The Irvine Spectrum is an entertainment and shopping complex in Irvine, a city in Orange County, considered one of the best places to live in the US.
The center has grown over the years from its humble beginnings in 1995 until the latest expansion in 2020.
It now features stores like Nordstrom, Sephora, Apple, and Target, a Ferris wheel, and a Regal Cinemas 21-screen movie theater.
It also has an eclectic selection of restaurants and snack outlets.
The little ones can enjoy a Merry-go-round, the Ferris wheel, and a new children's playground. They also love running through ground fountains and chromatic mist.
Here is a list of my favorite places at the spectrum:
Walking around and admiring the Moroccan architecture with many trees and fountains is a treat, but you can do much more.
You can spend some time at Dave & Buster's for video games, VR games, billiards, simulator rides, and dining.
The game selection here is impressive and includes group and arcade games. With classics like Speedball, you can earn tickets redeemable at the store. Get more information about D&B here.
Or you can join an escape room game at the Escape Game. This place has six escape rooms to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty. Check escape rooms and times here.
Or go to the 21-theater Regal movie complex to catch the latest movie in their IMAX, 4DX, or standard theaters.
Feel like a laugh? Then head to the Improve Comedy Club to enjoy some standup comedy and a meal.
How about something new? Go to Cakemix, where you can express your artistic talents and design your own cake.
For the kids in your group, try the giant wheel, carousel, and Spectrum Climber. The latter is a three-dimensional climbing sculpture standing 18 feet (5.49 m) tall and 49 feet (ca. 15 m) wide, with seventy-five platforms.
The array of dining options at the spectrum is refreshing. You can find styles and cuisines to satisfy every taste.
My favorites are The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang, Fogo de Chao, Javier's Cantina & Grill, and Silverlake Ramen.
You can also enjoy a quick snack or drink at places like 85°C Bakery Café, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Cold Stone Creamery, Häagen-Dazs, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, or Starbucks Coffee.
If you like Asian food, you love the variety and quality of selection. During our last visit, we started with the Lettuce Wraps, Shrimp Dumplings, and the Kung Pao Dragon Roll.
We picked Mongolian Beef, Crispy Honey Shrimp, and Stir-Fried Eggplant for the main course. Everything was delicious, and the portions were just right.
For dessert, we had two helpings of the Banana Spring Rolls – because one is never enough.
The drinks are also exceptional. Every cocktail on the menu tastes just right; we especially like the Coconut Mojito and the Mei Tei.
Javier's is one of the newest additions to the ever-expanding Irvine Spectrum. It is located near well-established eateries like The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang, and Cucina, so why dine here?
Well, the food, of course. It is just delicious! But also, the ambiance and the service were excellent.
We started with some chips and salsa. The salsa was great but too spicy, so we ordered the guac to balance it out.
We then tried the two of their combo plates: the Enchilada with Taco and the trio of Enchilada, Taco, and Chile Relleno.
The food was delicious and plentiful. We had plenty of leftovers.
We also tried two of their margaritas, the Guava and Pineapple. I, personally, preferred the Guava Rita.
For a great end to the meal, we had the tres leches and the Corn Bread Pudding, and they were so tasty we didn't have any leftovers.
The Cheesecake Factory
They offer sandwiches, steak and seafood, flatbread, pizza, and pasta dishes.
The dessert menu is phenomenal. You can start with the traditional cheesecake, but be adventurous and try Oreo® dream extreme, Cinnabon® cinnamon swirl, or even the low-carb cheesecake.
I am not into shopping too much, but my wife and daughters love to browse boutique shops and name brands like Nordstrom, the Body Shop, Hollister, or American Eagle.
And, of course, everyone must stop the Barnes & Noble or the Apple Store.