Ok, here are the details: My son is getting married to a woman who lives in Garden Grove, near Disneyland. The rehearsal dinner will be on Thursday, August 3rd for 30 people. The church is nearby their house so the rehearsal dinner should be somewhere in that vicinity. However, it can be as far away as Newport Beach (a nice summer sunset with dinner would be special) or Brea since they are near the 22 and 55 freeways. Driving around 5:00 p.m. on a Thursday night in Orange County is pretty gruesome in general, but not a deal breaker.
I was born in raised in Los Angeles and now live in New Orleans, but I don't know enough about Orange County restaurants to pick a place long distance and be certain the food falls into the awesome to unbelievable range. An elegent atmosphere would be a plus, money is some consideration because of the number of people, but we are willing to spend a few dollars to get a wonderful meal. Being a devout Chowhound, I am incapable of planing a crappy chain-restaurant gathering, or anything resembling banquet food. I have gotten even more spoiled since moving to New Orleans where an excellent meal is always expected. I admit it, I am a food snob.
Any suggestions would be so gratefully appreciated. The only place I could think of off the top of my head was the White House in Anaheim, but haven't eaten there for over 20 years, not quite enough info. to pick it out of a list of good restaurants.