Nearby points of interest
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Nearby points of interest
-Playground is a chef driven, small-plates restaurant that makes use of the best available seasonal ingredients. Our menu changes daily based on availability of ingredients & the chefs’ whims. This is a sharing restaurant: dishes aren't designed as starters or main courses, & we want our guests to try as many flavors as possible. Our chefs work hard to treat ingredients with respect, find balance in their flavor combinations, & ensure that every component in a dish plays a vital role in your eating experience. For that reason, we don't make modifications to our menu. If you don't love a dish the way we've made it, just let us know & we'll happily find you something else you'll enjoy.
-Please note that we allow two hours for all reservations. If you would like more time please give us a call & we can see if we can accommodate you.
-Reservations on OpenTable are ONLY for Playground, NOT for 2.0. Please see our website to purchase tickets directly from our 2.0 calendar.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Californian, Contemporary American, Gastro Pub
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Wednesday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am
Sunday Supper: Reservation Only, please call 714-560-4444
$31 to $50
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
City managed parking lots are located one block north and south on Spurgeon Street; street parking available on Fourth Street (free after 8:00 p.m.)
Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Playground Ratings and Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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