* Click here for rating key
A Restaurant Restaurant Review: Film producer McG ("Charlie’s Angels," "The O.C.") and Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath resuscitated The Arches and turned it into an ultra-hip restaurant and bar. Inside what was once OC’s oldest restaurant, the vibe is still intimate and continental cool with high wood-beam ceilings, chestnut-wood wall paneling, half-moon burgundy banquettes and classic black-and-white prints. The darkened ambience sets the mood for executive chef Jon Blackford's refined comfort food. We enjoy the dry-aged steak tartare and the spicy yellowfin tuna with crispy eggplant and sweet soy. As for entrées, there’s a solid listing of seafood, chops and cuts of beef to consider. Each weeknight, the kitchen prepares a standalone special --- chicken piccata with lemon-caper butter on Tuesdays or smoked Wagyu short rib with parsnip purée and Carolina barbecue sauce on Thursdays. Side dishes such as roasted mushrooms and mac ‘n’ cheese are satisfying. Pastry chef Shelly Register, who also oversees the wine, cheese and deli counter at A Market next door, is innovative with modern interpretations of classic desserts, like banana cream pie and butterscotch pudding.