Jason Quinn of the Lime Truck to Open Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant in Santa Ana

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Christopher Victorio / OC Weekly
We've always wondered why the Lime Truck never made the Roy Choi-esque jump to a brick-and-mortar restaurant, but now the wait is over.

Jason Quinn, the 25-year-old chef behind Orange County's beloved Lime Truck, will be opening a high-end burger restaurant in downtown Santa Ana this summer.


The restaurant, to be called Playground, will be located in the Fiesta Marketplace East End Promenade, at 220 E. Fourth St. in Santa Ana, most recently occupied by Mariscos Tampico. Playground will feature communal tables, edgy music and an open kitchen with a full view of the meat grinder on which the burgers will be ground daily.

The menu will consist of burgers and fries, with craft beers on tap. While some of the burgers will have familiar ingredients (mushrooms, bleu cheese, etc.), some will be flights of fancy--and some, according to Quinn, may not be recognizable as burgers. As the Lime Truck does, Playground will solicit menu suggestions from diners.

Its opening is slated to coincide with the opening of the Yost Theatre (itself scheduled for Aug. 6); stay tuned for further updates.

Meanwhile, not to worry, Lime Truck lovers (and Great Food Truck Race partisans): Daniel Shemtob is still on the truck, with new help, and Jason Quinn is still consulting on the menu and offering refinements and suggestions where necessary, while not stifling the new crew's creativity. "Whatever success I have as a chef, I will owe to the truck," he said. The new restaurant is just the natural evolution of his career.

Read Edwin's interview with Jason Quinn last year here, here and here.

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22 comments
Melgroid
Melgroid

Newport Beach = everything that is wrong with humanity

Conradoleon
Conradoleon

Bad service,, and I was double charged for an entree.   noticed it after I walked out... and the bartender said the burger was for 2 people.....   $14 for 1 burger or 5 Double  Doubles from In & Out....   

Nsevy
Nsevy

One of my biggest regrets to moving out of the country: limiting my exposure to Chef Jason's culinary brilliance to only once or twice a year. There is no doubt Playground will live up to it's expectations. In Chef Jason We Trust. Good luck, and I cant wait until my next visit where I will be able to indulge in the Playground Magic!

Abbey
Abbey

Congratulations!  You deserve all the success I know is coming your way...couldn't be happier for you!  And I can't wait to check out the new place!

Raymond R Roberto
Raymond R Roberto

RR Western Wear & Roberto's Shoe Repair welcomes Jason Quinn and his new restaurant to the East End Promenade. We have been at this location for more than 55 years and we know your restaurant will be a big success at this location.

D~tan
D~tan

I hoping and praying the Effin' Burger and The Most Interesting Sandwich will be on the menu! I'm really excited for Chef Jason, but will miss seeing him on the truck. I'll try to be there for opening, and hoping they'll have nights to show the Great Food Truck Race tapings!

Good luck!

Andrew Bemis
Andrew Bemis

I am very excited for this.  Such a great guy that makes really great food.  I'll be there opening day.

JB
JB

Serious question...why is this universally-praised young chef opening a high-end burger and fries restaurant? 

Yes, I know the margins are very good...and yes, I know burgers and fries complement the downtown Santa Ana diet of booze very well...but am I the only one who finds this odd?  He's just going to be grinding burgers?  No innovative sandwiches, tapas, etc.?

Newportblue65
Newportblue65

How long would a white guy last in that location?

Bob Quinn
Bob Quinn

Gracias, Roberto.  We're thrilled to be part of the East End.  Fifty-five years?  You've got to teach us how any business can thrive for that long.  You must be doing something right.

Jason quinn
Jason quinn

Jb - Jason here, firstly, thrilled to Be referred to as universally-praised. And I can assure you that small plates is something I'm very passionate about, there is something like that inthe works. However, this particular building is not really set up for it. So that concept will Have to wait til next yet hopefully see you at playground

D~tan
D~tan

I think people forgot that the Lime Truck started out serving panini's. The current menu on the truck was based off of specials they had. So I definitely believe that Chef Jason will expand after his base menu.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Who says that's the end of his restaurant aspirations?

Bob Quinn
Bob Quinn

You owe it to yourself to go to Santa Ana and check out the Santoro Arts district with Gypsy Den, Memphis, Lola Gaspar, Proof, The Copper Door and Chapter One.  The Crosby's only a few blocks down Broadway and a few blocks to the east, the East End is opening the Yost Theater, The Playground and a number of other exciting businesses.  If you're tired of the sterile feel of Irvine or the scene in Newport Beach, you should definitely check out downtown Santa Ana.  It's a real city with a real night life.  

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

If it's you and you don't manage to keep your mouth shut any better than you manage to hide behind your Veil O' Tough Guy Internet Anonymity, not very long at all.

Anonymous comments: the worst thing ever to happen to the Internet.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

And here starts the stupidity! Hmmm...let's ask the white guys at Memphis (15 years) and Gypsy Den (15 years) how long they've lasted...

Josh Volpert
Josh Volpert

preach! Jb trust me you wont be dissapointed!

JB
JB

Gotta say, Mr. Jason, you should be distinguished by your character as much as your widely-regarded culinary talent.  I respect the way you accept my blunt (but constructive) observations with poise...even after I shamefully called one of your menu items French Fry Goop last year. 

Jason's Dad (and Mom): bravo for raising such a great man.  I'll definitely be a paying client of Playground. 

If I may modestly say one more thing:we do sincerely need more chef-driven restaurants here in OC.....so as much as I hope your first brick and mortar eatery is a booming success, don't get too comfortable mixing chopped meat and inadequately leverage the intangible asset known as Jason Quinn

David Hastie
David Hastie

That's right Gustavo.  Just a quick clarification...Memphis Cafe in Costa Mesa is nearing the 16 year mark and Memphis at the Santora in beautiful Downtown Santa Ana just celebrated 9 years and have already started planning our 10 Year Anniversary Party for spring of 2012.

Bob Quinn
Bob Quinn

We are very proud.  Thanks for your support and - more importantly - your criticism.  Every business needs sincere critics to keep it reaching for the stars.  The last thing Jason wants to be is complacent.  I happen to be privy to the plans for the future and I can promise you that The Playground will not be just another hamburger joint and that Jason will find a way to stretch his wings in a future project that you would approve of.-- Jason's Dad  

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

You just got out of a meeting with senior management, didn't you.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

I stand corrected! As penance, I will go with my white friends and order a bunch of food haha

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