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400 N. Broadway (Fourth St.) Send to Phone
Traditional Filipino cuisine gets a contemporary touch at this downtown Santa Ana restaurant.

Lunch & Dinner Tue.-Sat.

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Irenia, Santa Ana, CA

Irenia Restaurant Review

: This sleek venue is another example of downtown Santa Ana’s ability to lure hungry OC hipsters seeking out a little culinary adventure. Chef/owner Ryan Garlitos’ casual space fits the area’s approachable urban milieu, as pops of colorful artwork and a massive bar add cool-kid character to the wood and metal interior. Garlitos’ seasonally-influenced take on Filipino cuisine is similarly welcoming, as he’s rounded off some of its sharper, more intimidating edges to create plates that place traditional flavors and modern sensibilities on equal footing. That’s not to say he plays it completely safe. Dishes like the fried baby anchovy starter (dilis) and the pork cheeks with pork blood sauce and braised onions (dinuguan) push the envelope quite nicely. Those who want to ease into the menu will want to check out items such as the roasted, vinegar-soaked unshelled peanuts appetizer (mani) or mains of slow-roasted pork belly adobo or the tomato sauce-braised beef neck bones with blistered shishito peppers. For dessert, the sweet and nutty tatlo leche bibingka is not to be missed.


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