The Blind Pig Classic Cheeseburger (2)

Restaurant of the Week: The Blind Pig Kitchen & Bar

The Blind Pig Kitchen & Bar in Rancho Santa Margarita is a place where you’ll want everybody to know your name. With a gorgeous, unobstructed view of Rancho Santa Margarita Lake, this speakeasy-inspired hotspot is the ideal Orange County neighborhood bar and restaurant.

While the food is upscale and delicious, its patio and dining room have a fun, playful atmosphere that is full of televisions for sports fans to enjoy. When you want to go out for a satisfying meal with creative cocktails and watch the big game, The Blind Pig is your place.

We found the names of The Blind Pig’s award-winning cocktails particularly cheeky and memorable. First, we ordered its Halloween cocktail of the week, the Hocus Pocus, and the Game of Thrones spinoff-inspired, House of the Dragon. The Hocus Pocus was a perfectly spooky concoction of rum, tequila, plum, citrus and bitters, garnished with a festive fake eyeball. The House of Dragon was a fiery mix of tequila, elderflower, peach-habanero syrup, honey, faba, citrus and bitters that surely deserves a spot on the arm of the Iron Throne.

Our second round consisted of The Bachelor in Paradise and its Painkiller tiki drink. The Bachelor in Paradise hits its namesake on the head. Made with a blend of gins, rose syrup, pistachio orgeat, citrus and bitters, The Bachelor in Paradise will get our rose anytime! When we saw that The Blind Pig’s five tiki drinks have their own spot on the menu and special mugs, we knew we had to try one. They served us a traditional Painkiller inside a parrot mug that brought us straight to the Caribbean–and we didn’t even have to pack a bag.

For our appetizer, we ordered the crab cakes, which are served with creole avocado aioli and topped with cilantro-lime slaw. The crab cakes are full of flavorful crab meat, very minimal filler and the sauce is an ideal complement. We also selected the chicken karaage, which is Japanese-style fried chicken. Each bite of chicken is extremely moist and coated in a crunchy breading. Everything came together with a wasabi aioli that we couldn’t get enough of!

The Blind Pig’s main dishes provide a wide selection while still paying special attention to the intricacies of each dish. Executive Chef Karl Pfleider makes the tagliatelle for the veal ragu from scratch and finishes it off with shaved parmesan and fresh basil. The fresh pasta combines with the tender veal to elevate the dish and affords an authentic Italian experience in a casual environment. We also tried the grilled tenderloin tacos, constructed with pastor sauce, pineapple chutney, pickled onion, cotija cheese and cilantro on handmade tortillas. The handmade tortillas are fantastic, and the flavor combination is bright and savory.

Trust us, dessert is non-negotiable when you visit The Blind Pig. Our server highly suggested the carrot cake, and with whipped mascarpone as an ingredient, it’s not difficult to imagine why. We ultimately selected a classic with a twist: the skillet cookie. A large, warm chocolate chip and sea salt cookie is cooked inside a skillet, leaving it crispy on the outside but gooey on the inside. The twist comes in the form of delicately flavored lavender-and-honey ice cream on top.

The Blind Pig is open Tuesday to Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information on The Blind Pig, visit

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