Playa Amor

4.4
165 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
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About

Playa Amor serves refined Mexican-style seafood in a casual and relaxed beachside atmosphere. Critically acclaimed chef Thomas Ortega whips up incredible beach-themed meals from recipes that originated both on the beaches of Mexico and around the world. The restaurant sits near the water, so diners can hear the waves rolling in as they sit down to relax and enjoy a great meal.



As for the menu, it is truly one of a kind. Under the appetizers, guests will find molé tots, which is exactly what it sounds like: delicious tater tots covered in a house molé sauce. As for entrées, house favorites include the tuna tartare tacos and Puerto Nuevo lobster.


Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Mexican, Contemporary Mexican
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Hours of operation
Monday-Thursday: 11:30 am - 10:00pm
Friday: 11:30 am - 12:00 am
Saturday: 11:00 am - 12:00 am
Sunday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
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Phone number
(562) 430-2500
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Thomas Ortega
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Catering
We offer special catering options set at different price points to fit the needs of your special event.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
2nd street
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Parking details
Ample parking.
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Public transit
Pacific Coast Highway & 2nd street intersection bus stops.
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Entertainment
Acoustic Guitar singer:
Saturdays 7:00pm-10:00pm
DJ Josh One:
Saturdays 10:00pm- Close

Please call us to confirm singers and DJ schedules.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 165 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NZ
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

They ask people not to take to social media so I did fill out here survey they gave us. It’s oricey for the food quality - the ceviche is a disappointment. Octopus was chewy and flavorless. The mole tater tots were amazing. Service was great she was nice and helpful.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Exceptional food. The Hatch chili spaghetti is outstanding as are the Mole tots

OT
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

This is actually a favorite restaurant (a bit noisy if not careful to request seating away from live entertainment); we love the food... This is more about ensuring the restaurant gets direct feedback so they can manage food allergy orders differently going forward (not something we’ve experienced previously ourselves as we’re able to order directly off the menu).. One of our guests has food allergies and requested no dairy... The waitress was not familiar enough with the menu items such that our friend had to make different choices (two times) and they still botched the delivery. Particulars: After first round of orders taken and delivered to kitchen, Maggie returned to advise braised short rib tacos were marinated in buttermilk; so order changed to chicken...in a short while Maggie came back again advising chicken also marinated in buttermilk; finally, special accommodation was made and taco dinner changed to short rib birria (with assurances it had no dairy)...our friend requested again (to be sure) not to add cheese, etc. When the food arrived for three out of four of us, our friend prompted us to “eat while hot” and we did... Several bites in, Maggie returns advising one of the taco plates already delivered was actually the the special order for my friend and that she gave it to the wrong guest... With a cheesy taco plate in hand, Maggie delivered it to the intended guest who started to return the plate he already began to eat... My friend with the food allergy tried to simplify and said he’d be fine finishing the food already deliver (and already partly consumed) to save time (i.e., we had theater plans and still had a short drive ahead of us)... Maggie did offer to prepare a replacement meal but for sake of time my friend opted out... We discovered this restaurant via friends’ recommendation and we’ve since also made recommendations to others... The above handling of my friends meal was a mess and a bit of an embarrassment considering our advance praise.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great experience! Good food and drinks. Hard to find bc of construction and service was a little weird, but overall great experience!

SS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

The food was good but the service was lacking. Maybe they were down some workers, but it was slow. Also they serve their beans & rice family style. When they brought it to us there was maybe an 1/8 cup for the 4 of us of each also the same with the chips. So then you’re trying to flag down people the whole time, just not a relaxing dining experience.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Exceptional food
Hatch Chili spaghetti is amazing as are the tots and Octopus

l
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I have visited this restaurant before, but this time I was really let down. The restaurant is plain and bland. The tables are completely clear, no candle, salt & pepper, decoration, nothing. Makes the ambiance really plain. The food tasted good, the drinks could be a bit stronger. The bar was empty, not sure where the drinks were being mixed. I bit disappointing.

OC
Orange County
15 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service, great ambiance and even better menu. The shrimp was perfectly spicy and tender, short rib tacos delicious. Their house made tortillas are the best around. Highly recommend the potato taquitos and custom margaritas. Love this restaurant!

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and drinks were delicious!

LB
Los Angeles
31 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The food is amazingly delicious. This is my first time at this restaurant (I have been to Amor y Tacos many times.). The service here was average (not excellent, but definitely not bad). Right now, the ambiance is not so great due to the construction in the surrounding area, but this is only temporary. The patio looks like it would be very nice without the construction screens and the interior is small but lovely.

LC
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Had the guacamole to start, very fresh and tasty. Cocktails are so good. Had the Hatch Chile spaghetti, delicious!! Servers were very attentive. Monica the manager oversaw everything perfectly. Low point was I miss the lake outside, new construction going on, hope it still will be nice outside.

KJ
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The food is great! The hostesses are a little offputting and place seating close together when there are open tables. Great happy hour and taco Tuesday.

TP
Orange County
43 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An acquaintance recommended this place, particularly for the ceviche, so we made reservations for 3 and went on a Saturday evening. There is a lot of patio seating and many people had their dogs, which we thought was great, but since our pups were at home we opted to sit inside.

We were seated immediately and tried out a few of their specialty cocktails- the Mezcal Mule and Watermelon Margarita. Both delicious, but then my husband ordered a regular Mule and declared it the best.

We had guacamole and shrimp ceviche - all excellent. I had carnitas and had to take some home because the portion was very generous. My husband had grilled octopus and our friend had cheese enchiladas (he is vegetarian) and they both gave thumbs-up.

We skipped dessert because we were full so can’t comment on that, but we enjoyed all of the food and drinks and appreciated the good service. We will definitely return in the future.

s
Los Angeles
26 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I came here to celebrate our anniversary. The staff were amazing and very helpful in guiding us through their delicious menu, and the food and drinks were out of this world. We will definitely be coming back!

YM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

My guests were not too impressed by the food. I enjoyed the tacos but the enchilada was just so so.

AB
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The food was great and the service was great. The only drawback is that the shopping center the restaurant is in is under construction so our view was obstructed and made it unpleasant.

AS
Orange County
39 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Service good. Setting drab. Food average. For @$100 after tax and tip for 2 I’d rather go elsewhere.

SB
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Playa Amor delivers creative inventive approach to Mexican cuisine with consistent high quality ingredients and preparation. Engaging courteous professional staff in casual neighborhood vibe. A terrific high value dining experience.

OT
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We have been wanting to try this place for our next date night. We made our reservation on Open Table which was easy to use however not easy to find the restaurant among the construction of the place. There were signs but with poor lighting in parking lot it was hard to locate. When we finally did locate it we expected to be seated fairly quickly because we had a reservation but this place was packed and the only table they had was a bar top. Not so romantic for our date. We had to wait about 15 minutes for another table to open up. Mind you there is construction happening so we got to sit next to a “nice” green fence. It took awhile to get drinks we asked for water several times but they were very busy. There was a large party that seemed to be more important than most of the guests. It was loud because of the fencing...the description in open table says it’s close to the water...nope. Not close at all. Can’t hear anything remotely that sounds like water. Food was OK. My burrito for the most part was all rice and barely meat. My husband’s asada was amazing. Not much to their drinks I had a margarita and it was just ok. Not really planning on coming back here. They seem to prioritize walk-ins over reservation and are not really set up to take you on time. The manager was rushing around doing the best he could but the hostess and servers seemed very distracted and unorganized. It’s unfortunate because we had been looking forward to trying this place.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love love love this place! Food is incredible (absolutely recommend the Oaxacan chicken and the guacamole), drinks are delicious and the staff is very friendly and attentive. Only downside is currently the restaurant is a little difficult to get to because of construction. Just remember to park around BevMo and you should be able to get to it just fine.

KF
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

A favorite of my family. Love the food and drinks here. Staff is always friendly and attentive. My daughter is addicted to the Hatch Chile Spaghetti with carne asada. Delicious!

K
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

So this place doesn’t close at 12. It closes whenever they feel like. Even if you have a reservation. There is no signage anywhere so even though we were on time to the parking lot, we spent 15 minutes looking for it. Eventually we saw one tiny sign that isn’t visible unless you’re walking. They’d closed - like lights off, chairs up, completely closed) before we got there (we could have made a reservation up until 11:30 and this was now 10:45). They did call to see if we were coming during our parking lot adventure but essentially told us we were welcome since we were late and that the best they could do was an appetizer the next time we wanted to come. Since were from out of town we declined and had far better service (and judging by the reputation they have around town) better food at In N Out down the street.

LL
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

We love Amor y Tacos!! and was really excited to try Playa Amor for our first time but it wasn’t the same. I had your New Mexico green hatch spaghetti and it was delicious! My boyfriend wasn’t happy with his carne asada plate. We went specially to see Roderick Chambers since I loved his voice from seeing previous Instagram postings performing at your place but the patio was lacking ambiance, didn’t set the mood for live music, the lighting was too bright.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Very inattentive service. Food and drinks took forever to arrive. We were there for a birthday celebration, but we were never asked if we wanted dessert until the waiter dropped off the check. He said he forgot to ask. They really were not that busy and I don’t understand why the service was so bad. We love this place , but will think twice before going back with a guest for a celebration.

J
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

You can always judge a Mexican restaurant by their salsa. Their awesome salsa was just the beginning. We had incredible, fresh ceviche and DELICIOUS pork belly nachos. We wanted to try more but that was enough for us - til next time! Oh and excellent cocktails - loved the Mezcal Mule!

MF
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food is delicious, the only downfall is sitting outside where the sun hits you in the face.

JS
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first visit and we'll be back! Terrific in every aspect.

DN
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to go. You have to try it at least once.

SN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food fun time. The drinks are good. I love the outdoor seating and the fact that they provide blankets if you're cold. Friendly staff

FG
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We absolutely LOVED the food here!! Your life is not complete until youve tasted thier Green Hatch Spaghetti! It will blow your mind! Still dreaming of it 3 days later... The Charred Brussels Sprouts was our other favorite! Absolutely delicious!! Drinks and service were top notch as well! Can’t wait to go back!

BM
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing cocktail list! Great food! Wonderful service!! Every visit has been memorable!

J
Los Angeles
68 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Great service and great food. Thanks! Enjoyed all the food. Thank you!

C
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

I had dinner with friends. Good food & good service! Overall we had a great time!

CN
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Made a reservation a week in advance requesting a table near the live music entertainment for afriends birthday party. Walk ins were sat near this area and my table was at the very rear of the restaurant. Service was very slow to acknowledge our presence, even when the restaurant emptied out an hour later... likely because the service was so poor. Will not return.

JN
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

This was my 4th time at the restaurant. I have ordered the same thing each time, the Salmon with shrimp & scallops. It was presented in a bowl instead of being plated as it was the first 3 times. I much prefer it on the plate with the cilantro rice. My husband had the fish tacos and said that they were delicious. Overall I would recommend this place.

IG
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Playa Amor never disappoints! Especially the homemade tortillas...their tacos are truly delicious. Also the mole tot poutine: wow! We ordered it and truly enjoyed it, especially because the house mole was so flavorful and paired perfectly with the cheeses and crunchy tots.

JA
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We made a reservation through Open Table 4 days prior. When we arrived on time, we were escorted to a table in a loud, noisy, crowded bar! We asked for a "regular" table and were told they were full! We walked out! We don't know which business to blame: Open Table or Playa Amor, but we will not consider either again.

BV
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

For our first visit on a special birthday....They did the best they could on a hot night, but be aware they have little to no flexibility during inclement weather as they have a large patio for sitting with no temperature control mechanisms in site. Our server was working hard, but the restaurant was overbooked, loud angry customers waiting by our table, food was overdone, and even though we booked days ahead, our table somehow ended up being in the worst of busy areas. We asked to move, but were told it would be a long wait. Kudos to the server though, and grateful for a complimentary dessert. We really wanted to like it, the restaurant inside space is great, but nothing convinced us to try again.

KR
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Everything was good. The only issue Was!!! I made it a point to let the waitress know it was our anniversary. But she was in La-La land so she didn’t even acknowledge it and gave us the bill and disappeared.. so service was not to my standards.. don’t think I’m going back there..

WH
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Seafood is supposed to be the specialty . Wish there was more of it on the menu .

Overall pleasant , pricey . Will go again

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