Dining With Dad

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“Did you know that June 19 is Father’s Day?” I asked Stasha. “Where are you taking your dad to dinner?”

“I really have no idea, that’s still a couple of weeks away,” she returned.

“True, but some restaurants do get busy on Father’s Day, so it doesn’t hurt to make a reservation.”

“When I figure out what my father wants to do Chris, I promise to make a reservation,” Stasha replied hesitantly. “But I’m going to go out on a limb here—I assume this conversation stems from research you’ve done that you’re excited to share. Do you have some Father’s Day dining suggestions for me?”

“For us,” I smiled. “Since my dad is no longer around, I was hoping I could borrow your dad for a few hours on Father’s Day.”

“That’s very nice of you to offer, Chris. He might not be in town, but it can’t hurt to be prepared in advance for any eventuality. So what do you suggest?”

“Well, I know my dad would have loved the Newport Dunes Barbecue,” I told her. “There will be a BBQ lunch, horseshoe and volleyball tournaments, live entertainment, and a BBQ competition with a $500 cash prize. My dad probably would have grilled some Polish sausage.”

“Sounds fun, but what if my father prefers something a little less casual?”

“Well, how about this: a BBQ on the Palm Terrace Patio at The Island Hotel from 5 to 9 p.m. It’s a buffet, and what dad doesn’t like a buffet? They have Grilled Beef Short Ribs, Garlic & Herb Grilled Chicken Skewers, Harissa-Marinated & Grilled Swordfish, Corn-on-the-Cob, and a slew of desserts . And it’s only $34 per person.”

“Hmmm—that sounds really good. What else ya got for me?”

“Remember how much your dad loved the holiday dinner at The Ritz last December?”

“He wasn’t the only one who loved it—their Carousel appetizer is incredible!” stated Stasha. “Don’t tell me they’re doing a Father’s Day dinner?”

“I just looked at the menu on the website, and it’s pretty impressive. It’s a three-course brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that includes a complimentary Bloody Mary or Mimosa, live music, and some amazing appetizers such as rock shrimp gazpacho laced with tequila, and a combination seafood cocktail with lobster, crab, and shrimp.”

“And they’ve got a variety of entrées,” noted Stasha as she perused the website. “Let’s see–roasted prime rib of beef, barbeque chicken, baby back ribs, barbeque chicken, prime sirloin steak…”

“Here’s another one my dad would have liked: Hornblower Cruises has a Dad’s Day Beer Brunch cruise from noon to 2 p.m. with a brunch buffet, free-flowing beer and champagne, and live music.”

“Chris, that sounds like a fantastic brunch, but I doubt my father will be interested in a cruise. Let’s stick to restaurants on terra firma, shall we?”

“Oh, right! I forgot your dad lives on his sailboat.  The Hornblower Cruise is definitely for landlubbers, like me.”

I perused my notes for more options.

“Wait, here’s one,” I said. “Fleming’s in Fashion Island has a great Father’s Day deal—if you dine there for Father’s Day, your dad gets a $25 gift card for a future dinner at Fleming’s.”

“Now that’s a good deal,” agreed Stasha.

“But wait—there’s more,” I continued. “First Cabin at Balboa Bay Club has a three-course à la carte brunch, The Cannery has a Father’s Day clam bake, JackShrimp has some great new summertime dishes in time for Father’s Day…”

“What a selection,” interrupted Stasha. “There’s no shortage of restaurants offering something special for every dad. But since this is for Father’s Day, let me ask my father where he wants to dine.”

“Fair enough,” I agreed. “There are enough options to appeal to whatever style of dining suits his taste, and his taste buds.”


We had a tasty late night dining experience last year at SOL Cocina – a unique restaurant and bar that celebrates traditional Baja cuisine with a fresh, modern interpretation – and have wanted to make a return visit for lunch. Now we have the perfect excuse: a new lunch program designed to reward guests with some of OC’s best Mexican cuisine compliments of SOL.

After six visits to SOL Cocina for lunch Monday through Friday, guests will be treated to Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s signature fare on their seventh weekday lunch visit.
“It’s our way of saying thank you to the many guests who join us for lunch during the week,” commented Matt Baumayr, general manager of SOL Mexican Cocina. “It’s a straightforward, simple program. Join us for lunch six times and the seventh one’s on us.”
When you dine at SOL, you’re receive a rewards card that will be stamped by your server at the conclusion of your meal (valid during lunch Monday through Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. with a minimum food purchase of $12.50). Bring the card back on your seventh visit for a complimentary lunch.

To view menus or make reservations visit www.solcocina.com.


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