One of my favorite places in OC for a fun family outing is the Irvine Spectrum.  It hosts a wide range of things to do - entertainment, shopping (my daughter's favorite), tons of great dining options the whole family will love, not to mention people watching the beautiful shoppers of OC.

Spectrum2Our most recent trip to the Irvine Spectrum was on a perfect Southern California day. We walked around the mall, window shopping while enjoying the beautiful weather.  We decided to take in a late afternoon movie matinee at the lush Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, followed by a relaxing dinner at Paul Martin's American Bistro. 

My son's first impression:  "This movie theater is HUGE!"  With so many screens there's always a movie and show time to fit our schedule. This may sound like a "mom" thing, but I'm also a fan of the Edwards Irvine Spectrum because it's clean.  Don't you hate going to a theater with sticky floors and food spilled all over the place?  My son loved the state of the art customized soda machine where he could mix his own soda flavors.  I feel rather spoiled making my own vanilla coke with just the right amount of ice.  Taking in a movie at the Spectrum is always a treat.

Spectrum4When I was a kid my mom used to roast a prime rib every Sunday.  The aroma of the savory meal filled the house and I couldn't wait for dinnertime. Paul Martin's American Bistro now helps me relive my childhood with their Sunday dinners.  I love this menu of prime rib, mashed potatoes, salad and dessert.  It's Americana at its best.

I loved the comfortable yet sophisticated setting, with old brick, wood with a beautiful outdoor patio for outdoor dining in the fabulous OC climate.  The wine selection is impressive as is the quality of the Cedar Planked Salmon baked with shallots and bacon.  My daughter says the Bistro Burger was absolutely the best burger she's had in her whole life. It's a must try for any burger fan.

We ended the evening with a ride on the famous Ferris wheel. It's romantic for the adults and exciting for the kids as we all enjoy the spectacular view of the nighttime sky.  The Irvine Spectrum sets the stage for a lovely time with my family, which is just one of the reasons everyone should plan a visit to this lovely outdoor mall.

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