Growing up, Orange County boy Chris Simms would vacation along with his family in the breathtaking mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There he learned to fly fish, ride horses and ski. It’s also where he learned to wait tables and cook. In Jackson Hole, the lodge represents the perfect balance of warmth and comfort with excitement and positive energy.
That’s the vibe Chris brought to every table when he opened Lazy Dog Café with partners Gabe Caliendo and Roshan Mendis. With Gabe’s many fresh (and award winning) takes on traditional American cuisine and Roshan’s knack for developing extraordinary service teams, Lazy Dog Café has quickly become one of Orange County’s favorite family dining destinations. Since opening their first restaurant in Huntington Beach in 2003, Lazy Dog has added locations across Orange County in the cities of Orange, Irvine and Brea, in addition to eight other Southern California locations.
As family men themselves, Chris, Gabe and Roshan know what it takes to make everyone in the family happy. (And let’s be real – that’s a feat.) The atmosphere, patterned after the typical Jackson Hole lodge, has a buzzing liveliness that makes a family with young kids feel like they’re not the noisiest part of the evening, without being so edgy that that family will feel out of place. The servers and staff are well trained to serve the unique needs of families, but the real draw is the food. Lazy Dog is where fun and healthier versions of kid-friendly classics make junior(s) excited to dine out, where seasonal soups and a variety of salads keep it interesting for mom, and where a great selection of craft brew warms the cockles of dad’s heart. And it sure helps that great food at Lazy Dog comes at a great price.
“Being a family-owned and operated business, there is a certain level of care that goes into our scratch cooking and personalized service,” says Simms. “We’re hoping our guests can feel that, and that it makes them want to come back for more.”