SoCal Explorer Partner Highlight: Ellie’s Table

Ellie’s Table is a celebration of Eleanor Mastroianni — half of the husband-and-wife cooking and baking team , Jay + Eleanor Mastroianni. The duo began their own small catering business out of their home in 1967, and today the company is known as one of Orange County’s best catering companies. 
Ellie’s Table represents Eleanor’s immersive experience working with the diverse cuisines in the food industry. 

From savory Flat Iron steaks to healthy quinoa wraps, the menu encompasses a wide range of dishes that appeal to a variety of tastes. Dishes are made from scratch each day and include customer favorites, like “Jay’s Famous Cheese Roll Palm Sandwiches” or “Ellie’s Potato Salad” and “Ellie’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls.” 

Happiness is Homemade 

In addition to the fan favorites, Ellie’s Table on-site chefs also enjoy creating innovative takes on Eleanor’s beloved classic recipes, while upholding the restaurant’s slogan: “Happiness is Homemade.” It’s meant to feel like a place where locals and visitors can come together and enjoy tasty food and drink in a welcoming atmosphere.  

General Manager Kyle Poncheri shared insight into the restaurant’s origins and how this more than 50-year-old landmark has evolved while also paying homage to Ellie’s memory.  

“We always had our beautiful pastries and our palm sandwiches and salads in this nice bakery case setup – but we went from that to a full kitchen menu and we’re super successful now, so it’s been a really cool experience,” said Poncheri. 

It’s clear that locals have come to associate Ellie’s Table with its incredible baked goods — particularly the “Butter Croissant,” known as the house specialty.

The restaurant even has a dedicated on-site French pâtissier, Chef Christophe, who creates fresh-baked treats every morning ranging from classic cinnamon rolls, to unique twists on old favorites that he creates from his daily inspiration.  

“The amount of people who have come in to support us [this past year] as much as they can – from giving us huge tips and more,” said Poncheri. “I knew San Juan was a close-knit town, but I was overwhelmed with the amount of help that we received from the community.”   

In his five years on-site, Poncheri has seen customers fall in love, and children grow up.  He describes a particularly impactful encounter with a customer who visited every day and left especially generous tips on Christmas.  

“When we told her she didn’t have to do these generous gestures, she told us that we had deeply impacted her life,” he said. “When she first started coming in here it was the first time, she felt comfortable outside her home since her husband passed away. She said Ellie’s Table will always have a large part of her heart.” 

These kinds of encounters are abundant at Ellie’s Table.   

“That’s the thing – you don’t even know how you can change someone’s day, or life in a little way just by working at a restaurant.” 

Poncheri recommends a few delicious dishes for visitors to try: “We are known for our chilaquiles — it’s the best thing here,” he said. “We also have a great gluten-free menu – we’re known for our gluten-free quiches which don’t taste gluten-free at all. They’re amazing.” 

Ellie’s Table stays true to its roots – the restaurant honors its matriarch with every customer encounter and serves up the original signature specialties that keeps people coming back for more.  

When SoCal Explorers take the train to Ellie’s Table and show their loyalty card or same day Metrolink ticket, they’ll get a free cup of coffee or a cookie (limit to one item per day). 

Address: 31892 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Closed on Monday

Phone: (949) 558-5310

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  1. Hi Rick! Thank you for reading. We are updating the blog post to include the address and directions. For your reference, it is 31892 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 — and it is down the street from the station, just a few steps!

  2. I love that Metrolink is sharing interesting places to visit in SoCal. It would be nice if the post shared where Ellie’s Table is at. From the San Juan reference, I assume its in San Juan Capistrano. But no address or location is given and most important, if we want to take Metrolink there, how do we get to the location from the nearest Metrolink station.

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