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Wild Reviews

Reviews

See also: Awards

25 Food Rating "Excellent" 2015

Zagat 2015
Zagat Guide 2015, January 31, 2015
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Zagat 2011 Rating 26 Extraordinary!

Yorba Linda"Locals" laud this best kept secret where Chef-Owner James D'Aquila "never ceases to amaze" with "creative", "taste-bud-licking" Cal-eclectic cuisine presented like a "work of art". With pampering service, it's "a favorite for anniversaries or special occasions" , even if some say the "cramped" art filled quarters "leave much to be desired", p.s. the winemaker's dinners are "always a treat".

Zagat 2011
Zagat 2011, March, 2011
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Wild Artichoke

A blurb on the Web site calls this 9-year-old restaurant Yorba Linda's Culinary Secret. But I don't see how it can still be a mystery to anyone. Yes, it is a small dining room in a countrified area of the county, but food this good? Word gets out.

Chef James D'Aquila creates a wonderful menu including, deep-fried baby artichokes, and Wild Artichoke Napoleon, a hearty combination of the eponymous thistle with mushrooms shallots and light puff pastry.

Not all the dishes are made with the namesake vegetable. Jack's seafood fra dialblo is a spice-forward blend that includes an ocean of gifts from the sea.

And desserts like Spanish coffee crème brûlée will keep you up all night wondering how you could have missed The Wild Artichoke for so long.

The Wild Artichoke, 4973-A Yorba Ranch Road, Yorba Linda, Lunch from $15, dinners, $20-40 per person

ELIZABETH EVANS
Orange County Register, May 8, 2009

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The Wild Artichoke: Yorba Linda's culinary secret-

Thank heaven for The Wild Artichoke. When James D'Aquila opened his sweet soulful little bistro in 2000, it seemed positively daring of him to bring such polished cooking to a sleepy, family burg. Eight years later, the unpretentious storefront still stands out as one of Yorba Linda's better options for clued-in cuisine. In fact, the now-seasoned operation seems to get better with each passing year!

Gretchen Kurz
Orange Coast Magazine , April, 2008

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The Wild Artichoke 2007 Zagat Survey 25 Food Excellent"

Yorba Lindans feel "lucky to live close" to this "tiny" Cal-Eclectic hiding in an "unassuming location" that's "worth the hunt" thanks to chef-owner James D'Aquila, who "cares about food and wine" and "grows his customers palates" via "beautiful presentations" of "creative" "gourmet delights" with " rich flavors"; his "young, eager servers" supply " attentive" care, making for an "intimate" vibe that promps disciples to declare "this is the type of bistro every neighborhood should have." (Click to read review)

2007 Zagat Survey
2007 Zagat Survey So. California Restaurants, January 1, 2007
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"Adventurous" gourmands are wild for this "undiscovered north county gem" in an "out-of-the-way" Yorba Linda strip mall featuring chef-owner James D'Aquila's "awesome", "artisanal" Cal cuisine with French and Italian influences and "outstanding wines"; "friendly", "obsessively good" service helps offset the "small" space, and best of all, the "unbeatable" fare is also an "excellent value." (Click to read review)

2005 Zagat Survey - Orange County (America's most prestigious restaurant guide), October, 2004
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Just like its namesake, this restaurant is unassuming, hard to locate and favored by connoisseurs. It’s also hard to classify. Chef-owner James D’Aquila has masterminded an eclectic menu that changes from day to day and borrows influences from just about everywhere. (Click to read review)

Gayot.com, September, 2004

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When he decided to open his own restaurant, chef James D'Aquila went looking for a slice of rural Connecticut (where he grew up) in Orange County (where he had worked for the past decade). He finally found it in a little strip mall on Yorba Ranch Road and opened the Wild Artichoke. Not long after, foodies from near and far, including those who contribute to the Zagat guide, were calling D'Aquila's efforts some of the best fare in north Orange County. Strong praise, to be sure. (Click to read review)

Pete Johnson
Westways, July, 2004

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Rustic Elegance in the Yorba Linda Badlands ... all of D'Aquila's culinary creations are fabulous, simply fabulous.

Gustavo Arellano
OC Weekly, December, 2003

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Dick's Picks - Five spots to chow down at after visiting the Nixon Library

...WILD ARTICHOKE...Elegant little, candle-lit spot. As the tallest man ever to suffer from a Napoleon complex, Dick would've loved their Wild Artichoke Napoleon: puff pastry layered with sauteed artichokes and mushrooms... (Click to read review)

Stephen Lemons
OC Weekly, March, 2003

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The Wild Artichoke brings some different flavors to its hidden location in Yorba Linda. Even though the eatery is tucked into a small corner mall, there is little here that is cookie-cutter. Water glasses look like cut crystal, the walls are a welcoming green, and the art is large and graphic with the dominant piece depicting the eponymous edible ... My only complaint is why doesn’t someone like James D’Aquila live – and, more importantly, work – in my neighborhood? (Click to read review)

Elizabeth Evans
myOC.com, November 2, 2002

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Small on space but big on personality, this bantam bistro is turning out some of the yummiest fare in north county. That it’s all served with spirit at really attractive prices only boosts the appeal of this unpretentious spot. The credit goes to congenial chef-owner James D’Aquila and his quest for success on a small but delicious scale. (Click to read review)

Gretchen Kurz
Elmer Dills Restaurant Reviews & Getaways, November 29, 2000

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The Wild Artichoke brings simple elegance and simply luscious food to Yorba Linda. (Click to read review)

Kristi Munns
myOC.com, November, 2000

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