Clay Oven

4.8
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
763 Reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Contemporary Indian
The cuisine by our James Beard-recognized Executive Chef Geeta Bansal 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, and we consistently strive to move Indian cuisine forward into the present. For the past 35 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. We serve a large selection of game including venison, wild boar, rabbit, duck, antelope, quail, and elk, all easily paired with wine and beer selected by our Certified Sommelier (CMS). 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.
What 763 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.9
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Filters
HH
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, lovely people. I would suggest everyone goes!

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Never dissapoints.

Report
AM
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have company guest from Bangladesh and this always deliver the finest food!

A
Orange County
13 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Care and pride in food preparation were evident in the results, with every offering a memorable taste and textural indulgence. The wine list is crafted so as to pleasantly supplement and enhance one’s dining experience. Thoroughly enjoyable, particularly if one is prepared for a relaxed evening.

OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Indian in Orange County. I would recommend it to anyone who wants great food and great service in an understated atmosphere. Very unique dishes.

CF
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our experience at clay oven was incredible! The service and food were both incredible. The server was very passionate and knowledgeable. The beer selection was fun and also great wine. All the food clearly has a lot of love put into it. Would highly recommend!!

H
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Arrived at the restaurant to a very warm welcome followed by friendly and efficient service of very quality food chosen from a comprehensive menu containing some unique ideas for dishes. Will definitely go again. Slightly on the expensive side but you get that back in the quality of the food and personalized service so you don’t mind paying that bit extra.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friend from out of town. Delicious

JS
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Get the special lamb chop (huge). It is awesome. Also the special antelope. Excellent food prepared with the family's special touch.

EM
New Orleans
5 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always an amazing meal. The antelope chop was juicy n perfectly spiced. The service is the best. The owners are always present and make you feel like you are visiting their home. Everything is made fresh and the beer and wine selections are top notch.

D
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic and service. If you're questioning getting the antelope, don't. Just get it. Absolutely delicious as were the sides we had. Fantastic and friendly service. We'll definitely be back again.

DD
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is really excellent. I love Indian food and have been a fan of it for decades. This is the best Indian restaurant I've ever been to, so I keep coming back!

DC
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding!!

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a group in town for a conference and had a party of 20 people. We needed someplace that could accommodate gluten free and vegan part members. We were lucky enough to choose this restaurant and were extremely happy with our experience !! The manager/host was very helpful and suggested items that we could do as a family style meal to save time and cost. We chose some appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Soon we had a table full of delicious food! We were very happy with the quality, taste, as well as the service. It was a great value and we really enjoyed the family style meal! Everyone on staff was extremely friendly, the portions were very good, and the taste was great! Got to try a lot of different things I normally wouldn't have the chance to like Antelope! Roasted avocado starter was a favorite. The server did a great job with keeping up with our drinks, clearing plates, etc. They also had no issue with dietary restrictions which is often a problem with this size party. It was not an issue at all here. The decor in the restaurant was also very nice. I would highly recommend this restaurant, especially if you have a larger party and want great food and service!

SF
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a great discovery this turned out to be! Very nice staff, wondeful food and a great ambiance. I'd rather keep this little gem to myself, but that wouldn't be fair to the restaurant or people looking for a great place to eat out :-) I highly recommend it.

AM
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An Irvine institution. Family run with delicious, exciting Indian dishes, outstanding desserts and excellent service.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Most interesting Indian food I’ve ever had! Great service too. Highly recommend to anyone. Not too loud, you can actually have a conversation!

OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food (esp Tandoori), service and atmosphere. Loved it.

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious, service and ambience above average.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Authentic in taste yet creative and imaginative in approach and presentation of Indian food! Love that Chef Geeta is breaking the confines of "typical Indian" food yet still keeping the taste! Kudos!! Great wine list which is always a plus!!

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fantastic, delectable, affordable, fantastic service. SO much love goes into the food prep and everything explodes with flavor. Highly recommend!!!

BB
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience4

We've been to the clay Oven numerous time over the last few years and have always had an outstanding experience, except for this time. We were seated promptly when we arrived and then got our menus fairly quickly. We ordered an appetizer and then waited about 40 minutes to get it. It then took another 45 minutes to get our food. In the past they put several different chutneys on the table, but this time only one. Once we did get our food it was very good, but not really worth the wait. It seems the chef is now working the front of the house and her husband who used to be, and did a phenominal job, is in the back. The chef doesn't really have the personality to be in the front, although her son who is also working the front is fairly good. Unfortunately, from our perspective this is a restaurant in decline. Very sad.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Clay Oven never disappoints. The food is always flavorful, well prepared, and delicious. I bring so many guests here and they always love love love it. Service is excellent and attentive. Will continue to come back!

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such delicate and delicious Indian Food. Always such a treat.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed everything about this restaurant from the very tasty and sometimes spicy food to the professional and friendly service to the stark appearance. The seating was spacious. The sommelier was very helpful.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, service, ambience. No full bar but AMAZING beer selection and good wines. One of the best Indian food if not the best I have tried so far in SoCal. Highly recommended!

ER
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

A great and unique list of brews and ales, and wine that pairs with great food.
If you want the best in Indian food from wild game to the expected fair, eat at the Clay Oven.
My wife and I have entertainment carnivores to vegetarians at the Clay Oven every one has left happy.
Sincerely
Eric

YS
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience2

Service was horrible with one waiter covering 15+ tables on a Saturday night!!!

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing family run restaurant!

Report
OT
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow! So happy we found this treasure.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hands down best fine dining Indian I’ve ever had, inventive and authentic at the same time. Beer selection was also amazing.

OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Third time visiting this restaurant. Absolutely fantastic from start to finish. Service was spot on, food was creative, well thought, balanced and delicious. The host/somm remembered everything from our previous visits (the table we sat at a year ago, our wine/drink preferences, what we ate, our previous conversations), incredible memory and shows that he really cares! This place never disappoints!!!

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this restaurant. We have been coming here for years and it never fails to deliver. Delicious food that's spectacularly presented and delivered to your table by knowledgeable and polite serving staff. I cannot praise this restaurant high enough. It's a must try.

R
Orange County
22 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favorite Indian restaurant in Orange County. My wife and I have been dining there for years. Always an excellent meal with exceptional service.

H
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, spectacular friendly service and exceptional Indian cooking made for a wonderful date night with my wife. From the goat cheese samosas through to the mains of melt in your mouth sea bass. The antelope and bison specials were divine. Thank you for another great dinner!

HH
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Not been for a while to this excellent restaurant! Delighted to find that if possible it is better than ever. All three of us are friends who used to work together and we each know Clay ocen independently as we are fortunate to live locally. Although very busy we were seated promptly and service was friendly and efficient! The menu is always imaginative and interesting. This time I had the Indian antelope chop, lamb stuffed naan, and Duck Vindalloo. Also Chicken Tikki Masala and brussels sprouts (both excellent). A bottle of Semillon complemented perfectly! Highly recommend!

JM
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent and so was service. Got much more than I expected when I saw the location in a small strip mall, but was pleasantly surprised. Will definitely go again.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Clay Oven is a upmarket dining experience without the uptight atmosphere. It's a chilled and relaxed environment with a very good vibe, it the type of place you'd go to have quality food, we came away really pleased from dining here. We'll be heading back to try some of the other dishes they have on the menu.

OT
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic experience. We were very late for our booking, but they kept our table ready and we had a lovely time and weren't rushed one bit! The food was excellent. The right blend of flavour and spice. I especially enjoyed the feta naan starter and bison special, and my wife found the swordfish to be her favorite. Everything was cooked to perfection. The staff were friendly and attentive, and ensured we had a great experience. Overall I would definitely recommend!

M
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Clay Oven is an absolute gem. The food, wine, and beer are spectacular. A small, family run restaurant that demonstrates perfection in every way.

Tweets by Clay Oven