The savvy team behind Vine in San Clemente notches another hit with this welcoming dinner house in a zone with scant options. Executive chef Jared Cook’s modern, seasonal menu roams from delicate to hearty, but all dishes showcase his knack for upping the crave factor. Examples: chicken schnitzel with mushrooms, Zinfandel-braised lamb shank with mint yogurt. Terrific craft cocktails shift with the seasons. On-point service from a gracious crew. Dinner only. 25250 La Paz Road, 949-446-8772, ironwoodlagunahills.com
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Enjoy Mediterranean favorites including shish kebob plates and build-your-own bowls with your choice of protein ($1 to $15). Don’t miss the house-made lemonades ($3). 23052 Lake Forest Drive, 949-716-4444, pitapitacafe.com
solo thai ice cream
Get freshly rolled ice cream creations in flavors such as horchata, oreo, and banana-nutella ($6.50). Unlimited toppings are a definite plus. 25292 McIntyre St., 949-273-3588, instagram.com/solo_ice_cream_roll
This eatery offers Indian classics such as chicken tikka masala ($13), as well as house special karahi dishes cooked with mint and spices in a traditional black pot ($16 to $21). 25381 Alicia Parkway, 949-305-1556, mintindianfood.com