I live in Orange and find myself eating by myself at least once a weekend. Lately, I have been going to Haven in Orange a fair bit, and I like it, but the menu is a bit limiting. I also enjoy taking the pup with me to Lazy Dog in Irvine, but the food isn't interesting. They don't have to have alcohol, I like Bruxie for an example, but it certainly helps, especially if they have some nice craft cocktails.
So where should I head to if I want to expand my dining options? I have sushi covered, so no sushi bars. I am married and my wife works weekends, so I am not looking to pick anyone up, but I do enjoy talking with someone sitting at the bar or at the next table.
Pet friendly patios are a plus, but really I am looking for interesting food. Tustin, Orange, and Irvine would be my first choices, but I will go a bit farther afield.