Il Garage at Park Ave.


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Lovely how these balmy summer nights just keep rolling on. San Franciscans may be shivering on their porches, but here in Southern California we can eat out every night.

This season chef-owner David Slay of Park Ave. Restaurant in Stanton unveiled a 60-seat Italian café dubbed Il Garage. Housed in what was once (just last year!) a tractor garage, it’s behind the restaurant on the former dairy farm where Slay grows produce in a series of generously proportioned raised planters. Seeing those beds last year made me want to rethink my kitchen garden.


That garden -- and breezy seating area -- makes the new café unique in this part of town. Slay simply has to survey his beds to write the week’s menu. And there’s something very appealing about eating in that open-sided garage with the garden just steps away.

The menu has symbols to indicate which dishes are prepared with produce from the garden or their farm, Sage Ranch — bruschetta with eggplant caponata with sultanas and pine nuts, tomato salads from the garden or spinach tagliatelle with chopped shrimp, peppers and garden tomatoes. The menu capitalizes on the vegetables, with only a handful of main courses, such as lemon sole piccata-style or baby lamb chops, all served with veggies.

A tractor is parked in the garage dining room, sort of the mascot for the place. Red-and-white tablecloths complete the look. For relaxed al fresco dining in the O.C., check out Il Garage.

Il Garage at Park Ave., 11200 Beach Blvd., Stanton, (714) 901-4400, Al fresco dining Tuesday to Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m.


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