2497 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
Alternate OC Location:
(Known as The Auld Irisher)
1547 W. Katella #102
Orange, CA 92867
4 other locations in California, 4 more in other states
I went down to The Auld Dubliner (aka The Old Dubliner) in The District at Tustin Legacy last Saturday night. The Auld Dubliner is an Irish Pub and restaurant that I have heard some buzz about. I have heard that it can get pretty crowded. As I walked through the door at around 6:30 PM, I fully expected to find a packed restaurant and pub full of rowdy people. I even half hoped people would be standing around singing Irish drinking songs. Instead what I found was a mostly empty restaurant. (It might have also been extra empty due to all the fires this day.)
The sign inside the front door said "Seat Yourself." I looked around and tried to decide where to sit. An employee walked up and greeted me. I said "Hi...I'm supposed to seat myself right?" She says "No, I'll seat you. How many in your party?" I told her we had four people and she took us all the way to the back of the restaurant to a room that looked even more deserted than the front room. She sat us at a large booth with benches so far from the table that you almost had to sit on the very edge of your seat to reach the table. It was also very dark in this part of the restaurant, so I apologize for the extra crappy pictures.
I started looking at the appetizer section of the menu and decided that I wanted to order almost every appetizer that they offered. After talking it over with the waitress, I finally decided to order the Potato and Goat Cheese Crostinis ($7.95) and the Spicy Potatoes ($7.95) for the table to share.
I looked over the rest of the menu and realized I had a hard decision ahead of me. The menu has a wide selection of burgers, sandwiches, meats, soups, salads and "Traditional Irish Fayre" including an entire section of Irish Boxtys. After much consideration, I decided to go with the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage ($12.95). R thought that sounded good and he ordered the same. J decided to mix it up a little bit and ordered the Corned Beef Boxty ($12.95). V ordered the Vegetarian Boxty ($10.95).
The appetizers came out after only a few minutes. The Potato and Goat Cheese Crostinis consisted of sliced, boiled potatoes and goat cheese on top of garlic crostini. It was then topped off with basil pesto and olive tapenade. Everyone seemed to think these were pretty good. V thought that they had too much olive tapenade on them, but enjoyed eating the crostini with some arugala that also came on the plate. I didn't think they had too much olive tapenade, but I really like olive tapenade.
The spicy potatoes were small new potatoes that were deep fried and tossed in the Auld Dubliner spicy wing sauce. They were topped with crumbled bleu cheese and served with ranch dressing. These potatoes were interesting and oddly good. The hot sauce tasted kind of like a hot wing sauce with a slight but distinctive hint of curry. The potatoes also tasted boiled to me. I was wondering if they actually were boiled or if they did indeed deep fry them. If the potatoes were fried, I think they should start boiling them because it would probably taste the same and be a lot healthier.
Our entrees arrived a few minutes after our appetizers. I guess the kitchen was operating really fast since there weren't that many people in the restaurant. I looked at my meal and it looked delicious. I was hoping for more corned beef, but I'm a pig when it comes to corned beef. Every St. Patrick's Day I usually cook up and eat an entire corned beef by myself. Maybe that's why I keep gaining weight.......anyway..... I also received a quarter head of cabbage, sliced boiled carrots and a few boiled potatoes on my plate. The cabbage and the corned beef were drizzled with a traditional Irish cream sauce. Everything on my plate was really good. The corned beef was cut into thin, lean strips. The veggies on the plate were all perfectly boiled. The cream sauce was so good that I asked for an extra side of it. R really liked it too so we each poured more of it on to our food. The sauce was like a creamy, buttery yummy sauce with a slight hint of horseradish. R and I both agreed that we would order this meal again.
J took a bite of her Corned Beef Boxty and said that it tasted fruity. The corned beef boxty comes with an apple onion relish and is topped with swiss cheese and horseradish mayo. A boxty is a traditional Irish potato pancake that is stuffed with various things. It's kind of like an Irish version of a crepe. J said that despite the fruity flavor, she still liked her boxty.
V's boxty came filled with zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli and carrots. The veggies were cooked in a white wine lemon sauce. V enjoyed her boxty and said that the sauce was really good.
Overall everyone really enjoyed their food. Our waitress was friendly and knowledgeable. If she ever didn't know an answer to a question, she made sure to go ask someone so she didn't give us incorrect information. I asked her why the restaurant was so empty. She told us that since their live band doesn't start until 10:00 pm, people tend to come in later. She said that once the music starts, the place gets really crowded. This means that if you're looking for a restaurant without a wait, The Auld Dubliner is a great place to go around 6:00-8:00 pm no matter what the day is. I'm looking forward to going back to try more of their food.