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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Elephant Bar Irvine

Irvine, CA
14346 Culver Drive
(949) 651-6087

48 additional locations across the U.S.

The Elephant Bar is a casual dining theme restaurant. When you walk through the front doors, you are greeted by an almost life size elephant to your left. You are supposed to feel as if you are transported into a magical safari land. Pictures of wild animals and "safari" suitcases line the walls. Tacky? Yes. Fun? Maybe if you're a kid. I definitely don't come here for the decor. If I ever visit the Elephant Bar, it's because I am looking for a casual meal at an affordable price.

It just so happens that I was looking for an easy inexpensive meal last night. I met another couple at the Elephant Bar around 6:00, on a Wednesday and had no trouble getting seated right away. I've come here on the weekend before and experienced a long wait.

We were seated in a large comfortable booth. I started looking over the menu. The menu here has three main sections. The first and the most boring is the burgers and sandwich section. The second is their "Pacific Rim Specialties" which are all asian inspired dishes. The third section is called "Regional Favorites" and includes items such as fish, ribs, lamb and tri-tip.

After hemming and hawing for a long time, I finally decided to order the blackened catfish ($9.95). It was to be served with white rice and fresh sauteed vegetables. My wife decided to order the veggie burger ($6.95). The other couple we were with ordered the misoyaki grilled salmon ($14.50) and the macadamia nut crusted fish and chips ($8.95).

The service was pretty quick so we received our food right away. My fish was served with a sauce that seemed to be mayo based. It was flavored with so much cumin that it shocked me. The fish was dry, bland and I just didn't like it. The same could be said about the rice. The vegetables actually seemed like they were of the frozen variety and were just boiled and then tossed in some butter. The vegetables, sadly, were the high point of my meal.
Blackened Catfish

Overall this place wasn't horrible. The service was prompt and friendly. I think I just ordered the wrong thing. I have been to Elephant Bar before and enjoyed my food. My wife liked her garden burger, especially because of the guacamole on top. Bottom line: This is a place to get an average meal at a very reasonable price. Don't expect to get anything gourmet though.
Garden Burger

Misoyaki Salmon

Macadamia Nut Crusted Fish & Chips

Elephant Bar on Urbanspoon


ChristianZ said...

I've been a few times and I'm sure will go back some more. I kind of think of them as a Denny's with a safari veneer. Have had some average things and some really good things. Nothing flat out bad.

Griffin said...

Yeah Christian. This is the first time I have ever had anything really bad. I'm sure I'll return again. Denny's with a safari veneer is a really good way to describe this place though.

Anonymous said...

How was the salmon? It looks pretty good.

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