Clay Oven

4.8
788 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary Indian
We are continuing to operate for takeout, curbside, and delivery only.

For over 36 years, the cuisine by our James Beard-recognized Executive Chef Geeta Bansal has been 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 and attempt 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.

Support Clay Oven during COVID-19

Experiences

Select an experience by choosing a date, time and party size
Explore unique dining experiences for every mood—from prix-fixe menus to can't-miss promotions.

Special menus

  • Continued Takeout/Curbside/Delivery

    Starting Aug 9, 2020
    We are continuing to operate for takeout, curbside, and delivery only for the safety of our staff, family, and guests. Orders can be placed over the phone ahead of time or during business hours, and delivery is offered through DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical Distancing
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 788 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
4.8
service
4.6
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Quiet
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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WH
WillH
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cannot fault this place on anything, everything about it was well thought out, well executed and I will absolutely be going again. The food was well flavoured, well spiced and portioned, not too much/too little.

Great little place!

j
janet
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautifully prepared dishes with quality ingredients which elevated even standard dishes like rogan josh and chicken tika to a whole new level. The FETA cheese naan was outstanding. The variety of dishes available also makes it straight forward to have a meal exactly matched to your taste and appetite in an attractive and tasteful setting. However, it is a small restaurant and some tables are set quite closely together, so not the place to discuss family secrets!

Service was pretty attentive without being obtrusive. Well-matched wines, and I really liked their extensive beer selection. We'll be back soon!

NS
NiloS
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing meal to celebrate our anniversary just before all the restaurants shut dining in. Ordered many times for delivery with GrubHub and always a treat. Can't wait to come back here many, many times when they reopen the dining room!

S
Salls
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the moment we walked through the door the service was impeccable! Food was absolutely beautiful, my husband and I enjoyed every moment of our evening! Thanks to all the staff and especially the host/manager for their high standard of service.

o
ohyou8one2
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Interesting menu and LOT's of OFF Menu items, including beers and other beverages. If you like Indian spices and flavors...this will be a great experience. They focus on non-traditional I think. So you have the flavors and food items expected, but additional offerings of creative presentation and mixed flavors. Well worth the try and the management is on deck trying hard to please. That ALWAYS makes a huge positive effect for your meal / dining pleasure. Enjoy!

PL
PaulL
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant was fab and a hidden gem, the food was very good and we got excellent drink recommendations. If you like fine dining with quality food you will not be disappointed. So glad we found this restaurant. can’t wait to return. Lamb chops were very tasty and so was the mango shrimp curry.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing little intimate place, service was absolutely brilliant. Very attentive staff with some of the best food. The lamb chops here are unreal! It's a must!!!

PD
vipPeterD
Jackson Hole
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Indian food in OC! Swordfish was amazing and every dish was excellent. Family run and service was great. We will be back soon!

K
Kenny
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and delicious food in a lovely environment. Food portions great and nice additional touches.

DD
DonDe
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This family run restaurant is the best! The food is just incredible! My favorite restaurant.

m
michaelj
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food had great flavor. All the chili based glazes had some heat, but perfectly complimented the dish. The lentils were great. The garlic nam was fabulous. Very enjoyable dining experience.

B
Brad
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another excellent experience at Clay Oven. Everytime we come, I feel like we're remembered by the host and always get excellent recommendations to make our experience more enjoyable. We enjoyed the Tomahawk steak and it did not disappoint.

K
Katt
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A party of 6 of us went for a meal for a birthday. This restaurant is amazing. Food was delicious as always, not a huge menu like other indian places, which means the dishes are freshly made. Antelope and hangar steak specials were divine. We found out all the vegetables are vegan which was perfect for one of our guests. Wine list was well thought out with great options. Will definitely be going again.

PF
PeterF
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service is the norm here. Extensive beer list and marvelous selection of exotic meats (antelope wild boar etc.) Highly recommended.

m
vipmarie
Los Angeles
41 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent and varied menu and always a great dining experience. The goat cheese samosas were delicious and cannot rave enough about the marinated steak special.

C
Cathy
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love the food at Clay Oven.

I also really appreciate that it isn't a loud space.

We could all hear each other and enjoyed a delicious meal with comfortable conversation, unlike some places where I can barely hear the person sitting beside me which, for me, ruins everything.

Service lovely, as always.

E
Eddie
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A truly exceptional dining experience. Each dish seemed to be the best - until we tasted the next! The goat curry was the highlight of the evening. The food was all beautifully presented and served by friendly attentive staff. Subtlety and depth of flavors was fantastic and just kept going throughout the meal. Why does this restaurant not have a Michelin star?

CD
ChadwickD
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food at Clay Oven was excellent and the staff was very polite. Lovely menu and specials. Great drink list. Ginger lemonade was delicious. The antelope is something I will never forget. I’d recommend this place for a wonderful dining experience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday celebration

A
Alison
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Even though this Resturaunt is small and in a strip mall the service and the food is outstanding. The food is Michelin Star level.

S
Sanam
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely loved our time here. The food was exquisite and the service top class.
Would definitely be back and recommend it.
Thank you for a fabulous evening.

HM
HanM
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were traveling from San Diego to LA, stopping in Irvine specifically to go to dinner at Clay Oven. Service and food did not disappoint and never do!

SP
SunilP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We having been going to this restaurant for over 20 years and have never had a bad experience. The food is always spot on. Not to mention the owners are wonderful people and always enjoy talking with them. Certain items have been on the menu since the beginning but they are always adding new items to refresh the menu which is great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic meal! Excellent find, attentive staff, beautiful cozy restaurant layout. Thanks.

HH
HeidiHo
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

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

Never dissapoints.

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

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

A
Alex
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
OpenTable Diner
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
CastineF
Los Angeles
3 reviews
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
Hamish
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
vipOpenTable Diner
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friend from out of town. Delicious

JS
JasonS
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
EileenM
New Orleans
7 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
Daniellev
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
DonDe
Orange County
6 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
vipDianneC
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding!!

PL
PaulL
Orange County
3 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!

S
Salls
Orange County
2 reviews
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
vipAmeerM
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

FAQs

Clay Oven does offer delivery in partnership with Caviar and Postmates. Clay Oven also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (949) 552-2851.

Clay Oven is rated 4.8 stars by 788 OpenTable diners.

Clay Oven does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://squareup.com/gift/EFR06627ERMXA/order.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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