I don’t travel to Fullerton much, but whenever I do, I find that the majority of places I end up trying are all pretty much solid and worthy of mentioning. This is no different with D’Vine, a Mediterranean restaurant and bar, located in the downtown SoCo (south of Commonwealth) area of Fullerton.
The restaurant consists of a nice-sized patio, a bar area with dining tables, as well as additional rooms for events and large groups. There are two locations — Brea which opened in 2012, and Fullerton in July last year — both offering lunch and dinner, as well as libations and entertainment selections.
While perusing the menu, a basket of warm pita chips and condiments of olive oil and za’atar is dropped off for us to munch on.
We decide to start with D’Vine Mezza ($15) which allows us to sample various appetizers on a platter. Hummus; baba ghanoush, Mediterranean salad (sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, lettuce, with lemon juice, house spices and olive oil; and turshi (pickled vegetables) are all available a la carte, but this way, you get a little of everything to taste. We loved everything, especially the smoky and robust mashed eggplant of the baba ghanoush.
There are dishes I tend to gauge restaurants on, and Falafel ($7) is one of them when it comes to Mediterranean cuisine.
These crispy crusted chick peas patties are dotted with parsley, onions and house spices possessing the perfect textural components in each mouthful. I love to dip the falafel into both the accompanying tahini and hot sauce before taking another bite.
When owner/chef Walid Alarja asks us what we’d like for our entrees, it is hard to decide. We express we love lamb and chicken, and leave it up to him to surprise us. Lamb Chops ($15) arrive and three succulent grilled marinated lamb chops are accompanied with pita bread, rice and your choice of side — we choose cucumber salad. The side of toum — garlic sauce — is intoxicating in both its aroma and taste. (I wish I had known we could purchase it in a jar — read that later.)
Our second entree, Chicken Shawarma ($12) is another fantastic offering. The thinly sliced grilled marinated chicken is juicy and moist, so different from most of the shwarmas in and around OC. We choose onion salad tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and sumac as a side. Another solid choice!
When it comes to dessert, it isn’t hard to tempt me with ice cream. Ashta Ice Cream ($6) is house-made and comes in various flavors — we tried pistachio and almond, both delicious, especially the almond!
Rice Pudding ($4) a sweet treat of rice mixed with milk and sugar topped with cinnamon and pistachios is a comforting dessert. I love the sweetness level in both desserts, just a hint, and never overwhelming.
Those on a gluten-free diet will be happy to know that much of the menu is GLUTEN FREE! Everything is super fresh and how I’d imagine dining at a friend’s home is. D’Vine is definitely one of the top three places for a stellar Mediterranean meal in Orange County.
132 W Commonwealth Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832