When I first moved to Santa Ana, I was super excited because Old Town Orange was a stone’s throw away (antique stores!!!), and our apartment was very close to Haven, the uber-popular gastropub. So after our move-in, we immediately paid a visit only to be utterly disappointed.
I had the namesake Haven Burger which turned out to be too much in every aspect – each component was way too… unique… and overall, unbalanced. Maybe it was a new guy making it or something, but I couldn’t understand why people were going ga-ga over it (but then again, burger preferences are pretty personal). Don wasn’t too happy with his sliders either. So we blamed hipsters and Yelp for overhype-ing the place and haven’t been back since.
Fast foward six months later. An afternoon of antiquing in 90-something weather… And all I wanted was a beer. On tap. Bruery Provisions was packed (at 3 pm on a weekday!!!), so Twigs and I decided to go into Haven.
I had a Craftsman Smoked Black Lager (7, tap). It’s a weird beer. Heavy on toasty flavors but with a light mouthfeel. You don’t have to pound it to be satisfied, but it’s not too much of a sippy beer either. Just… Perfect for the weather.
Twigs and I shared a Watermelon Salad (14) – Compressed watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, sierra nevada bella capra feta, micro shiso, california olive ranch arbequina oil, and banyuls vinegar caviar. It’s pretty amazeballs. The caviar falls through the nooks and crannies, and you have to sop it up with the micro shiso, but still. It’s effing amazeballs.
The Pork Rillettes (10) – “confiture de cochon” served in a mason jar, toasted sourdough… Didn’t like it as much. The pork was overshredded to the point that it was like catfood, and a little dry.
But the crusty bread and kick-ass mustard gives it a good oomph.
We’ll probably be back for the snacks and beer. Because that’s why we go to gastropubs, amiright?
190 South Glassell Street
Old Towne Orange, CA 92866