By Stacie N. Galang
647 Camino De Los Mares, #126, San Clemente, 949.940.8845,
Best known for: Chicken Parmesan
Most popular item: Tuna tower
Near the Krikorian Theatre lies Zona’s Italian American Cuisine, a 163-seat restaurant and sports bar. About half the menu includes Italian favorites and the other half American classics – all scratch made. Owner Rich Zona said he strives for top-notch service, a good vibe and reasonably priced quality eats. The family friendly restaurant offers $5 kid meals, sandwiches like a pastrami on rye for $11 and for the more sophisticated, items like the $18 Jail Island grilled salmon with sun-dried tomato pesto over a wild mushroom risotto. Entertainment seekers will enjoy the 15 flat-screen TVs – 10 alone in the bar and live music throughout the week. The eatery features outdoor seating and banquet space for up to 55 or smaller parties of 10 in the wine room. A 23-year restaurant veteran, executive chef Scott Lewis, who made stops in Cape May, N.J. and Park City, Utah, described the cuisine as fresh California ingredients done old-world style. His goal: create sophisticated food that’s not overdone.
Payment: Cash, credit cards
Price range: $5-$24
Reservations: Not necessary
Hours: Sunday 9 a.m.- 2 a.m., Monday to Thursday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

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