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“Great food”

South of Nick's Mexican Kitchen + Bar
Ranked #3 of 229 Restaurants in San Clemente
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$35
Cuisines: Mexican, Seafood, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: "Southern California Mexican" Featuring Prime steaks, seafood, and Mexican favorites. An Orange County favorite for Mexican dining.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I don't usually like Mexican food but this was good. There were several vegan options and the waitress was very helpful. The cocktails were amazing too!

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Thank Lynds3yF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 614 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Really classy, hip atmosphere. Food was really fantastic. Fresh, tasty and well presented. Service was exceptional. I really cannot fault any aspect of this restaurant and cannot wait to return.

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Thank Markybritt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2018

Having heard good things about this establishment, we booked a table for 4. Really lovely entrance and atrium, and if I had stopped there and left, I would have had a favorable view.
Our server, who was new told me unequivocally that I would be unable to remove the jack cheese from a lobster enchilada that i was interested in ordering because "management said it would compromise the integrity of my dish" I travel the world and do not know about you, but who eats their lobster with cheese ?
She also told us for a small up charge we could upgrade another entree for the table. The up charge ended up being a 45% increase over the entree price...hardly small and extremely disingenuous not to inform the guests, two of whom were locals..
Took a long time to get water and then our drinks arrived. My Hendricks and tonic was so watered down, I requested another with the gin served on the side....a practice I normally reserve for restaurants in Asia. Having lived in mexico for many years, I was surprised to discover the margaritas that were made from a cheap mix. I offered to teach the bartender, Hendrick, how to make a real margarita:
1 part reposada tequila
1 part Limon juice
1 part Contreau
1/4-1/3 part simple syrup
This will make you the best margarita in the world.
At this point the manager came over and told me defensively that they used no mix. I asked him to let me sample their "limon" juice...he refused...wonder why ?
All in all I found that South of Nick's was permeated with an attitude of callousness, superiority, and smugness...all hall marks of small town and small minded management.
My family owns a Relais and Chateaux property. I have been privileged to have eaten with the best chefs and winemakers on our planet, and to a person, the best seem to be the most passionate and also the most humble.
South of Nicks was one of my all time bad dining experiences. Short pours on their drinks, a small, unimaginative wine list that is marked up 300%, and food that is below average. As I mentioned previously only redeeming feature is their entrance.
Marry this with an arrogant staff and you will leave with a bad taste in your mouth.
Avoid this place and go to one of the many local restaurants where you will feel welcomed. THUMBS DOWN ON THIS PLACE. 90% aroma and 10% substance. i prefer those ratios to be flipped when I am dining. UUGGHHHH on South of Nicks.

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1  Thank Jon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2018 via mobile

The food at South of Nick's is always great and the service is always good and friendly. Though the food and drinks are a bit pricey for Mexican food and San Clemente in general, it's worth a visit if you haven't been. Try the pork carnitas and the Soft Taco plate - both are excellent.

Thank ryantravelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2018

This upscale Mexican-inspired restaurant is exceptional; surprising; worth seeking out.

We visited for a late lunch on a rainy Saturday in the off season. The place was packed. It should be.

Everything was perfect (except perhaps the wait). Service and food was flawless. Dishes with traditional sounding names all were masterful twists on the transitions. The sweet mole, street corn, carnitas enchilada, ... were all created and presented to be memorable. Everything homemade and fresh with the best of ingredients.

Get a reservation and settle in.

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Thank Bruce M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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