We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Glad to find this quiet spot”
Review of Cafe Matinee

Cafe Matinee
Ranked #24 of 276 Restaurants in Lake Forest
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 20 March 2015

It took a little effort to find the restaurant at night. It is sandwiched in with other establishments across from the "Red Barn," count up to #15, and you won't miss it. The effort was worth it though. Suzanne, the waitress, was very friendly and knew what to recommend to a first-time guest. Although tempted by the kabob menue, the Chicken Shawarma was an excellent meal.
It started with a salad, which included the spiced beets, special olives, pita bread and hummus. The salad was very good, and I'm not a big beet-eater, but the beets were excellent. They were prepared in fine slices with a tasty sprinkle of spice on top. The pita bread tasted freshly made and don't miss out on the hummus; it is homemade from fresh garbanzo beans with a nice oil and spice: most excellent.
The Chicken Shawarma was served on a bed of rice which was delicious. Everything tasted fresh and homemade. I had the shawarma medium spicy which was just right but in case it was too hot, I ordered an Almaza beer which was was served in an ice-cold glass. Prices are "O.C. average" -
Service was excellent, which was good because I was very hungry. at that, I had enough left over for lunch the next day. I will definitely return to this establishment. It is worth a try!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Tim_the_Enchanter417
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (29)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

13 - 17 of 29 reviews

Reviewed 7 December 2014

Last evening I attended a party at Café Matinee, Lake Forest, CA. This is a family operated Lebanese restaurant located in, yes, the proverbial strip mall. Although it is quite unpretensious the food is outstanding and the family members who serve you bend over backwards to please, both in service and food that they serve. Every item was simply outstanding. The kabob, chicken and/or filet mignon, salad, tahini sauce, falafel, hummus. There were about 20 in the party and to the last person all praised every item. Of course Lebanese coffee was served although regular coffee was available. Every item except the pita bread was hand made by the staff.

I will definitely return and highly recommend their delicious, reasonably priced menu.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank LHANN2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Looking for a close place to eat one night we happened upon this place, looking on the "other" rating site.It was a little buried away in a small little strip mal, but WOW were we ever surprised!!
Service was outstanding and personal, (my favorite kind, attentive without being bothersome!!) and the food was outstanding. Had the appetizer platter and was not dissappointed, actually it was enough, but we had to order and split an entree` also. Again outstanding kebob meat tender and tasty. And then there was the Baklava OMG!! All "home made" all wonderful we will be back!!! Take atrek and find this GEM! You won't be dissaponted. Don't pay attention to closing time on internet, they close at 9:00PM

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank cchrcro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014

On a recent trip with our grandson, he developed a hankering for Lebanese food which we make at home because my husband is Lebanese. That makes us very critical because we're always looking for Uncle Abe's salad, our own style of taboulleh or lamb served rare. Imagine our delight when this little restaurant measured up to the test...and more. We had duella (grape leaves) made from tender leaves with lots of extra piquant lemon juice. The taboulleh was like Grandma used to make. Our ten year old grandson ate 2 generous lamb kebabs and declared them the best. Their labne dip was garlicky and the dried mint added a different take for us. Their pickled turnips were not ordinary jarred, but homemade. We ate till we were about to burst and still enjoyed authentic coffee and yummy baklava. We had fun visiting with the owners and the next time we're in that vicinity, we'll be sure to stop in again.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank kathy32954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

This is about as far from a chain restaurant as you can get, tucked away in a nondescript plaza off of El Toro Rd.. The menu is somewhat limited, but the food is always excellent and the service prompt and friendly. Best hummus ever!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Rogerbr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Cafe Matinee also viewed

 
Lake Forest, Orange County
Lake Forest, Orange County
 
Lake Forest, Orange County
Lake Forest, Orange County
 

Been to Cafe Matinee? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing