(credit: Montage Laguna Beach)

(credit: Montage Laguna Beach)


Having been coined the California Riviera, it is no wonder the finest chefs in the Southland call Orange County home. And it only stands to reason that fine dining also comes with a hefty price in these parts. However, should you actually be able to score a highly sought after reservation at one of Orange County’s Most Expensive Restaurants, you can certainly expect to get what you pay for. Whether you are in the mood for contemporary California cuisine, traditional Italian, modern French or mouth-watering prime steaks and seafood, you can count on farm fresh flavors as the chefs creatively prepare seasonally organic dishes with the help of ingredients direct from local artisans and purveyors.

(credit: The Resort at Pelican Hill)

(credit: The Resort at Pelican Hill)


Andrea at Pelican Hill
22701 S Pelican Hill Rd
Newport Coast, CA 92657
(949) 467-6800
www.andreanb.com

Those in search of authentic Northern Italian cuisine in Orange County can go no farther than Andrea in Newport Coast. This elegant, fine-dining restaurant inside The Resort at Pelican Hill boasts an extensive selection of impressive Italian wines to go along with dinner, and expansive views of the Pacific Ocean from along the terrace. “Made by love, made by hand,” the 17 different varieties of pasta are cut, rolled and shaped in-house daily by its very own “Pastaia” or pasta chef, Julia Holland, while the traditional risotto (our favorite being the 7-year aged Acquerello Risotto with forest mushrooms,) served tableside allows you to properly “savour an epicurean experience.”

(credit: Chad A./Yelp)

(credit: Chad A./Yelp)

Club 33
1313 S. Harbor Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 300-7747
www.disneyland.com

Situated in the heart of Disneyland, high above the New Orleans Square, is a nondescript door leading to Walt Disney’s recently renovated, members-only haunt Club 33. Only a chosen few will ever have the chance to dine at this uber-exclusive club, and those interested in becoming members will have to add their names to a 10-year wait list. However, should the opportunity ever presents itself, be sure to jump all over it. Chef Andrew Sutton (of Napa Rose and Carthay Circle,) has brought his California-inspired style to Club 33’s tasting menus for lunch and dinner. The private club (high on the bucket list of many foodies and Disneyphiles,) also offers an impressive three-course children’s menu, and an a la carte all-day menu featuring: Bourbon Street Blue Crab Cocktail, Southern Charcuterie Plate, Grilled Peach Salad and Angus Beef Sliders served with Melted Big John Cajon Cheese.

(credit: ENO)

(credit: ENO)


enoSTEAK
1 Ritz Carlton Dr
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-2000
www.enowinerooms.com

One of California’s premier steakhouses is right here in Dana Point at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. With a menu strategically developed around Niman Ranch prime beef, all steaks are “from prime and grass-fed, pasture-raised beef.” enoSTEAK takes pride in offering the highest quality ingredients possible, and everything is sourced from farms within 150 miles from the resort. The menu changes seasonally, and showcases artisanal cheeses, and locally grown organic produce to pair with an impressive selection of fine wines. The mouth-watering selection of “five signature compound butters including black summer truffle, roasted heirloom tomato, garden herb and garlic,” is a favorite among returning guests, and is made available to enhance the already delicious handcrafted meats and seafoods.

(credit: FIG & OLIVE)

(credit: FIG & OLIVE)


FIG & OLIVE
151 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA
(949) 877-3005
www.figandolive.com

After a long day of shopping at Fashion Island, there is only one place to gather your bags and trade battle stories about the shoe department at Neiman Marcus: FIG & OLIVE. Beyond the exotic cars parked at the entrance, there is a Mediterranean oasis where the beautiful people go to break flatbreads and crostinis. A place where olive oil reigns supreme, and shopping sprees are celebrated with one of Chef Lorange’s many tasting plates featured on the aperitivo menu. But FIG & OLIVE isn’t just for ladies who lunch, it is also the top spot for power lunches among the elite of Orange County. So whether you’re discussing a huge acquisition and merger over the tasting menu or the latest O.C. Housewife scandal during happy hour, FIG & OLIVE is without a doubt the place to see and be seen.

(credit: Mastro’s Restaurants)

(credit: Mastro’s Restaurants)


Mastro’s Ocean Club
8112 East Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA
(949) 376-6990
www.mastrosrestaurants.com

Another crowd pleaser high on the list of OC’s Most Expensive Restaurants is Mastro’s Ocean Club. Featuring prime steaks and fresh seafood with amazing views, diners can enjoy live music and dancing while taking in the Pacific’s majestic sunsets on the Lighthouse Patio. Known for “Creating ‘Guests for Life’ that are loyal to the Mastro’s brand,” the restaurant takes this promise seriously and prides itself on creating the finest dining experience possible. The modern day supper club by the beach, goes well beyond the typical “steaks & chops” joint focusing on fresh seafood. It’s sophisticated sushi selection has been developed exclusively for Mastro’s Steakhouse by Chef Angel Carbajal of Nick-San Cabo San Lucas, and guests to travel the Southland coast specifically to enjoy one of Mastro’s signature Seafood Towers overflowing with chilled shellfish.

(credit: The Playground)

(credit: The Playground)


Playground 2.0
220 E 4th St
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 560-4444
www.playgrounddtsa.com

First rule of Playground 2.0? Don’t ask to be invited to Playground 2.0. This intimate 17-seat “culinary theater” is where diners are treated to everything from nightly chef changes, pop-ups and guest chefs to cooking classes, themed dinners and special “invitation only” tasting menus. In fact, these By Invitation-Only dinners are taken so seriously that they’ve outlined the steps How To Get Invited? directly on the restaurant’s website. Considered the Golden Ticket of Orange County, one could only hope to be extended the invitation to “Trust: Dudes Cooking Like Dudes,” a celebration of beer, meat and down home food; or “BFF Dinner aka Cordial Work Associates,” where dueling chefs select three primary ingredients of the other’s respective dishes. Both are bound to be a culinary fête overflowing with greatness.

(credit: Marché Moderne)

(credit: Marché Moderne)


Marché Moderne
3333 Bristol St #3001
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 434-7900
www.marchemoderne.net

Beyond the crowded halls of South Coast Plaza, on the Penthouse floor, is a wonderful secret. For those in the know, an intimate restaurant for only the most sophisticated palates awaits as you make your way to the top floor. Welcome to Marché Moderne, the chic French bistro popular for its “classic entrees and inventive small plates.” Whether it be for an extended lunch, or romantic dinner, Marché Moderne is the place to enjoy “artisan-made cheese and charcuterie plates, along with moules frites, steak frites l’echalote, cold foie gras torchon and oysters du jour.” For those looking to satisfy a sweet tooth can do so with the Financier “Poire” consisting of salted caramel, Bartlett compote spices and pecan brittle gelato with a blood orange gelee.

(credit: Michael Mina Restaurants)

(credit: Michael Mina Restaurants)


Stonehill Tavern
1 Monarch Beach Resort N
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 234-3200
www.michaelmina.net

Under the helm of Executive Chef Raj Dixit, modern American cuisine has never tasted so wonderful. Inside Michael Mina’s Forbes Four-Star restaurant, Stonehill Tavern, at St. Regis Monarch Beach, you can expect to experience excellence first hand. Guests return raving about the stand-out signature dishes which include: Morro Bay Black Cod with Laughing Bird Shrimp, Painted Hills Beef Filet Mignon with Delta Asparagus and Michael Mina’s classic Whole Fried Jidori Chicken for Two. After a proper meal of “seasonal ingredients and elegant tavern fare with twists on home-style favorites,” don’t be surprised should you find yourself placing your next Stonehill Tavern reservation even before you have had a chance to check out the dessert menu.

(credit: Montage Hotels)

(credit: Montage Hotels)


Studio
30801 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-6420
www.montagehotels.com

eThe Craftsman-style restaurant nestled at the edge of the Pacific Ocean is home to Studio at Montage Laguna Beach. Blending modern French cuisine with California influences, Studio “pairs classic European technique with the best offerings from the region’s fertile valleys, ranches, orchards, farms and ocean waters.” One of the most notable experiences Studio has to offers is an evening of private dining at the Chef’s Table with an exclusive view of the kitchen while in progress. This multi-course menu includes: Hamachi Sashimi and Caviar; Brandade In Kataifi; Hand Rolled Pasta and Truffles; Kobe Beef and Lobster; Jasper Hill Harbison; and Date Ginger Souffle with a personalized selection of wine and spirits.

Nicole Standley a.k.a. JetSet Mom, is a social influencer + lifestylist covering luxury travel, fine-dining, fashion & pop culture for The JetSet Family. Follow her latest travels and escapades on Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.