Best in OC - really.
After a nice stroll on San Clemente Pier we happened on this elegant little restaurant by chance. What a great find - warm comfortable surroundings, a great view and charming staff. The place is owned by a couple she is the hostess and she sparkles around the room - he is the chef and boy what a treat. Each dish is carefully prepared (we have already been back twice with friends !) and the menu changes every two months and so does the art. We started with a Tapas of smoked scallop with a basil oil, conch fritters and a red chili dip and roasted imported chorizo - fantastic - washed down with an inexpensive rioja. It was served with home baked ficcaccia and a rosemary olive oil and balsamic. After tapas we were surprised with a small taste of fennel and corn soup - then the entrees I was not feeling adventurous and had a Chargrilled Fillet Mignon with Bearnaise - the best steak I have had in my 20 years in the OC !! My wife had the Roasted Sea Bass serevd on a Tomato and Olive concass a great combination topped with crispy parma ham - she absolutely adored it - fresh tasty moist and perfection. We sampled three desserts each fantastic and each only $4 - yes $4. We have been back since and continue to discover both the wine and the dinner menus - what a treat and not overpriced. The only drawback is my wife won't let me go every week !! Oh it has a fantastic salt water aquarium with a shark and manta rays - amazing !
I read the other reviews and although they were dated two were on the money but vrsmith must have been on the wrong planet - I can't wait for the next menu ! Also I feel that the food was more ecclectic than just mediteranean - certainly not a sign of it having an English pub vibe which is very misleading.
Really very very Good. I was so mad when I read the previous review I just had to sign up and voice my opinion. I frequent this little restaurant by the sea and they do a superb job. The receptionist is for the hotel above and not linked to the restaurant so the reviewer vssmith got off to a bad start. This place got best new restaurant in OC from this website and provides superb food in a town not well know for great dining. The variety of dishes from around the world is amazing and the menu seems to change every 8 weeks. It is not an "English Pub Vibe" the decor is elegant with local artists showing their work. There is a sea view and a heated patio. Don't listen to smithy !! Try for yourself - my wife and I have introduced a lot of peple to this restaurant and they love it !!
The receptionist hardly noticed when we walked in - and chatted incessantly on her phone. Obviously, this would not be a problem if I were at McDonalds, but considering that this is a nice restaurant.... The restaurant is very small - there was a huge dining party that night, who were really loud, and because the restaurant was so small, it was really loud and awful. All of this would have been acceptable had the food tasted any where near decent. The fish was dry, and the duck dry and tasteless to boot. The food served was as if it had been sitting from lunch, then microwaved for us for dinner. I would not go there again, or recommend this place, given that I had to drive quite a ways to get to it. Reading the other reviews, it seems as if the quality of the dining experience is highly variable; thereofre, I would not venture out to The White Horses for a special occasion because who knows what to expect. It is a mark of a great restaurant to consistently provide high quality service and food and this restaurant does neither.
That said, the restaurant was decorated nicely and reasonably priced. In terms of the wide variety of exceptional restaurants to eat in the OC, however, The White Horses would be at the bottom of my list and should be at the bottom of any discerning foodie.
Please note that I am just describing the experience as it was.
fantastic. what a great place - great location - great decor- and food and art that varies evry two months. We ate there and throughly enjoyed ourselves - the hostess Elaine from Scotland was charming and the food was great - no lack of choice - I recommend this restaurant to anyone who likes good food !
An English pub vibe married with a true SoCal location and an inventive, foodie's delight menu..
Named after the foam on top of crashing waves and located just below the Casa Tropicana Bed & Breakfast on the beachy boardwalk next to San Clemente pier, one might not expect the experimental global menu at this British-owned gem. The bifurcated menu is part rotating masterpieces, updating every six weeks, part grill menu that consistently has six meats with near-infinite sauce choices. Recent entrees were coffee and black-pepper crusted venison and roasted quail stuffed with pistachios and dried apricots.
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