Clay Oven

4.7
642 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Indian
The cuisine at the Clay Oven is about transforming tradition and old techniques while retaining the flavor profile to make them relevant to the present times and lifestyle. Food progresses and changes over time in presentation, technique, and tastes, and we consistently strive to move Indian cuisine forward into the present. For the past 32 years we have attempted to modernize our dishes while keeping the Ayurvedic principles intact. Our menus are tied to the seasons and what is growing around us in order to bring out the fullest flavors and to allow guests to savor our food. We serve a large selection of game including venison, wild boar, rabbit, duck, alpaca, quail and elk, all easily paired with drinks selected by our Certified Sommelier. Fruits and vegetables in season appear alongside our organic herbs grown in our own garden. There is no fusion of cuisines, just a fun and creative Indian experience created for our guests.

Specials

Easter Restaurant Specials & Reservations

We will be offering many Lamb and Game Meat options for Easter Dinner, including Wild Boar, Elk, Antelope, Kurobuta Porkchops, Bison, and Goat!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

What 642 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great experience for the team, and our exec. Food was great, the owner acted as a “beer sommelier”, pairing a great beer and decent wine list for everyone’s preference and some outside the box options of both food and beverage.

Best Indian SoCal fusion in OC and one of the best in LA.

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KW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was outstanding! Service was fantastic. And we love that it's a local, family-owned business. It's always a pleasure to eat at Clay Oven. Thanks Praveen, dad, and staff for anther great dining experience.

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BM
Los Angeles
24 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding! This is a must try and keep in your rotation.

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AW
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We return to Clay Oven again and again for the consistently wonderful dining experience this restaurant provides. It is a small, intimate, and quiet. The beer list is exceptional and the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful with wine and beer selections. The menu includes traditional Indian food with additional menu selections including wild game meats such as bison, wild boar and antelope. Service is unobtrusive yet always at the ready. Wonderful place for celebrating a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or even popping the question. Don’t miss the swordfish, the giant prawns, or the pork chop. Potions are generous, so you will take food home. My husband and I simply love this restaurant.

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WJ
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I am from out of town, but visit Tustin/Irvine regularly for business. The Clay Oven is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. Tarun and his staff are friendly and welcoming and always remember you when you return, but none of that would really matter without good food. And, the food is not just good, but wonderful, flavorful in both traditional and non-traditional ways. A wonderful selection of beers and wine just top it off. I never visit the area without stopping . Thanks.

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JA
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We are new to Indian food and the Clay Oven was recommended as the place to try. We told our server, Tarun, who is also the manager, we would need help ordering and he was wonderful. The couple with us are enthusiasts of Indian food and this was some of the best they every enjoyed. We will be back.

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m
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very tasty food, can choose level of desired spice, good wine list, friendly & helpful service!

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

Absolutely fantastic experience. Wonderful food, great wine and beer selections which complement the food, and outstanding service.

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OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Amazing food !!!

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

So full of flavor. All sauces were on pointe

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the very best Indian restaurants in all of SoCal. Nuance and attention to detail in every dish. Excellent wine and beer options.

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DG
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been frequent visitors to The Clay Oven for many years, and they never disappoint. Chef Geeta and her husband Praveen use locally sourced ingredients to create Indian dishes that are influenced by Geeta's interest in many international cuisines. The restaurant is a cozy setting, and can get noisy at times when full, but is nicely furnished and host Tarun and his dining room staff make the dining experience equal to what comes out of the kitchen.

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OT
New Orleans
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you enjoy spice and game meat this is the best. The quality of the meat and food is top notch. We had antelope chops and bison tagine that was out of this world. We were fighting for the chance to “chew the bone”. The sauces are amazing and the sourdough naan is heaven. Go hungry and open minded, you will not be disappointed.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

A joke of an excuse for Indian food, the chicken tiki masala was just tomato sauce

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SB
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The award-winning food is always inventive and fresh. We have visited many times and have found the staff helpful with wine. The food is outstanding; the wine selection interesting; and we are always made welcome.

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E
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food, outstanding service and a notable wine list for those that like Paso Robles wines. I highly recommend Clay Oven for everyday dining and for special occasions alike.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Xmas present to a young couple at church!!

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F
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you for a memorable evening ! The food was flavorful but not overpowering

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AN
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It was delicious as always!! The goat cheese samosas, antelope, chicken tikka masala and the mango ginger baby back ribs were particular favorites of our group! Only disappointment was they ran out of the mango creme brûlée.

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F
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fabulous as always!!! Love the food. Love the experience & service. Keep it up!

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AF
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious, ambiance was great, service was exceptional! Can't wait to eat there again

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A
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I used to come to this restaurant with a guy for a while. We dropped him and we are glad we did, because he doesn't eat seafood. We never had any seafood there before so we ordered prawns last night. We thought only curries and steaks were good but seafood there was awesome as well. I like Indians in general but I like them even more when they are not vegetarians.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was excellent! The server (manager?) was gracious + welcoming and very helpful helping us decide between menu items. The stewed goat curry and delicious, with a thicker sauce that was perfect over our side of basmati. We prefer our roasted vegetables to be crispy, not so steamy.. and I found them to be a touch spicier than I’d like. Although the pistachio cardamom ice cream was not what I expected, I’d definitely order it again. I’m not sure if it’s typical of Indian ice creams, but it was firm/icy like a creamy popsicle. The ice cream is rolled into a tube like shape, frozen, and then sliced into circles. I liked that it wasn’t too sweet.
If there was one change I’d make to the restaurant, it would be to add better ventilation. A table on the other side of the restaurant ordered a meat dish that came out sizzling (and looked/smelled amazing). Unfortunately by the end of dinner we left smelling like everyone else’s food. Next time I’ll just leave my jacket in the car :)

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S
San Diego
23 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A personal favorite, one of my friends and I dined at Clay Oven on Christmas Eve and it was wonderful, as always! Great food and service - we enjoyed our dinner very much! I am a pescatarian and there were loads of options on the menu for me as well as for anyone without dietary restrictions - great selection. Also, the restaurant was busy so a good idea to make reservations. I'm looking forward to returning soon!

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IS
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic, authentic Indian cuisine! Wine and craft beer selected to complement the food. Impeccable service with a friendliness to round out the experience.

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SF
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love. This. Restaurant.

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R
Orange County
25 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Indian food you will find anywhere. We are so fortunate to have this restaurant in Irvine!!! Always perfect!!!

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A
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great beer recommendation

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B
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were 100% satisfied with the food, service, and ambience. This is not your average Indian food restaurant. Clearly many steps above and absolutely gourmet. Can't wait to return.

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AS
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent and attentive. This place is a great opportunity to try different foods and it's best to go with a group as they serve dishes family style. Order a bunch of things and try them all! You will not be disappointed.

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c
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best Indian food in SoCal if not the west coast. really good. Gem for the UCI and Irvine community for years.. personal service and really good unusual meats too (bison, elk, etc.)

Keep up the great place forever!!

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OT
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. It was a wonderful experience!!! We were a big group and they were very accommodating.

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CS
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a rare gem. If you enjoy Indian cuisine, Clay Oven will introduce you to a whole new realm. Try it! you will not be disappointed.

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A
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had only cereal for breakfast and ice cream for lunch to have this tomahawk steak and curries for dinner. So good. The restaurant was completely full but they still provided us great service.

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E
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Indian food in the region. Hands down.

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PL
Nashville
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Clay Oven never disappoints. The food is always amazing, the service great and all questions about the food are answered. We will certainly go back!!!

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SH
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

We went here for our first date before the restaurant closed. We were greeted nicely and the food was delicious. The only thing is after we were done eating we felt bad because it looked like our waiter was just waiting for us to leave. Again, they were closing. But we felt so uncomfortable by the waiter’s anticipation we rushed out as fast as we could. Overall, it was a lovely dining experience:)

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Clay Oven is awesome! The food and service are excellent!

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Brussel sprouts dish and creme brûlée were yummy!

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A
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my long time great Indian Restaurants.
In business for very long time.

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