Restaurant Review: Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (Southern California)

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has become a favorite of Lynn’s and mine when we are in the Brea area. Many refer to it as “JFAT” which they use on their website, napkins, and use the logo generously on all branding. The food is good, the drinks creative, and it’s a fun atmosphere. They have five locations in Southern California – I’ve tried their Brea and Dana Point locations

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The idea for Jimmy Famous Tavern, or JFAT, grew out of the idea of the English taverns that made their way to New England. These were primarily drinking establishments that had limited food options. Jimmy wanted to create this atmosphere where people would gather for great brews, cocktails, and wine. But to enhance the experience Jimmy wanted to add excellent food to his taverns. His concept was to use fresh ingredients, blending tradition with creativity. They use the best ingredients prepared fresh daily from scratch.

We had heard about JFAT from a friend who raved about their Dana Point location. We have been there 5 or 6 times now and we have always been pleased with our experience. The food and drink are always impressive.

The Brea restaurant, like the others, has a very warm feel to it. There is a lot of wood, warm colors, low lighting at night. One of the architectural features of the Brea location is it opens up onto a park like setting in the Village at La Floresta. The window and doors from the restaurant and patio open up to create an open air restaurant. On a warm southern California day or evening it is awesome. If you are there on a chilly evening they close those windows and doors and with low lighting you feel the warmth of a Pub setting.

We both started with a “Boulevardier” which I would describe as their version of an Old Fashioned. But this is not your father’s Old fashioned. It has Bulleit Rye, Aperol, and Carpano Antica in it. And they finish it off with the orange peel and a life changing dark sweet cherry.

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We skipped the starters because we had a big lunch. I would suggest you start with “Warm House Made Salt & Pepper Potato Chips.” They are drizzled with Maytag bleu cheese & scallions. Or try the Brussel Sprouts, or Whiskey Shrimp. I can’t list them all but try as many as you can.

Lynn ordered the Signature Grilled Santa Fe Salad for dinner. It is made with grilled romaine, corn, salsa fresca, avocado, topped with green chile caesar dressing and grilled flat iron steak.

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I couldn’t decide what to order and our waiter Joshua suggested the French Dip and he was spot on. It’s prepared from mouthwatering prime rib, then topped with Swiss cheese, crispy onions, with creamed horseradish on a Ciabatta roll.

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My mouth is watering writing this review. I think we need to go back for lunch or dinner in the next few days! Go for a drink, go for appetizers, or go for dinner. JFAT offers great drinks, food, and service.

Bar Review: Yard House – a “mile” of enjoyment

Lynn and I love to go to Yard House in Brea, CA for their happy hour cocktails, appetizers, or dinner. After we walk across the street to see a movie. Yard House is a wonderful place to enjoy your normal spirit, a craft cocktail or one of their over 125 beers on tap! They have  a great assortment of everything from beer and wine, to spirits and cocktails. They also serve fun and tasty appetizers and main courses. We have never had a bad meal there and I should own stock in the Brea location we go so often. To top it all that off there are big screen TV’s everywhere to watch sports, and they have a great enclosed patio when you want to sit outside.

Back to Happy Hour. Their happy hour is Monday to Friday from 3:00-6:00 PM and they have a “Late Night Happy Hour” from 10:00 PM – Close. Their happy hour has domestic pints and well drinks for $1.00 off. Import pints, wine, craft cocktails, and call spirits are $2.00 off. Martini’s $3.00 off and half yards $4.00 off. There are 26 different appetizers that are discounted and if I tried to list the ones we like most, I would list most of them. You can’t miss with the chicken lettuce wraps, pizza’s, Poke Stack, Moo Shu egg rolls, and the onion ring tower to name a few. They have some huge booths that hold 8-10 so take some friends and make it a party.

If happy hour is too early for your schedule, make a night of it with dinner and some of their terrific cocktails, wine, or beer. Their entrees are as good as their appetizers. They have a wide variety of options including salads, pizzas, seafood, steaks, burgers, street tacos, and the list goes on and on. My favorites are the chicken enchilada stack, Southern fried chicken breast, mac+cheese2. We always start with cocktails. My favorite is an solid “Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned,” and Lynn usually gets an “Old 43” which is made with Woodford Reserve, Licor 43, Citrus Agave, and Orange Bitters.

I like to drink a Kronenbourg 1664 with my dinner. We drank Kronenbourg 1664 in St. Martin on an anniversary trip 30 years ago and I haven’t seen it anywhere else on tap in Southern California.

Yes, this was an unpaid advertisement but when you like a place this much you have to share it with friends, family and blog followers!