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What's Cookin' Behind the Curtain - Darling I Love You But Give Me Park Ave.

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Every Friday, LAist is taking you on a trip down to Orange County to uncover the unique dining experiences that await adventurous eaters willing to explore beyond the county line.

Saying the name ‘Park Avenue’ evokes images of wealth, of tony living, of elegance and class (or of crappy Buicks if you’re into cars). Kinda like Rodeo Drive. It’s the antithesis of the working class, the regular everyday lifestyle that most of us experience. Which makes this week’s restaurant strangely appropriate, since Park Ave. in Stanton delivers a regal dining experience for a working class crowd.

My dad likes to joke about the perception that Laguna Beach or Newport Harbor is somehow representative of “the real Orange County,” and that someone looking to experience real “real Orange County” should go visit Stanton. Like most communities in north Orange County, Stanton is firmly middle class, with a diverse population and a significantly lower amount of plastic and silicon per capita than certain other “real” neighborhoods. Thus, it is surprising to find a place like Park Ave. within the Stanton city limits since the whole theme of the restaurant harkens back to upper-class 1950s living, a stark contrast to the nudie bar located a block away.

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Picture this: a dimly lit dining room, with a mahogany wood base design and retro fabric adorning the seats and curtains; an elegant bar with old Rat Pack standards playing in the background; an all-black clad wait staff offering up seasonal selections from the menu; a googie-style logo displayed in the neon roadsign all the way down to the embossing in the faux-gator leather billholder. From what I could see, every last detail was covered to convey the theme.