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Did your group of 3 share all of these dishes?

I gotta say, visually there is not one dish up there that entices me.


I visited The Playground once and left completely underwhelmed. It totally reeked of a restaurant trying too hard while not actually executing anything well. If this restaurants was located in LA, they would still not be in business imho. I have zero desires to ever return.


Thanks for the update.

We stopped going about 2 years ago when the sodium level became too much.

I agree with the stagnant comment.

The tortilla looks like flower given the puffiness. Doesn’t appear to be corn based on the photo.

Good to see you doing some reports with photos.


To be fair I don’t think many Newport Beach folk would deal with the Playground. It’s impossible to get reservations and it’s a trek to big bad Santa Ana.

I don’t understand who the clientele is to be honest. I think the food has gone way downhill though.

i’ve never tasted the food at the playground, but the drinks were pretty good if you got the right barman.


It has 4 1/2 stars with over 2000 reviews on Yelp if you are curious enough to look at poster locations.

I actually enjoyed them when they first opened as were like a breath of fresh air for the OC area, however haven’t been for a while.

I completely agree about the oversalting comment; after a while, that is all you could taste. They also give off the usual hipster, too cool for school vibe, especially with their service.

Has anyone had any meals at 2.0, their “finer dining” cousin?

A very cursory search (I checked out like ten people’s locations) says that Playground customers come from all over. I saw some LA, some Fountain Valley, some Huntington, some Laguna, some Fullerton, some NorCal…

And then there is this news from the OC Register about his other projects: Food hall shake up? Playground’s Jason Quinn closing three 4th Street Market food stands; four new restaurants coming – Orange County Register

I’ve been here a few times and have enjoyed our meals here significantly more than the regular Playground. Chef Quinn and his right hand man Mark have cooked every meal for us at 2.0. This must make a difference in quality. Haven’t had any issues with over salting over at 2.0. Since finding 2.0 we haven’t been back to Playground and after some of these comments not sure that we would want to “downgrade”.

I do agree that plating isn’t necessarily the most elegant but I don’t put a lot of weight into optics so long as the food looks edible and isn’t all brown/grey goopy looking crap.

Thanks. Some of the themes look interesting.

My 2.0 dinner was so much better than playground they should rename it 3.0.

Dammit. Not happy to read this considering we’re headed there tomorrow. Guess now I know why they have free corkage. That russian salad would have made this russian throw it off the wall (in my head)…

Quick, someone tell me a better restaurant around Santa Ana (and dont say Vaca)

is it a good idea for a group with a couple of kids who show up with a serious buzz already? not really into swirls etc. we may need to just keep to the reservation and make the best of it huh