Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Haven Gastropub – Orange, CA

Haven is a small jewel off the edge of the Orange Circle in downtown Orange. As the name indicates, Haven is a ‘gastropub’ style restaurant serving higher end food and beer, including around a dozen or so unique tapped beers that are consistently swapped out. If trying new beers is your thing, you can’t go wrong with Haven…I would say I’m fairly familiar with beers, but Haven always has choices I’ve never heard of, let alone tried. The food is equally unique and delicious.

Atmosphere at Haven is on the upscale side, but don’t be nervous about showing up in shorts and flip-flops….thanks to the bar, it still has a casual vibe. True to the gastropub/European style, Haven’s atmosphere encourages socializing with your neighbors!

For this latest visit, I was shopping around the Orange Circle on a Friday afternoon and stopped in for a beer. I plunked myself down at the bar and ordered a pint from the friendly bartender. Prices tend to be on the higher side, so I figured I could enjoy my beer and eat elsewhere. Luckily, it struck me to check into the restaurant on Yelp, which immediately presented me with 50% off an appetizer, which I was more than happy to claim (pro tip). I ordered the Roasted Spaghetti, which is basically spaghetti squash (in spaghetti-like strands) with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. Honestly, this is one of my favorite vegetarian meals on the planet, so I highly recommend trying it.

I didn’t feel rushed, so I spent the next hour or so watching ESPN on the various flat screen TVs behind the bar. My total out the door with the meal (with coupon), one beer, tax, and tip came out to under $15.

Parking in the area is usually fairly easy to find unless it’s late Saturday night or a big event is going on. The parking area is located just behind Haven (you can walk through an alleyway between buildings to get to the restaurant), or you can usually find ample parking in the nearby neighborhoods. As a courtesy, I prefer to avoid parking in neighborhoods, since no one wants to live in a parking lot, but I’m sure area residents are used to the area being busy (so park guilt free).

The nice thing about Haven is after you’re done eating or drinking, you have the opportunity to browse the area which is full of cafes, antique shops, bars, restaurants, and other interesting establishments. Many of these have just as much character as Haven!

Brian’s Rating: “One of my personal favorites, but expensive for dinner!”

Yelp:  http://www.yelp.com/biz/haven-gastropub-orange
Haven Website:  http://www.havengastropub.com/

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