I don’t drink often, nor do I drink much, so the concept of happy hour is sorta lost on me, except for the fact that most of the time, the food would be served at happy hour prices as well, and THAT is music to my ears! Generally the only time I go to happy hour is if some friends of mine want to hang out in the afternoon and grab a bite to eat and then I’m totally there with bells on! I’ve been to Yard House many times, for lunch, dinner AND happy hour for that matter. I’ll admit, in Irvine, Yard House offers one of the better happy hours with a good variety of appetizers at half price. On this particular visit, my friends and I all got some beer and a few items to share. From the appetizer menu we decided upon the Chinese garlic noodles, Jamaican jerk chicken wings (pictured above) and from the regular menu, their kick-ass mac and cheese.
The mac and cheese here is seriously good, and I mean, addictively good. This is my crack and it’s something I really shouldn’t really eat much of because of the carbs! But naturally, I couldn’t resist and ate a little more than I should’ve. The mac and cheese here is absolutely delicious with applewood bacon, wild mushrooms, chicken and a blend of cheddar and parmesan cheeses baked to perfection, and if that wasn’t enough, a drizzle of white truffle oil takes this to a level that’s not just luxurious, but pure decadence! For a chain restaurant, Yard House does its mac and cheese extremely well!
Chinese garlic noodles (pictured left) are also pretty good — and I’m comparing these with the garlic noodles from AnQi by Crustacean and there is absolutely NO comparison! The AnQi noodles were dry and clumpy, the noodles here were smooth and delightful on the palate. You also get about three times more noodles with mushrooms too! Jamaican jerk chicken wings was a recommendation from our server. I had asked about the Firecracker Wings and I didn’t like the fact that they were sweet on top of spicy so the jerk version was suggested to us. Not only were these wings not spicy — and one of my friends can attest to this because he is a wimp when it comes to eating spicy foods — but they weren’t very flavorful either. I’ve made jerk chicken at home and it certainly didn’t taste like this. The accompanying sauce was very strange and I asked my foodie/blogger friend to taste it and she agreed it was weird.
Yard House has always been a good choice for me whenever I’ve had out of town guests who aren’t very adventurous with food, and/or they’ve got young children. I’ve found that everyone’s palates can be satisfied and there are some things I’m quite happy eating here. This isn’t fancy food, but it’s good food. It’s food I’m not opposed to eating when the need arises and most of all, my kid loves the mac and cheese here — they don’t use orange cheddar cheese!
Yard House, Irvine Spectrum, 71 Fortune Drive, Irvine, CA 92618. Tel: 949-753-9373.