu.
If you're just looking for really really really good American food in a nice casual environment, you found it.
Over the past few years I have had several people recommend that I check out the Playground in Downtown Santa Ana, so suffice it to say, it was properly hyped up!
Finally, an opportunity presented itself and I was able to go; let me tell you right now, you won't be disappointed. Everything we ordered was incredible and the menu rotates frequently based on the available ingredients. The service was exemplary, the food was delicious, drink selection was ample and enjoyable, and the desserts were just fantastic.
I know this sounds like a raving review but after all this time, I'm just glad that it wasn't just hype. The Playground is a worthwhile spot and I will absolutely be back.
It is all hype. Overrated. Overpriced. Nothing really spectacular with the price they ask about. Will not go back again.
I always have a great time at the Playground. The servers know their menu and help to make suggestions. We had the brussel sprouts...always a favorite. Tar tar flatbread, pork chop, hearts of palm ceviche, mushroom something...and grand finale Mission sticky fig dessert. I love that they don't have corkage fee as we can bring some unique wines from home to enjoy. You have to ask for spoons to serve your dish...they should just put them on the tables for you to use.
Our group decided to let our server chose our shared dishes for us, and every dish that came out was yummier than the next. It was a night to remember and we can't wait to be back. The service, food, wine, and ambiance was outstanding.
The food was amazingly delicious!
Adventurous place to eat. Food is different. Place for Foodies. Cauliflower nachos- VERY salty ( they were willing to take off bill). Wagu steak very rare and you cannot ask for food to be altered or cooked differently. Porkbelly buns, beet salad and berry desert were awesome. Will come back to try different things. Concrete floor makes people's voices and laughter very loud.
What a great place. This was our first visit. We were a party of 4 with a reservation through Open Table. We happened to be there while they had their 5 year anniversary menu. We are tapas style. We had the beets, cauliflower, fries, and yes, the fried chicken. The most interesting and very tasty fried chicken I have ever had. Our service was excellent. Great explanations of the food and beverage menus. We will definitely return to this restaurant. Glad it is only 4 Mike's from our home. Easy to Uber or Lyft to. I hope this review helps you make your decision. You can't go wrong by trying Playground!
My wife and I met another couple here and had a great evening. Terrific employees, delicious food, fun venue.
Love the food. It was very tasty and offered vegetarian options.
I love love love this restaurant. I have only good things to say. The food is amazing, all the servers are so kind and on point, the drinks are soooo creative, and the menu stays current and constantly changing. This is one of my top 3 restaurants in all of Orange County. You will not be disappointed if you go.
Loved your Best of All Times menu. Also, care that went into crafting dishes and menu descriptions. Fun restaurant with flavor combinations that are creative and bold in flavor. Would definitely recommend this to a friend.
We arrived at 4:50pmchecked in with a 5:15 reservation waited to be seated never called went up to the podium at 5:17am then seated at 5:20. Got a notification from open table that we ditched playground but did get it fixed. We did like the menu only that the feeling we got was that we should be previldged to eat at the playground.i do understand the menu but at $5 an oz I for your steak I would prefer to have it cooked to what we would have wanted. The steak was more then Rare we where told it would be prepared Med rare. My wife couldn't even enjoy the steak. For the price of an appetizer and one side dish with no drink. I'd rather eat at Ruth Chris or mortons. Which prepare it the way you want it just a little pretentious for us. Good experience but will not eat there again or 2.0.
Brought our foodie friends here, they were a little taken abAck by the menu and not know what all the ingredients were. However everyone loved every bite! It was delicious and the service was outstanding as always.