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 ****