Iva Lee was born and raised in the South and came from a long line of Southern women who passed down recipes since their arrival in America in 1640. Iva Lee was my beloved grandmother. She took pride in preparing a wide variety of Southern meals and classic dishes from New Orleans for family and welcomed friends. Unlike most Californians, I was raised on grits, gumbo, okra, sweet potatoes, biscuits and pecan pie. My husband and I decided to honor her by sharing some of her finest recipes and savory dishes with you. Enjoy!
— Lisa and Eric Wagoner
Lisa and Eric Wagoner are husband and wife and are co-owners. Iva Lee’s Restaurant was designed and built by the couple. Lisa Wagoner has spent her career in the restaurant industry. She worked at the Surf and Sand Hotel at Splashes restaurant in Laguna Beach for six and a half years. At 24, she fulfilled her life-long dream when she opened her own restaurant, the Ramos House Café, in The Historic District of San Juan Capistrano. Wagoner was involved in all aspects of the operation from 1991 to 1998. The Ramos House Café received many accolades during her tenure including Best Restaurant in Orange County. Her next mission is to make Iva Lee’s the Best Restaurant in Orange County.