Off the Menu OC

Covering the dining scene in and around the OC

Dining Out at the Movies

Bar at Cinepolis

Bar at Cinepolis

Moviegoers are hungry for quality films, and quality food fare. Fortunately a handful of new, deluxe movie theaters have been created that fulfill both needs (although we can’t guarantee a marvelous movie every time).

One of those theatres  is Cinepolis, which has five locations in So Cal: Del Mar, La Costa, Laguna Niguel, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Westlake Village.

We visited the Cinepolis in Laguna Niguel to see how it compared with other similar theaters. Walking in, we immediately noticed the full bar in the lobby and an array of couches, plus a small dining area near the concession stand.

We ordered two Proseccos and perused the menu, which was surprisingly lengthy and had everything from snacks and

Catherine peruses the menu in a theatre seat at Cinepolis

Catherine peruses the menu in a theatre seat at Cinepolis

appetizers to complete meals. We decided to place an order but have it delivered to us in our seats.

“This is where you want to be when taking the night off to go to the movies,” proclaimed Catherine once inside the theatre. “Not only does it have comfortable, plush fold out seats, but also features a nice wine and cocktail list.”

The theater recently launched a new fall menu which includes new vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. We opted to try two of the more decadent items: truffle fries and garden truffle hand crafted flatbread pizza.

“The combination of fresh squash, burrata cheese and truffle oil on the pizza is delicious,” said Catherine. “I could have ordered another one just for myself but I wanted to try some of their other items.”

Truffle pizza at Cinepolis

Truffle pizza at Cinepolis

Naturally we also ordered popcorn to enjoy during the movie, which in itself was a tough decision because they have four different flavors: butter, light, chili, and caramel. We got the butter (Catherine’s favorite), which stayed surprisingly fresh (not soggy) throughout the entire movie.

“I also love their movie-themed specialty cocktails,” added Catherine.

To view the extensive menu and movie screenings, go to CinepolisUSA.com.

Another luxury movie house is Island Cinema in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. The theater was remodeled earlier this year, and Catherine – who lives across the street from Fashion Island – has been a regular theatergoer there.

“They have a wine and beer menu and many gourmet food items to enjoy while you sit in oversized leather seating,” noted Catherine. “I suggest trying one of their artisan sandwiches. One of my favorites is the chipotle chicken panini with chicken, tomato, cheese, cilantro, and chipotle aioli.”

According to the theater’s website, they have a Sony RealD XLS Cinema System, which pairs RealD 3D technology with a Sony 4k projector for an exceptional 3D experience in several of the seven screening rooms.

The food options are indeed impressive. Download a menu at shopfashionisland.com/Movies.

Not far from Fashion Island is another luxury theater: The Port Theater, which offers a boutique-style movie theater experience. As the website explains, guests choose between leather seats, recliners, and sofas (an experience akin to sitting in your living room), along with convenient side tables for snacks.

The Port Theater recently introduced a full bar and kitchen, which means patrons can enjoy cocktails, wine and beer, plus hot entrees. A mezzanine-level bar features leather seats with private tables.

Chris has been to the Port, and can attest to the superb movie-going experience.

Visit the website for a menu and more details: PortNewport.com.

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