We had gone to see the Opera production of ""Carmen."" On our way over to a dinner reservation across the street, the Cafe Rouge caught our attention. It sits right on the second level of the new glass wall addition in the Orange County Performing Arts Center. At one time, my boyfriend had been a cook at another Patina Group restaurant. Having never gotten a chance to taste the fare at that particular one, I was able to guilt him into taking me to this one. They were very quick to seat us even without a reservation. With such a quick seating we thought we could expect good service within the hour and half we had before our show started to seat. Little did I know that, by the end of our meal, I would be scrambling to try to finish my meal to see the show in time. \r
Our server seemed friendly to us in the first few times she visited us. We ordered drinks and food and thought nothing of it. We talked and enjoyed the atmosphere of the room. Yet, an hour after we had ordered a fish and a chicken dinner, we were still waiting for the meal. We could have understood an explanation, but our waitress never came near enough for us to ask her if there was a wait until a second before our food came out. Yet, our meal was not even carried by her, but two other men who we hadn't seen as wait staff all night. \r
After this long wait, we figured the food must be worth it, right? Absolutely not. My chicken tasted just like that, chicken. It was crisp and tasted quite well on the outside, but was actually very dry and tough on the inside. As usual of some Contemporary cuisine, it was pretentious with little reason to be. \r
I had heard a lot of good things about the Patina Group and so I maybe I came in expecting something out of the experience. I failed to remember that just because you have a name, does not mean you serve food worth the wait and expense. \r
I'm still willing to eat at another Patina Group restaurant, but certainly not the Cafe Rouge.