Bar Review: Manhattan Steak and Seafood: Updated

I am very sad to let you know that the Manhattan Steak & Seafood is no longer in business.



Manhattan closed some time ago and I had been hoping that a new owner would appear and re-open this fine local steakhouse.  Unfortunately that has not happened.  I believe his hidden gem suffered form severe lack of exposure coupled with a rather odd location.

In the first case the owners, in my opinion, never adequately advertised this wonderful comfortable restaurant.  Given it’s proximity to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), I would have thought there would be a continuous stream of medical professionals stopping by for lunch and after work refreshments.  But apparently the management there did not pursue this obvious opportunity.

The second failing was not really the owners fault.  While easy to get to and with ample parking, Manhattan Steak & Seafood is located on a rather pedestrian and uninspired main street surrounded by a seemingly never ending collection of small strip malls.

I will miss the Manhattan Steak & Seafood.



Below is my original comments for reference:


One of my favorite local places to have a drink is Manhattan Steak and Seafood.  Located in a rather obscure part of the city of Orange, in Orange Co., CA, it is a great hidden gem well off the beaten path.  The food is excellent, the staff is awesome, and the ambiance is comfortable and classy.

But this is a Martini Blog.  In short the Martinis are really quite good.  But just not quite great.  On the plus side the drinks are generous and nicely mixed.  And always served with a smile.  On the down side the drinks are not as chilled as I would like, probably because the stems are not pre-frozen.  Or even chilled in the refrigerator.

So Manhattan gets a single Martini.  Martini Glass Upright

However, the restaurant is definitely worth going a bit our of your way to find.

Bar Review: Orange Hill Restaurant, Orange, CA

Opening in 1958, Orange Hill Restaurant is a bit off the beaten track in the residential city of Orange, in the county of Orange, California.  There is nothing exceptionally noteworthy about the restaurant, certainly not a Michelin starred restaurant; it is not world renown, or even nationally renown, for it’s food.

But, OMG, the view!!!!

Located up a hill in the middle of Orange County with an outside patio that stretches 180 degrees around the facility, the view stretches from the north west to the south east and on a clear day you can see the Los Angeles skyline, south through Long Beach, and down to Newport Beach and Irvine.

But back to the restaurant: my Michelin comments above notwithstanding, the food is really good.  Their tag line is “Prime Steaks and Primo Views” which is absolutely apt.  But their selection is more than just steak; their specialties on this day include Miso-marinated Chilean Sea Bass, Truffle Lobster Baked Mac & Cheese, Seared Ora King Salmon Cioppino, and others.  Their Entrees today include Chateaubriand for Two, House-Cut Kurobuta Pork Chop , USDA Prime Rib-eye Steak, and several other steak selections.  And of course the appropriate selection of accompanying sauces, sides, and enhancements.  While I haven’t yet sampled all of their selections, what I have sampled was excellent.

The staff was great, very helpful and attentive without being overbearing.  The decor was comfortable and clean, very basic modern American, and definitely not over crowded with close tables and tight walk spaced.  The restaurant and lounge both have an abundance of windows to enjoy the view but the outside patio I mentioned is a much better place to sit, relax, and eat.  There are plenty of heat lamps around for those chilly southern California evenings.

It is marvelous in it’s view and casual relaxed atmosphere with excellent food.  I will definitely go back.

As far as the Martini’s go, they do a fine job, nothing spectacular or otherwise noteworthy, but just fine.  My Martini was nicely shaken, adequately abundant, and served in a pre-chilled refrigerated stem.  And their selection of Gins is also fine, actually just a bit less than fine (see list below) considering their upscale efforts elsewhere.  They appear more interested in their wine selection; they are a 2011 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner.   And their selection of whiskeys is more than adequate with a very good Japanese selection.

Overall a very good restaurant that sadly seems to get lost in the abundance of very good restaurants in the Los Angeles / Orange County area.  Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.


A couple words of advice.
First, get there early as there’s only one narrow winding road up the mountain and it gets backed up waiting for the valet.  There is no self parking.
Second, as with many restaurants with spectacular view, the food and drinks are a bit pricey; $16.oo for my Martini.


Overall Orange Hill gets one stem. 
As I mentioned above, their Martinis are fine.   Certainly not exceptional in anyway to earn my two stem award.  However, the food and view are truly worth a visit.


For Gin selection Orange Hill gets a C.
Their list of Gins includes Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Hendricks, Nolets, Botanist, Broker’s, and St. George Terrior.
These may change in time, of course.


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For those inclined to visit The Orange Hill website for additional information:


If you’re curious about what one vs. two stems means,
I refer you to the following:
*****   Rating Definitions   ****