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HOLIDAY DINING : When It's OK to Get Dad Fed Up

June 17, 1993|ANNE MICHAUD and BEVERLY BUSH SMITH | Anne Michaud is a staff writer for The Times Orange County Edition. Beverly Bush Smith is a free-lance writer and contributor to OC Live!

Dads can be difficult to shop for, but you can tailor a Father's Day dining-out experience this Sunday to suit even the pickiest. The key question: Just what kind of guy is he?

* Meat and potatoes men: Prime rib is the piece de resistance of the (unlimited) champagne buffet at Cattleman's Wharf, which also features shrimp, barbecued ribs, pancakes, omelets and desserts. Extended Father's Day hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for brunch, 5 to 10 p.m. dinner. The buffet costs $16.95 for adults, $7.95 for children age 5 to 12, children under age 5 dine free; 1160 W. Ball Road, Anaheim. (714) 535-1622.

* Art lovers: For fathers who enjoy dining with a side of visual arts, at least two restaurants present special exhibits on Sunday. Bistango recently debuted "Earthbound," a celebration of earth tones and textures with a strong American Indian influence by eight artists. Latin soloist Ricardo also performs on Sunday. Entree prices range from $13 to $19 for dinner, served from 5 to 10 p.m.; 19100 Von Karman Ave., Irvine. (714) 752-5222.

Also, Pero's in Huntington Beach displays a special exhibit of fine art (much of it nautically themed) by Ken Jungiohann. Breakfast is 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ($5 to $8) and dinner ($8 to $18) from 5:30 to 10 p.m.; Sea Cliff Village, 2221 N. Main St., Huntington Beach. (714) 960-7764.

* Cruisers: Hornblower Yacht Cruises will present both brunch and supper cruises along Newport Harbor on Sunday. For brunch, yachts depart at 10 a.m. and return at noon, or leave at 1:30 p.m. and return at 3:30 p.m. $36 per person includes (unlimited) champagne and buffet. The 2 1/2-hour sunset supper cruise begins at 6 p.m., featuring a three-course dinner plus deejay and dancing. It's $49, plus tax, gratuity and beverage service. Information and reservations: (714) 631-2469, Ext. 7. Cruises depart from 2431 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach (near Cano's).

* Barbecue fiends: Even fathers who excel at manning the grill might love to have someone else do the cooking on Sunday. Le Cafe restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Irvine will fire up a barbecue pit to sizzle pork ribs, marinated chicken, blackened redfish and more. There'll also be roast suckling pig in the extensive buffet, which will include baked potatoes, corn on the cob, grilled summer vegetables and dessert. There'll even be live country music. In addition, brunchers can make a day of it at the hotel with complimentary tennis, swimming, health club privileges and activities for young children. Brunch, available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and all activities are included in the price: $27.95 for adults, $12.95 for children under age 12, free for children under three feet tall; 17900 Jamboree Blvd., Irvine. (714) 975-1234, Ext. 2103.

Le Meridien's barbecue includes top sirloin, sausage, chicken marinated in herbs and spices and fish prepared to order, in addition to a 50-item buffet that includes Dungeness crab, jumbo shrimp and New Zealand mussels on the half shell. The Gerard Barbut trio will entertain, and brunch service will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The price, excluding tax and tip, is $28 for adults, $12 for children age 6 to 12; children age 5 and under eat free; 4500 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach. (714) 476-2001, Ext. 2194.

* Brunchers: Mariachis will perform during Sunday brunch at Cano's Waterfront. The three-course brunch with unlimited champagne, from $11.95 to $16.95, includes an unlimited dessert bar. Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 2241 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. (714) 631-1381.

Royal Thai Cuisine restaurants welcome dads with a four-course brunch (choice of entrees) and unlimited champagne for $11.95 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Locations at 4001 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach, (714) 645-THAI, and 1750 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, (714) 494-THAI.

Fathers who love surf and sand can enjoy a panoramic view from the ninth-floor Towers restaurant or on-the-beach dining at Splashes--both at the Surf & Sand Hotel. A buffet brunch (mostly lunch items) with unlimited champagne will be served upstairs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; $35 for adults, $15 for children under age 12. Splashes will offer an a la carte menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with entrees $8 to $15. 1555 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. (714) 497-4477.

Prego Ristorante will offer an Italian buffet brunch on Father's Day, with dishes including Misto Mare Marinato (marinated mixed seafood), Frittate Miste (Italian-style quiche), Penne al Pomodoro (short pasta tubes, fresh tomato sauce and basil), Pollo Marinato (grilled marinated chicken), Gamberoni (grilled shrimp) and Agnello Arrosto (roasted leg of lamb). The brunch, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., will also include salads, pizza and dessert. The cost is $19.95 for adults, $10.95 for children under age 12. 18420 Von Karman Ave., Irvine. (714) 553-1333.

* Sweet tooths: Emporio Armani Express in South Coast Plaza is offering free dessert to dads when they buy a meal between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Father's Day. The restaurant features Italian food, including pasta and pizza. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. (714) 754-0300.

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