Playground 2.0 is infamous for being one of those elusive OC joints that’s super hush hush as you gotta know someone who knows someone to even get in.

The Vibe

Located right next door to the original Playground restaurant in Downtown Santa Ana, I’ve been ogling Chef Jason Quinn’s private dinners for eons now and heard that you had to get “invited” to attend. Never mind that it’s easily $200 a pop per seat (inclusive of drinks/tax/tip) peeps be hounding staff and waiters just to get the low-down on how you might just come up on a special invitation. 
So imagine my delight when last Thursday, my friend rented out the entire establishment to surprise his wife (and 15 of her closest friends) for their 10-year anniversary dinner. *Awwwww*….I know…Amazing food, incomparable company, and a private exhibition-style 12-course meal dreamed up by OC’s finest, Chef Jason Quinn and his culinary comrades for one incredibly memorable evening.

 Playground 2.0

220 East 4th Street | Santa Ana, CA 92701 | (714) 560-4444
Here’s how it all went down:

Chef Quinn explains the origin of our meal as the girls listen in…
First up: Lox and bagels…yup, everything homemade right there in the kitch…

That’s us taking over the ENTIRE restaurant…we roll deep mang!

(Fancy) Ham and macadamia nuts

Just a word of precaution y’all: It was one of those nights where I wasn’t paying attention to anything BUT the food. I didn’t take notes, I didn’t bother asking for descriptions of the dishes; we were promised a breakdown of the meal at the end of the evening but everything became such a blur as the night flashed by. A TRUE mark of the BEST.NIGHT.EVERRRRRR!

Sous chef Max making some yummy frozen goat cheese marshmallows for this fantastically fresh beet salad below.

 

Hands down my FAVE dish of the night

Chef Quinn busting out the craft beer in between dishes…When in Rome, right??

Taking it like a champ! lol

 

The BEST singular piece of Wagyu you will EVER have in your life!

Chef says you can’t even pay for this piece of meat. You gotta know someone who knows someone….

The sweetest shrimp…

 

Smoked Salmon

Scallop on a half shell cooked in lobster butter

I slurped this baby up before I even heard the word butter. A little too late seeing as how I am deathly allergic to lobster! Not even 1 second after my proclamation sous chef Max comes running out to my aid with an allergy pill for me to down with their bottomless wine ;D If that’s not GRADE A service I dunno what is?!!!

Spicy jerk-rubbed Pork Rib and Plantains

Chef Quinn had a super cute name and story for this pork. Sadly I was too consumed in my meal to jot that sucker down. I know, I know, BAD blogger!

 

 

Deep fried Soft-shell crab with bib lettuce salad

I love how attentive they are! Pays to party with a beautiful posse I must say ;D

And here comes their claim-to-fame Fried Chicken y’all! (Sous chef not included)

 

Then the Chefs’ jackets come off!!!
OooOooWeeEeeeee I can’t even tell ya what happens NEXT!
What happens at the Playground, STAYS at the Playground y’all!

But I CAN tell ya that it was WAYYYYYYY better than the dessert!
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNN…..

You’ll just have to book a spot to find out for yo’self!

Know Before You Go

You MUST must be a patron of the Playground restaurant to even be considered for a meal ticket at 2.0. My friend Viet, foodie phenomenon, owner of Dos Chinos food truck (and multiple foodie ventures in the works) was our ticket in. THANKS Viet!!! But in case you don’t know anyone, I hear you can simply ask the staff when dining at the Playground on the multitude of ways you can score an invitation, purchase a meal ticket, and be transported to a gastronomic adventure for 3 hours of your life. Or you can simply rent out the entire dang restaurant, sit back, relax, down some vino and prepare yourself for a fun fabulous night of “culinary theater” as Chef Quinn and his team entertain you with the likes of exotic ingredients and a super convivial team of super cute chefs. Isn’t that what exhibition kitchens are for nowadays, to flirt with the staff? hehe How else am I going to get invited back y’all??*

Bon Appétit mes amis!

 

Author

29 Comments

  1. Looks like you had an awesome night out! The food looks absolutely delicious, and you all look fabulous!

    Have a great weekend!

    Love,
    Kitty xo

    My colourful blog is totally different from anything you've ever seen, don't get scared.

  2. Oh my, everything looks so tasty! Sounds like such an amazing experience!

    Love, Ana

    X

    anasofiachic.blogspot.co.uk

  3. Wow, what an amazing and interactive night with so many delicious courses! I'm soo glad to hear that they were so prepared for your allergy, that's definitely something you don't get very often! And the food just looked beautiful! Tasty, fresh, the home smoked salmon looked beautiful! I would've eaten everything up without listening any further too! ^^

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    FrankVinyl

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