Saturday, December 15, 2007

Jason's Downtown Restaurant

I recently had the opportunity to visit Jason’s Downtown Restaurant & Wine Cellar, located directly across from the Ronald Regan Federal Building in downtown Santa Ana.

This area of downtown Santa Ana is one of my more favorites with traditional brick stone buildings lining the somber streets. In any other city, this block would be "off the hook" after hours, being a hip restaurant row full of live music and great eats. But this is Santa Ana, who am I kidding?

For my late lunch, I started out with the Southwest Seasoned Quesadilla with Grilled Jerk Chicken; which was fantastic in jump-starting my tired taste buds after a week of eating leftover pizza. The mango salsa that accompanied the dish was a light and zesty addition.

Next up was the Turkey Club Panini with Applewood Smoked Bacon and mozzarella cheese. The rich flavor of the panini resulted in a "scarfing down" that would even impress the likes of Takeru Kobayashi.

When the holiday luncheon wrapped up, I got a chance to chitchat with restaurant owner Jason Kordas. He regaled me with stories of his earlier years growing up in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and his late-night trips where he “borrowed” his parent’s car to drive downtown, finding his way to swanky Jazz clubs located within The Village.

Jason’s love for the hip vibe found within those Jazz clubs is reflected in the “sophisticated-casual” atmosphere within his own restaurant. Out front is a large, string-light lit patio, with heat lamps to balance out cool, crisp nights.

Jason’s gregarious East Coast personality shines through as he engages in one-on-one conversations with customers new and returning, making the dining experience all the more intimate.

Jason's Downtown Restaurant and Wine Cellar is located in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana at 416 W. Fourth Street.

Hours of operation vary, check the restaurant's website for more information.

Click on and print the coupon below and receive 20% off your entire meal, or 50% off drinks and appetizers during happy hour.

Should you need more convincing, read the delicious OC Weekly review of Jason's.


Anonymous said...

Looking up hours now. may make it my dinner destination tonight. You musta read my mind earlier when I was thinking "I want to go to another cool Downtown Santa Ana restaurant but I CAN'T GO TO MEMPHIS AGAIN!"

Anonymous said...

ha - I make a killer jerk chicken! you and your wife should come over for dinner at our place one of these nights. between the curling-your-lips spicy sauce and sister nancy singing 'bam bam' in the background, you'll think you are being transported to jamaica..... : )

ok, now i gotta go back and read the rest of the post now......

Anonymous said...

This Place rawks. Went there for dinner last night. The space was cool, nice urban ambiance.

They had a bluesy band last night too, the vocals were awesome.

Food Was Delish! - Cheese Plate Appetizer and Brown Sugar Pork Chop entree. A-MAZING.

Even the water tasted good. Next time I'll have to try a dessert.

Jason's embodies what we need more of in Santa Ana.

Thanks for the recommendation Ben D!

Nightlife said...

Jason's is cool but for a night out, I prefer Bistro 400 right up the block from there.
They have a great menu and live jazz entertainment most nights, as well as the same patio dining and ambiance. You'll pass Bistro on the way to Jason's, on the corner of Bush and 4th.
Like Ben says, these places epitomize what Downtown living and style should be.

Nightlife said...

Must be early...
Bistro is at 4th and Birch, not Bush, about 50 yards from Jason's.

Ben Dayhoe said...

Glad you enjoyed the recommendation EDB. On a separate occasion, I had the ceviche that's served in coconut milk and that too was delicious. And YES, you can always go to Memphis "again" :D

Creative Juices, I'd love to try your jerk chicken! I'm a big fan of all jerked meats (that just sounds dirty).

Nightlife, I too dig the ambiance of Bistro 400, but the last two times I've been there, the food was so-so at best (for the price).

I'll be giving it another try soon though.

elmomonster said...

Hey Ben,

That's a great review in the OC Weekly, if I do say so myself. *WINK*

Anyway, you're right about Jason. He's such a great guy. He chatted us up and shot the breeze about musicals, L.A., O.C., Santa Ana and life in general.

And that bastilla...oh I still dream of it.

elmomonster said...

And hey, thanks also for the great review that you wrote here yourself!

Ben Dayhoe said...

Hey ElmoMonster!
Thanks for stopping by.

I agree, that was a pretty good review in the OC Weekly, but I'm still waiting to read a review about Portillo's ;)

Thanks for the kind words my friend.

Anonymous said...

Ben: can't remember if you're a native or you just moved into OC, but I wrote about Portillo's just after it opened. Muy bueno!