I did a quick search and didn't see anything posted here so figured I'd add to the collective wisdom here. I've been twice to South Coast Kitchen in the past few months and have had some really nice meals.
It's a really small restaurant in kind of an odd spot in SJC - not in the downtown area and not on a main road. But it's nestled into a little nook of a strip mall.
They have a small menu, which it doesn't seem to change too frequently, but everything I've had there has been very good. Super fresh, seasonal ingredients, simple preparations, very reasonably priced. It's nice to have another good, reliable little restaurant here. My wife has twice ordered the steak - petit filet - and twice been overjoyed at the quality and preparation. It's the most expensive thing on the menu and it's only $26. My wild salmon on top of pesto israeli couscous was great as well.
Anyhow, I don't think this is a real destination place - there are lots of places in Costa Mesa that would compete on quality (though maybe not as many on the price-to-quality ratio). But it's a really solid little place for the surrounding areas. We need more like this.
One thing to be aware of... it's a small kitchen so service can be a bit slow - at least when I've been there. But as long as you aren't coming to get out in 15 minutes, you'll be fine. There were two of us, we ordered apps, entrees and desserts and we were still in and out in just over an hour and 15 minutes. So no real problem.
Anyone else been?
Sorry, I don't have photos to share, but here's the address:
31105 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite C-7,
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675