Sunday, June 6, 2010

Taking Paws at the Lazy Dog Cafe

Lazy Dog Cafe
13290 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92602

Lazy Dog Cafe has gotten a lot of buzz from the on-line community the last six months. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Lazy Dog is always in the top five most searched restaurants on Urbanspoon, and has been reviewed on numerous Orange County food blogs in the past few months. Not wanting to be left out, my parents and Katie went to sample the Lazy Dog on a Sunday afternoon.

Lazy Dog opened for business in 2003, and was started by the founder of Mimi's Cafe, Thomas Simms, and his son. They have grown to seven locations and have three in Orange County. The vibe here is a cross between Elephant Bar and Claim Jumper. Their menu is a little bit of everything from around the world. Pasta dishes, Asian favorites and traditional American faire dot the extensive menu.  Let's see if the Lazy Dog, is a top dog, (okay I promise I will not throw too many horrible puns out here).

Our first appetizer was the Parmesan Zucchini Fries. These were breaded well and were not too greasy. You could even still taste the zucchini, which is sometimes rare when ordering fried zucchini out. This was also a pretty good sized portion for the $7.45 price tag.

The appetizer above was on the house. When you tell them that you have never been to Lazy Dog before, they give you this Grilled Garlic Flatbread. A very nice touch. I thought that this was just okay. It did not have lots of garlic flavor, and was a little dry, but it was free and that is a dog gone good deal, (sorry I tried to slip that one in there).

My Mom got the Walnut Chicken Salad Sandwich. This is not your normal chicken salad sandwich, it has walnuts, cranberries, red onion and celery, with a curry mayonnaise. Very flavorful and it really tasted fresh. The fries were good and hot also.

The BBQ Beef Sandwich was my Dad's choice for dinner. Beef, caramelized onions, BBQ sauce, and cheddar cheese combined to make this very good sandwich. I normally do not like cheese on barbeque sandwiches, but the cheese did not distract from this. The meat was cooked well and the sauce had a good smoky flavor. Instead of fries Pop went with the Asian Slaw. I thought this was just okay, nothing too special. 

This colorful looking plate belonged to Katie. She got the Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta. This entree featured chicken breast, mushrooms, broccoli and onions. Very flavorful dish, and my personal favorite of the night. This really had a lot of flavor and really popped when red pepper flakes were added. The chicken in this was one of the most tender I have had in recent times in a restaurant. I was very happy Katie did not finish this, so I could have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Lastly, was my meal. I had the Bacon Wrapped Coulotte Steak. The Coulotte steak is a small boneless steak cut from the sirloin. They wrapped this 8 ounce steak in bacon with a Burgundy wine sauce. Very tasty steak. It was cooked medium rare and they got it right. This was served with mashed potatoes and confetti vegetables. I liked the mashed potatoes, but the confetti vegetables were odd. They were long strands of vegetables, the size of spaghetti noodles. I would have much rather just had regular veggies.

The consensus choice for dessert was the Banana Custard and Cream. This was a very good dessert. Bananas folded into house made custard, served on top of homemade graham crackers, served with chocolate and raspberry sauces. A real bargain here at $3.95. 

Lazy Dog was all that it was cracked up to be. The food was good, prices were reasonable and they have a good variety on their menu. I saw at least three things that I would like to try on future visits.  Our server however had no personality. The management team here made up for our server's lack of friendliness. They all came over and talked to us, and asked how we liked the place. Very good people there.

Out of five flea collars, five being best to zero being worst, Lazy Dog Cafe gets 3.5 flea collars.

For more information on Lazy Dog Cafe, click here:

Lazy Dog Cafe (Irvine) on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I agree about Lazy Dog, thanks for the info on the founders. Shirley and I have been to the one on Katella, and liked it, and will be back, though on our budget we have been cut back on trips out.

    I appreciate Dan's cooking suggestions on his blog on that count.