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Embarcadero California Bistro Restaurant Review: Located in a sprawling shopping complex in Rancho Santa Margarita, this restaurant named after San Francisco’s famed boardwalk injects a much-needed level of culinary sophistication into the sleepy suburbia of South Orange County. Chef/owner George Valdovinos has taken his passion for the Bay Area and translated it into a brick and dark-wood venue with an ambience and contemporary cuisine that would feel right at home in The City. The menu is peppered with San Francisco-inspired fare, such as the hearty clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, and the cioppino loaded with seafood. Familiar dishes contain lively touches that give them an added dimension, such as the roasted beet salad with crispy prosciutto and mustard-shallot vinaigrette, and the filet mignon prepared in a Zinfandel demi-glace and served with chunky lobster mashed potatoes. Valdovinos and his crew handle the wealth of seafood dishes with skill, highlighted by the pan-seared scallops served with a Brussels sprout and smoked Gouda slaw and purple Peruvian croquette. Locals stop by at lunch to enjoy the tidy list of sandwiches and flatbreads, while the dinnertime crowd enhances meals with dessert, a cocktail or a selection from the California-centric wine list.