Clay Oven

4.6
609 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.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary Indian, Indian, Wild Game
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Tues-Fri, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner: Tues-Sun, 5:30pm - 10:00pm
CLOSED MONDAY
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Phone number
(949) 552-2851
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Geeta Bansal
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Catering
Full service catering - Premier caterer to all major hotels and event sites requiring Indian regional cuisines.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Irvine Center Dr.
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Parking details
Shopping center parking - easy access.
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Special events & promotions
Follow us on Instagram @clayovenirvine to stay up to date on upcoming events such as wine dinners with established growers and guest chef dinners!
Additional
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 609 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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A
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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
6 reviews
Dined on November 7, 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 7, 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 5, 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 28, 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 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Brussel sprouts dish and creme brûlée were yummy!

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

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

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DW
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Not your typical Indian Restaurant... unique seasonal offerings! Had the pork chop marinated for almost 2 days. It was huge...Family owned and they make you feel that way too.

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J
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The restaurant satisfied our craving for some good Indian food. Better than good. We love a place where the chef/owner is involved with the tables and service and stops to chat. All in all it was a delightful night.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed our dinner. The food was excellent and so was the service. They were very busy, so the food was slow to get to our table but we loved it when it got there

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J
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We had a wonderful time. It was our wedding anniversary everyone was very helpful and attentive. Loved the food just delicious. My curried rabbit was outstanding. We are excited to come again with family and friends. Thank you for a delicious evening.

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MF
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was excellent although a little pricey. I just wished that the noise level was a little lower. It was hard to hear my dinner partner.

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BL
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family absolutely loves this restaurant. The food is amazing and the service is even better. They make you feel like you are part of their family. I won’t eat Indian food anywhere but here!

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J
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Awesome modern interpretations of traditional Indian cuisine.

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P
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Always delicious. Need more front of the house staff.

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B
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another fabulous meal. We loved the food, the service and the experience. We invited our friends to come along who also loved the food. We are still talking about the food two days after we enjoyed the food. We had lamb, shrimp, eggplant and goat dishes, which were all delicious and memorable.

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OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Indian restaurant that has been in Irvine for 30 years. Has a wild game option and outstanding beer selection

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F
Orange County
33 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Even with a reservation, we still have to wait before someone realized that we are still waiting and standing around to be seated. Food is good but service is a little slow. Not sure if it is because Friday night and we are not their frequent guests for their restaurant. It appears that the larger group received much more attention than just 2 of us. I recommend the place because of the food quality, not their host service.

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DB
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great meal, imaginative (and delicious!) food, and the waiter (the son of the chef/owner) is knowledgeable, helpful and gracious. Can't wait to go back again!

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DW
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Clay Oven is not your typical Indian Restaurant. Led by Chef Geeta and Family, you will be greeted like a relative and experience the most innovative take on Indian Cuisine. Tandoor Avacado, Foie Gras Samosas, amazing Lamb dishes and more.
The wine list has a diverse selection, chosen by their own accredited Sommelier. This my favorite Indian Restaurant to date!

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A
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We order a tomahawk steak whenever we come up with any kind of excuses or occasions.

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DS
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, good service. One of our favorites!

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OT
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is truly my favorite restaurant in Orange County! All the food is amazing, everything is made with the finest ingredients and truly prepared with love. The warmth of the owners makes you feel instantly at home. It’s truly a special place!

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OT
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

We arrived and only one other set of diners were seated.
Located in an old shopping center in Irvine that is somewhat run down... restaurant was very clean, ambiance was ok... waiter was very pleasant. All items are served a la carte. If you order tandoori chicken, that’s what you get. No rice, no vegetable, no salad, no sauce , no naan bread, just a small piece of chicken on a plate.. for $21. By the time we ordered everything to make a meal, we did not feel it was a good value at all.
Food was tasty, but service was very slow, and overpriced given that it was located in a run down strip mall ....
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem paying a good amount for a nice meal in a nice dinner house...
but this was disappointing and very overpriced for what it was..

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JM
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our second time here, made a reservation as a special request from a family member visiting from the east coast. Comfortable, easy to talk and catch up, very good service and food!

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KL
Los Angeles
31 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Indian with a bit of a twist. For example a very interesting craft beer list and not usually found baby back ribs and okra. Lovely family run restaurant with easy parking.

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SG
Central Texas
22 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The high ratings on Open Table helped us choose this restaurant, being from out of town. This family run restaurant did not disappoint. The decor is elegant, the service attentive, the wine list adequate but the food is amazing. I would highly recommend the fish curry.

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SF
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

A - may- zing!!! Must have the Lamb kofta with tomato marsala. Yum! and an incredible beer selection.

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MD
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place. Great food & dessert.. Better than expected.

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F
Orange County
23 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 2

The food at Clay Oven is always wonderful but the last few times we have dined there it has been very slow to get food after ordering, more than 45 minutes after ordering. The other issue is smoke fumes in the dining room are overpowering. I’m hoping they can rectify this problem because the food is outstanding and the hospitality shown by the owners is excellent.

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NU
Orange County
31 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One if the best undiscovered gems in the OC restaurant scene. You will never be disappointed. Bone marrow tandoori....come on!

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TB
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first time to Clay Oven, and our expectations were completely met and then some. the service, food and overall experience was exceptional. I look forward to taking family and friends back so they can enjoy. My thanks to the staff and family as their service and hospitality couldn't have been any better. Cant wait to go back.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A unique dining experience- a different take on Indian food. There is game on the menu and we had the wild boar done in the tandoori oven and a sea bass in an excellent curry sauce with great spices. Excellent food. Wish the restaurant was closer to San Diego as would frequent more often.

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D
Orange County
45 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent all the way around... if there were more than 5 stars they still achieved whatever is the top rating...
Love this place!

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MB
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding flavors of India with a creative touch (game). This restaurant is one of the best I have ever visited. The host is a great gentleman. The food very flavorful and fresh. Prawns were tender and tasted fresh. Game was tasty. Sauces were perfect in flavor.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is an Upscale Indian dining. The best Indian food you can have. They grow their own peppers and use it for their sauces. They treated us like royalty. Wonderful night.

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h
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Father and son owners are wonderful. Food is amazing. We arrived 10 minutes late, the place was busy but our table was waiting for us. Price a little on the high side but worth it.

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EB
Orange County
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Wow! We weren't expecting spectacular and unique dishes from a small restaurant in an average strip center in Irvine. What a find. We can't wait to go back! Definitely worth the drive.

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OT
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had made reservations for a party of eight and when we arrived they were all ready for us. We ordered many appetizers and entrées for sharing and had a great time.

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G
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent place, great food. My go to place for Indian food when in OC.

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