Playground Brings the Fun for Lunch at Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market

Chef Jason Quinn serves Thai food, fried chicken, and burgers at his Lunchbox, which stays open for dinner too

Talented chef/MTV judge Jason Quinn doesn’t think about boundaries when he cooks. In Downtown Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market, which is becoming a clutch spot for getting everything you want at lunch (especially you have eight stomachs like a cow), his Lunchbox by Playground includes three food concepts: Asian dishes at Noodle Tramp, fried chicken at PFC, and burgers at Wagyu Chuck.

It makes sense for a chef whose attitude-driven, somewhat controversial Playground gastropub nearby already serves Asian noodles, fried chicken, and burgers on a menu of decadent and on-point dishes.

Playground is only open for dinner now–so for lunch, go to the 4th Street Market complex and enjoy khao soi (a Northern Thai curry noodle soup), spicy fried chicken, and mind-blowing burgers. But don’t get the burgers posted on the menu. Ask for the off-menu, signature Playground one with four cuts of meat.

If you didn’t come to 4th Street Market in search of a gut-busting lunch, though, there are good dining options beyond Lunchbox by Playground. Hit Mar for divine ahi poke without any sauce atop a bed of bejeweled black rice, and bliss out on the pristine cubes of fish.

And don’t fret if you don’t get a chance to try everything you want. You can always come back again for lunch–the next day. Or come for a snack or dinner later. Lunchbox by Playground and Mar are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

redarrow 4th Street Market, 201 E. 4th St, Santa Ana, 714-486-0700