Il Garage: Farm-to-Table Rustic Charm

I grew up in the smallest incorporated city in Orange County, CA, called La Palma (formerly known as Dairyland, before the 1960's). Gone are the restaurants near my childhood home that charmed me with pastoral simplicity. The area has changed immensely and is no longer the same town of my youth.

I no longer live there, but on a drive back one day, I wondered, where is the best place to eat within a six mile radius? Not just eat, but also, have a culinary adventure where the food is not only appetizing, but is also high quality, and where the ambiance is filled with wonder.

A family friend suggested we visit a lovely restaurant, located in Stanton, called Il Garage (translated to The Garage, in Italian). So, for a few family milestone celebrations, we decided to venture into this obscure enclave.

It’s called Il Garage because in one of its last incarnations, it literally was a car repair garage. However, chef/owner, David Slay, who also owns Park Avenue next door (which serves fine classic American cuisine, such as steak and chops), had an epiphany one afternoon to turn the garage into a garden restaurant, serving farm-to-table style Italian cuisine. Today, entering through its arbor is like stepping into a secluded nook beyond a mundane existence.

Honoring its heritage, Il Garage, is very quaint and rustic, yet charming and elegant. As a family, we dined outside near the garden, among the herbs and produce. We ordered a variety of creative dishes from the menu. All the fixings for their side salad are picked from the garden. The birthday boy, who turned 10-years-old, wanted something not listed on the menu, such as chicken nuggets, and they kindly obliged him.

For those with dietary restrictions, such as vegans, vegetarians, or those with food allergies, they will gladly cook a dish for your specific needs. You can specify your requirements when ordering (or call ahead).

Dining at Il Garage was an enchanting experience. The ambiance is classy and whimsical, and the entire staff was wonderful, especially our servers, Kenny and Jose, who provided us with a delightful evening.

There really is a dining establishment in the La Palma/Buena Park/Stanton area, like no other restaurant in the vicinity. It’s a charming respite in the middle of reality. Il Garage truly is an epic dining adventure.

Info: Il Garage, 11200 Beach Blvd., Stanton, CA. Phone: (714) 901-4400

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