Tangata Restaurant

4.4
1218 reviews
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$30 and under
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Pacific Rim
Experience a culinary juxtaposition of Pacific Rim and California cuisine. Set aside the celebrated Bower Museum in Santa Ana, Tangata Restaurant is the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon. Deemed the "hidden gem of sophisticated California Cuisine" by the OC Examiner and winner of the OpenTable "Diner's Choice" and "Great for Lunch" Awards, Tangata is sure to satisfy any appetite.

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Experience a taste of love at the most romantic restaurant in Orange County, located inside the landmark Bowers Museum. Enjoy a three- or four-course dinner by Executive Chef Stefano Ciociola, plus complimentary admission to Bowers Museum on a future visit!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

What 1218 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
Los Angeles
62 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Excellent in all regards when visiting the Bowers Museum. Honors reservations. French toast was not the genuine recipe, but was good.

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P
Orange County
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Unimpressed! The food was more like Denny’s. I wish we had gone somewhere else. We decide to try it since we were visiting the museum. Never again!

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JN
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food. Makes a full day if you attend Bowers Museum and have lunch at Tangata. Service was slow recently, but I think this was because it was the closing weekend of an exhibit. Don't forget to validate parking ticket at restaurant - then give to parking attendant for refund of parking at museum.

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JC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The Tangata is a good match with the Bowers Museum mission and ambiance. It is an enhancement of the museum experience.

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k
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Set within the Bowers Museum, it has a trendy vibe to it. The cuisine is creative for the most part, although whenever I see too much kale or almonds on the menu, I'm always leery that it's 'too' trendy. For the most part, a nice little restaurant to have lunch in. The pros - the food was decent, but the prices were a little high for what you received, and it was nothing out of the ordinary. Wasn't great, wasn't terrible. The cons - extremely noisy when it was filled to capacity. Service was fabulous.

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MM
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Variety of brunch entrees! Great martini too. Different menu on weekdays.

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LM
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Brunch menu not worth the price. One of the meals we ordered was cold.

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l
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Pleasant location overlooking the beautiful museum courtyard. Enjoyed lunch there recently with my family. Breakfast burger was yummy, chilaquiles were prepared differently than I have had before but fresh and tasty. Service was polite but could have been more attentive. Overall a nice meal and I would dine there again next time I go to the Bowers Museum.

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RA
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

The menu choices were not as inventive as in the past and there was not as much variety to chose from - the salads looked/came alike, with little additions to the rockets & parmesan, there was little meat in the short ribs & pasta. The server didn't check on us.

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M
Orange County
208 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A delightful lunch. The menu has something for everyone. Great service.

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TP
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great fit for a special museum visit. Quiet and comfortable with good food and stylish atmosphere.

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AM
Orange County
18 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I go there every time I visit the Bowers! and love the food every time too!!

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BH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The Asian-California fusion food is very nicely done. And the decor has a warm/sleek Scandinavian vibe. It was a long wait between being seated (outside) and actually seeing a waiter, however. And there is an odd "administration fee" of 3% on the bill to cover costs of doing business... I thought that was what the menu prices were supposed to include? Pricey for what you get to also have this add-on fee.

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OC
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sat on the patio after seeing the Knights exhibit. Initially they didn’t have Vietnamese lettuce cup kebabs but the manager was gracious to accommodate with a delicious grilled piece of salmon instead of the pork-shrimp. Ordered the Au Bon Climat Chardonnay that is their private Patina label. Delicious and crisp. The Diver Scallops are delicious and the pumpkin ravioli is handmade and succulent. I am a Bowers museum member and have had many delicious and memorable meals here throughout the years. Highly recommend and the redone decor in the dining room is very chic and I love the red light fixtures.

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MG
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our family will frequent for the holidays especially if they are open and serving the wonderful buffet.

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J
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and friends had a wonderful meal. This innovative and creative restaurant always matches its menu with the fascinating and beautiful art shows at the Bowers Museum.

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MC
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant, delicious food, fabulous service!

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E
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Our party of four was so so disappointed with this restaurant. I treated a friend to the museum exhibition and wanted to have a nice birthday lunch (which I specified during the reservation process). Our waiter, Peter was very nice, but after initially taking our orders, that was the last we saw of him. First of all, they were out of two of the brunch menu items on a Sunday, so menus were brought back and we had to pick other options. It went downhill from there. Two of four entrees came out and it took about 8 minutes for the other two to arrive. Then without any explanation, the runner took one of the plates away, carried it to the kitchen counter, where another runner picked it up and placed it on another table! (Illegal?) Of the four entrees, not one was correct. Meat undercooked on a burger, no avocado as ordered on the eggs, no dressing on the salad, etc, and one plate of totally cold eggs benedict. Despite THREE attempts to have the runner rectify the mistakes, he left the table even while i was calling after him! We were all so disgusted. On top of it all, they never recognized my friend's birthday at all. Why did they ask during the reservation if it was a special occasion? And on top of everything, the food was mediocre at best. My chicken katsu sandwhich was bland and tasteless. Will NEVER go back to this restaurant again. I will take advantage of the many great restaurants near the Bowers instead.

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D
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Beautiful day for outdoor seating, and a festival was going on at Bowers Museum---we had a perfect patio table from which to view it. Had the rib meat pappardelle---tender lean meat, delicious flavor, with greens and what seemed to be homemade wide noodles. Also had hot Moroccan mint tea in an artsy little teapot. Staff were nice. Great place to talk and people-watch; the patio is raised, and you can look down as visitors enter & exit the museum. Large shade trees nearby---beautiful. Wear sunscreen and maybe a hat if you go in the morning---sun shines in. The outdoor ambiance is worth it. (Sun is no problem later in the day. You could also dine inside.) Great experience! Fun, tasty, nice staff, beautiful day---will go again.

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DH
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love to stop here on our way to Newport Beach from our home in the San Gabriel Valley. If we have time we check out on of the Bowers Museum exhibits.

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QO
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

A nice place with good food selections of mostly casual dishes , quiet ambance, and super waiters located inside the Bowers Museum. You do not have to pay the museum entrance fee to eat here but it would be a very good idea to eat here anytime you visit the museum or vice versa. Also the restaurant validates parking. Give it a try.

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VD
Orange County
103 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Conveniently located when visiting Santa Ana, inside a historic building. Good food, good service and easy parking in the lot neat building.

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KR
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

I have eaten lunch at Tangata a few times a year, over a number years, when going to the Bowers Museum, usually on a Saturday. It struck me this last time that the food was not as good, and the offerings on the menu more limited, than in the past times. Perhaps this was because this was a "brunch" menu, even though we were ordering lunch at noon. My entree (caesar salad) was ok, but a bit overdressed and I would say not anything special. One companion noted that her sandwich, which was described as containing heirloom tomato, did not taste or appear to be made with an heirloom tomato. the sandwich was ok, but nothing special. I remember some years ago having sandwiches or entrees at lunch here that made me want to come back just for that item again! Needs improvement. Otherwise, I still recommend Tangata, it is in a nice setting, the service was very good, and the best bet for lunch if you are visiting the Bowers.

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MA
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

the serving portions were inadequate in my estimate

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CN
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

The food is decent, but the restaurant isn't open very long. The short hours result in the kitchen being overwhelmed with orders. People are turned away at the door and seating wait times are long. Reservations are a must, particularly on event days. I had the unspicy chicken jidori salad and my husband had the beef (shredded?) burger. Although we liked the food, these entrees were over priced. Anyway, the bread is served fresh and hot. This is the only on-site restaurant, although there are many other places to eat close to the museum. We didn't want to miss a lecture by leaving, so we chose to eat here and save time.

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TJ
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

This was a business associate lunch for two. Food was excellent as usual the wait staff was good but lean in number. We will be back for sure.

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EE
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 3

Both my lunch companion and I became ill after dining at Tangata. We will never return.

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MD
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have dined there many times. Never disappointed. Service is attentive and excellent. Diners are never rushed.

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s
Palm Springs
5 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We visited because our mother would have been 100 years old on August 7th. We used to take her there on her birthday. We always loved having lunch and then visiting the museum. A great experience.

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MV
Orange County
24 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant at The Bowers Museum - a perfect way to spend an afternoon!

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h
Orange County
60 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I had the lobster grilled cheese sandwich with a side of fancy greens and my husband had a brisket burger with a side of fancy greens also. Both were excellent and beautifully presented! This is a great place to dine after or during viewing the exhibits at the Bowers, a true local gem.

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PH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem! We enjoy the fact that we can go to the museum as a destination, and enjoy the really great food at the same venue. A bonus was that parking is free if you are dining there as well. Great food, especially the ravioli! Thank you for having an outstanding restaurant right in the main part of Santa Ana!

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JC
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

I always feel a little let down here. The space suggests it should have a more imaginative menu. And plant-based customers are almost completely neglected. The menu isn't even marked up to identify vegetarian and vegan options. Most of the industry has adopted this standard but Tangata has yet to catch up. The easiest was friendly and did a great job.

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F
Los Angeles
108 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was excellent as usual. Love the ambiance and thoughtful service.

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W
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very enjoyable meal while we enjoyed the museum. Mid-day during the week it was not crowded, the staff was very attentive and helpful. I had a warm chicken salad which was very enjoyable. Highly recommended.

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S
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

As always , this restaurant is visually lovely and the setting within the Bowers museum is wonderful. Food is good although menu is fairly limited. Don’t come here though if you are looking for rapid, attentive service. The number of servers has always been on either on the short side or simply not interested.......and I have been coming here for over 15 years. Just love the museum and ambience though, so I keep on coming!

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OT
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great hidden secrete in SANTA ANA. Located at the Bowers Musuem. BONUS!

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MC
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I highly recommend this restaurant for the atmosphere and the location. The museum is a must see and the restaurant is an added bonus. The menu offers a variety of options and the food is great. The service is top notch. I look forward to visiting this restaurant soon.

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OT
Orange County
178 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always the staff from host to server to bus are only there to make sure you are satisfied completely. The simplest of crabcakes and more complex menu items were expertly served and inspired by a competent kitchen and chef. Thank you as always for a wonderful meal and experience

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C
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 3

The service was too slow. The waiter took forever to take our order and then took a long time to get our food. Also, the menu needs to be improved. There needs to be more of a selection of sandwhices, pasta and main dishes. It is the only place to get food at the Museum, thus it needs to accomodate a broader range of patrons. Most importantly, the food was not that good.

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