555 N El Camino Real Ste E, San Clemente, CA | Directions 9267233.430105 -117.616519
Sh-tty servce – I've been to Iva's about 5 times now and always seem to get sh-tty service, and it is to bad because the food (which is not cheap) is very good.
Saturday night I went in with my date and I think it was the host who greeted us from his seat at the bar, and told us the kitchen was closed, the band was on break, and would be back in ten for there last set, but we could still get drinks. We said that was great that was what we were interested in. We took a seat as at a table in the middle of the half empty lounge. After ten minutes of no service, and being ignored, we got up and left. There were a male and a female bartender on and servers were walking in out of the dinning room because there were still tables in the dinning room and the Host had a seat at the bar with his back to the door and tables visiting with the individuals on each side of him.
I will say I thought the place would improve when I stopped seeing the chick with the toothpick hanging out of her mouth.
IVA WOULD BE ROLLING OVER IN HER GRAVE
AMAZING – Everything was amazing here. I'm going to have them cater my wedding!
Great Southern Food in San Clemente – My wife and I are new to town and have tried all the local restaurants and Iva Lee's is the best by far! The chef actually went to culinary school in New York and his training shows in his creative southern dishes. The staff is well trained and the bar with it's live music is the funnest scene in town. Great food, fun atmosphere and very friendly staff.
Good Food, Great Service, Great Fun. – My friends and I had dinner at Iva Lees a few weeks ago and had a wonderful experience. Our server was very helpful and seemed to go out of her way to help us decide what to order since most of us wanted to share. We started with the shrimp and grits appetizer and it was delicious. We then shared the spinach salad and the brie salad which our server had split for us in the kitchen. When it was time to order entrees we were getting a bit full so she suggested we split a couple entrees. There was a plate charge but it was cheaper than most places I have dined at, I think around $5 or $6. We ordered the scallops with grits and southern vegetables and the meatloaf with green beans and mashed potatoes. Even though the entrees were split the portions were huge and very yummy. We finished the evening in the bar where we listened to live music and shared a bread pudding and their signature coffee drink. I can't wait to go back and would highly recommend this restaurant to my friends.
Finally a place to have some fun & enjoy great food! – My husband and I have lived in San Clemente for 17 years and I have to say that Iva Lee's is one of our favorite places to go. I agree that Thursday nights are the best. They have a lively blues band in the bar area that gets everyone in a good mood. We like to start out with dinner in the dining room and then finish with a cocktail (or two!) in the bar so we can listen to the music. We have never been dissapointed by a meal at Iva Lee's (we love the pork chop) and the service is exceptional. It's so nice to finally have a place to go locally where we can enjoy wonderful food and still have a fun time!
Thursday is the best. – Thursday night cannot be beat at Iva Lees on Thursday night. the band and atmosphere is amazing. No matter how busy it gets, the service does not suffer. The food is beyond belief, and drinks are too hard to beat. For my money, it gets no better.
Most authentic and delicious Southern restaurant in Orange County! – My husband and I had a terrific experience at Iva Lee?s for our 18th wedding anniversary. Although we were about 20 minutes early for our reservation, the hostess accommodated us to the fullest, despite them hardly having a seat in the house. The jazz music playing lightly in the background really set the tone and added true authenticity to our experience at Iva Lee?s. The ambiance was indescribable. We received fantastic service from our waitress Candice, who also served quite a few laughs. I ordered the grilled Pork Chop by recommendation and it was genuinely the best thing I have ever tasted. My husband ordered the Short Ribs, which almost melted in his mouth. To top of our enjoyment, Candice brought out a celebratory heart-shaped pumpkin cheesecake for our occasion. It was rich and creamy with a lot of flavor. If you want to recreate a New Orleans experience, jazz music and all, Iva Lee?s is definitely the place to go!
Never Going Back – Based on the reviews I made reservations to meet our son-in-law for dinner. We were all extremely disappointed. This place is terrible, the service was OK and the drinks were OK but that?s it. The food was horrible, the three of us all had different dishes plus an appetizer and all were bad. The appetizer was green tomatoes they were hard to choke down. Never going back.
Why me with all these good ratings? – The decor is great. I started with a warm Amber Light...I stress the "warm". I told the waitress the beer was warm and she in essence, said "So?" and did nothing about it and charged me for it. I can get over a warm beer, but then I asked for ice tea. A bottle of the extremely weak tea was delivered to the table...could hardly tell it from water. I drank my tap water as it tasted better. I quickly got over the terrible tea expereince.
I split an order of crab cakes as the appetizer, and they were standard Trader Joe issue. Heavy crust, very fishy (not a good sign of freshness), but the sauce was not bad. Would not order them again. The soup was a Jambalya SOUP. And "soup" it was. It tasted like a meek Jamblya with half a quart of water added to it to "water it down" to make a soup. . Pretty bad! The person I was with orderd the cat fish which came so thickly crusted that she had to use her strenght to cut the crust OFF in order to get to any fish. By now, I was going with "safety" and I had the Tennessee Meatloaf and it was very good. My friend ordered a bread pudding for desert and it was so over-cooked that we COULD NOT BREAK IT OPEN! It was hard as a rock and if you threw it at someone you could knock them out. Finally with some grace, they took this rock off the bill.
I had heard good reviews about this place, and I had many great weekend breakfasts at the Ramos House in San Juan Capistrano, which was operated by the people who operate Iva Lee's. So I thought this should be a terrific dining experience.
Best Rib-eye and martini's anywhere in OC, sevice is always friendly and prompt, romantic atmosphere – Lisa and Eric welcome you into their romantic little restaurant as if they were welcoming you into their own home. The food is consistently delicious-my husband and i visit Iva Lee's at least once a week to get our fix of N'Awlins style food. This restaurant is clearly one of the best Orange County has to offer.
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