As a Santa Ana resident and a lover of all things gourmet, I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Downtown Santa Ana’s newest foodie hot-spot – The Playground.  And I know I’m not alone – with two weeks to go until they open their doors to the public on Friday, November 18th, The Playground already has over 600 fans on Facebook and counting, and the press coverage is just beginning.

The Playground is the brain child of 25-year-old Owner & Executive Chef, Jason Quinn, who is most famous for his role as Executive Chef of OC’s beloved Lime Truck. After winning TV Food Network’s competition reality show The Great Food Truck Race, Jason decided to open his dream restaurant – and, The Playground was born.

The Playground: 220 East 4th Street in downtown Santa Ana (in the East End Promenade across from the Yost Theater)
It started as a gourmet burger joint – but, has grown into a full-blown restaurant with a drool-instigating menu and mind-boggling beer list that will showcase the talents of the team of bright young chefs that Jason has brought together. Click here to meet the team: Jason Quinn, Brad Radack, Frank Deloach, Karl Pfleider and April Ventura.
Jason Quinn, Owner & Executive Chef of The Playground – finalizing the menu with his dream-team of young, talented chefs

The Playground will open its doors to the public on Friday, November 18th at 6:00pm – and, I’ll be working with the chefs over the coming weeks on food photography to give you a visual menu sampling in conjunction with their Grand Opening – so, stay tuned for a feast through photos.

In the meantime, yesterday I had the chance to spend the afternoon inside the new restaurant space, soaking up the environment and watching as the team put some of the finishing touches on the dining room.  To put it mildly, this place rocks.  Long communal dining tables; a gorgeous white bar with acid-washed copper detailing; stunning, vibrant art on the walls by artist Ty Rose; Tungsten filament historic-looking light bulb fixtures; a giant chalkboard-painted wall for ever-evolving decor & menu listings; and, the piece de resistance – an original Ms. Pac-Man arcade game for passing the time…

Enjoy this first-look through photos – and, stay tuned for more here on the Anne Watson Photography blog as we get closer to the 18th. Food photography, coming soon!

Follow Anne Watson Photography on the Web, Facebook and Twitter | Learn more about The Playground on the Web, Facebook and Twitter