I feel strange typing the words “delicious food” and “dog” in the same sentence but when you consider that the Lazy Dog Cafe embraces both you find that it really isn’t a strange combination at all.
We all know clearly that I am a cat person. I have never had a dog (what can I say I came from a cat lovin family who watched a lot of Garfield). But I love meeting new dogs, I have learned they are extremely responsive, loving and amazingly forgiving not words I often use to describe my bipolar cat. I can see why people want to bring their pooches to the LDC patio.
Actually my first experience at the Lazy Dog Cafe was a year ago when I was invited by Kendel (my friend and owner of Studio 3 Pilates) to a GNO at the Orange location (dogs optional but Weebee did get an invite). Honestly I was a little hesitant being the newbie in the group and I just didn’t get the whole dog/restaurant thing… I mean wouldn’t Buster be just as happy at home? Well I was wrong, the two mixed beautifully and I almost wished I had a dog just to bring with (almost).
Last night I attended the OC Blog Crush event at the Lazy Dog Cafe right down the street from me in Tustin. This was one of my favorite Blog Crush events this year. Getting to meet the chef-partner Gabriel Caliendo and sample a few items from their eclectic menu was just what the doc ordered.
The Lazy Dog cafe was started in 2003 by founder Thomas Simms with the help of his son and chef-partner Gabriel Caliendo, former Executive Sous Chef at the Ritz Carlton. Lazy Dog Cafe is a family friendly restaurant that has a menu with influences from Italy, South America, China, France, and of classic Americana. Full bar and a selection of over 16 draft beers coupled with high definition plasma televisions makes this a great place to watch our beloved Angels or Ducks! The patio serves the full lunch and dinner menu and favorite four legged friend are always welcomed.
I started with the hand muddled Strawberry-Basil Mojito (strawberry, basil, mint, lime juice, Bacardi Limon rum and sugarcane syrup)
sampled a few of their dishes…
MAGGIE’S SNAKE RIVER
Everything my “ideal” salad should include (Mixed greens, hickory-smoked bacon, Laura Chenel goat cheese, dried cranberries and candied walnuts tossed in Balsamic Vinaigrette and topped with diced tomato)… I could live on this alone.
Peas, carrots, egg and all the goodies. Something for everyone I bet this goes great with their Kung Pao.
SPICY MOROCCAN CHICKEN & COUS COUS
A boneless breast of chicken sautéed with eggplant in a Traditional Harissa sauce and set atop a bed of flavorful mint couscous – NOT FOR THE TIMID… if you like HEAT you will LOVE this dish! After one bite I ordered a Lazy Dog Honey Blonde to put out the fire… ahhhhh
KERI’S MEDITERRANEAN FLATBREAD
Our signature grilled flatbread with roasted veggies, exotic mushrooms, caramelized onions, Laurel Chenel goat cheese and a Balsamic Vinegar drizzle. <– I LOVED this dish again all my favorite flavors perfectly balanced with crispy crust…. heaven.
I heard the Shrimp Stuffed Quesadilla (or Case-a-dilla as we call in in our house thanks to Napoleon Dynamite) was mouth watering, ironically I was little late to the event because I was still cooking Shrimp Tacos at home. I’m sure my taqueria scent preceded my entrance.
Marcy (co-founder of the OC BlogCrush) interviewing chef Gabriel you can see the WHRRL story here and the interview here.
OC Bloggers Pricilla of She’s Cookin
and a BIG ol’ Happy Friendaversary Ms. Kathrasher of Kathleen’sSugar&Spice – you realize we met at a Lazy Dog Cafe one year ago! MWAH!
Can’t wait to go back and try the Wok-fired Calamari or Trio of Hummus Dips honestly there are so many choices I don’t know where to begin. I’m so happy that the Lazy Dog Café has called this new spot home, the track record for that location did not bode well for French 75, Wilhelm’s Chophouse or SensAsian but I have a feeling a menu with over e build-your-own pizzas for kids or the dessert served in a dog bowl is a sure way to keep them coming back. Thank you Lazy Dog Cafe and Frank Groff Inc. for hosting a fun evening.
13290 Jamboree Rd
Irvine CA 92602
Ph. (714) 731-9700
Map: Click Here
In a hurry? They have prime front row spots reserved for Curbside Service – just order online and your dinner will be waiting for you!
I was not compensated for this post Lazy Dog Cafe provided samples from their menu for the OC Bloggers to try with absolutely no obligation to do nothing more than enjoy it.