Love this place. I have been going here for 25 years. It was at South Coast Plaza prior to Westminster. They are one of the very few restaurants that still flambe at the table. It is a wonderful experience. I order the sweetbreads everytime I go. They are incredible!! The coffee Diablo is to die for. I love the fact that it is a splash from the past that never never gets old . The only one thing that I wish they would change is the rolls. They need to improve on them. Other wise it is my favorite place to go for any special occassion or just out for a wonderful dinner for no reason at all.
GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE-OVER RATED & OVER PRICED FOOD. Always looking for a new restaurant to enjoy, we chose Riviera at the Fireside for a party of 10 to celebrate my wife's birthday. First, Scott was one of the most enjoyable, courteous, informational, patient and humorous waiters that we have ever had. That was the highlight of the night. If you are dining here, I would recommend requesting his service. The menu actually has a very good variety of selections not found in many restaurants. Unfortunately, the taste and the quality of the food dropped off significantly from there. The table appetizers were very weak with common crackers and average bread. The salads were actualy quite good, especially the Italian Tomato and Spinach Salad. The entrees were quite basic and seemed to have too much butter and/or grease and were definitely not the quality of $25-35 meals found at other restaurants. The over head music was appropriate and quite pleasing. The deocor was an interesting change. The retaurant was easy to find and parking was also very good.
COQ AU VIN.
I went to the Fireside only to have the coq au vin -- since there seem to be fewer and fewer French restaurants in the LA area and few serve this dish. I have had this dish many times in France, as well as its being prepared by my cook.
It was very poor. Of course one can hardly ruin chicken; but the sauce was weak and what was used with the weak wine was tasteless.
My friend had the same thing, for the same reason, and agreed with me.
The preliminary plate of pate and assorted marinated veggies was outstanding.
Just don't order coq au vin.
"Vintage" dining in a restaurant that time forgot..
We may have entered the 21st century, but at this Orange County restaurant, the calendar seems to have stopped in 1975. If there were such a thing as "vintage" dining, this could be it: dark burgundy leather and heavy polished wood in a windowless, low-lit room create a hushed formality that sets the stage for a steak-and-martini crowd.
French-inspired classics like frogs' legs, steak Diane and cherries jubilee are prepared faithfully, but without much finesse. While there are a few standouts--a tortellini appetizer arrives with a delightfully delicate and wonderfully aromatic cream sauce--one gets the sense that the kitchen is simply going through the motions, relying on the novelty of its hard-to-find-elsewhere menu items than on actual culinary skill. The wine list is surprisingly adventurous, though, and the old-fashioned, genteel service can be charming.
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