Where famous people eat!

Paul Suntup

South African-born poet currently serving his second year on the Laguna Beach Poetry Slam Team. Writes a hell of a lot about food. His most famous poem, "Teardrop in Snow," reflects the barrenness of suburban living through his nearly empty refrigerator. BREAKFAST: "Muffins. For me, breakfast is all about muffins. Forget about fried eggs, bacon, pancakes and hash browns for a moment. My favorite is the lemon poppyseed muffin from Einstein Brothers Bagels. For best results, have a hot cup of coffee or tea. Take a bite, chew no more than three times, and then sip from the hot beverage. Swirl. Swallow. Yummy." LUNCH: "Depends on what I'm in the mood for. For a quick (and absolutely delicious) meal, I go to Niki's Tandoori Express on Bristol in Santa Ana. By far the best 'fast' food I've ever had. My favorite dish is the chicken tikka with yogurt. Don't forget the naan bread. The atmosphere is actually pleasant enough to want to sit down and eat. Something else that impresses me about Niki's is that I only have to say 'for here' or 'to go' once. They listen, which is so rare at many restaurants." DINNER: "Many favorites here. The Maharaja Palace in Orange is the best Indian food I've had. . . . A great place to grab low-priced, really good food is Taco Loco in Laguna Beach, where my favorite is the tofu mushroom burger. It tastes nothing like it sounds. For those times when you crave really messy food, this is the dish to have. I have never been able to eat the entire burger without half of it tumbling out from between the buns. Lastly, I wanted to mention my favorite dessert dish: the strawberry pie from Claim Jumper." Einstein Brothers Bagels 17675 Harvard Ave. Irvine (949) 756-8903 / Nikki's Tandoori Express 3705 S. Bristol Santa Ana (714) 850-0595 / Maharaja Cuisine of India 421 N. Tustin Orange (714) 633-7252 / Taco Loco 640 S. Pacific Coast Hwy. Laguna Beach (949) 497-1635 / Claim Jumper all over the place [VDI]


Ed Royce

Rare Republican. It might be said that Representative Ed Royce's (R-Fullerton) tastes run toward the hand that feeds him: the 39th District congressman made his name in politics with his crusade against government waste, particularly the practice of giving millions of tax dollars to monolithic corporations, like McDonald's. Even though we've taken exception with him on some issues—deregulating the banking industry, for one—we've always appreciated his willingness to go after the hypocrisy of his own party. He spends nearly every weekend in his district and, evidently, patronizes its businesses. BREAKFAST: "Polly's Pies, in Fullerton," he says, without a trace of doubt. "You can't get your cherry pie just anywhere. It's excellent food, and the staff is personable." He's also fond of the bottomless orange juice, but really, "you want to start with the cherry pie." LUNCH: The congressman admits that this one's due in part to convenience—it's downstairs from his Fullerton office—but Heroes has great food. "It's like the Cheers of Fullerton," he says. "The burgers are the best in town, and you get so many curly fries that they fall off your plate. There's photos and memorabilia on the wall, and it's a great, friendly local crowd." DINNER: Again, Royce is decisive. "Café El Cholo in La Habra. It serves authentic Mexican food, and it's locally owned and operated. Get the combo plate, with the wonderfully hot salsa—chile relleno, taco, enchilada and tamale. Try it out—you'll love it. It's an institution in North Orange County." Polly's Pies 136 N. Raymond Ave. Fullerton (714) 526-7741 / Heroes 305 N. Harbor Blvd. Fullerton (714) 738-4356 / Café El Cholo 840 E. Whittier Blvd. La Habra (714) 525-1320 [VDI]


Bret Lubin

Owner of alternative clothing and record store Rack 'N Ruin. Guitarist for the Rookies. Lover of eggs. BREAKFAST: "The Coyote Grill in Laguna Beach. I get the Philly Eggs—eggs and Philadelphia cream cheese all smushed together scrambled-style. They give you tortillas and salsa and a special kind of spicy hash browns and black beans. They have Coke in the 8-ounce bottles. There's patio seating with an ocean view where you can sit next to Nicole Brown's sister; I've seen her there a bunch of times. And they have good mimosas that are a good hangover cure." LUNCH: "The soup at Dexter's is ridiculously good. It changes your definition of the word 'soup.' When I first had it, I felt like I was in the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. I couldn't believe how much I was freaking out over a bowl of soup. Soup was always just, like, soup—liquefied food —but this is so good. I had the chicken noodle, but just calling it 'chicken noodle' doesn't do it justice. It's so much more. It's the best lunch I've ever had, just a tuna sandwich and chicken noodle soup." DINNER: "I want to say French 75, but I've never actually eaten there. I just like the décor. It's deco, like 1920s French deco. You feel like you're in a Paris cafe. I go there and have drinks at the bar. I really like Honda Ya Japanese Cuisine in Tustin. You don't have to use them, but they have the rooms where you sit on your ass and eat real sushi Japanese-style." Did you do that? "No, I sat in a regular booth; I didn't do the ass-seating. The ass-seating is for parties of five or more." Would you have wanted to do the ass-seating? "Would I have? Yeah!" The Coyote Grill 31621 Coast Hwy. Laguna Beach (949) 499-4033 / Dexter's of Capistrano 27134 Paseo Espada San Juan Capistrano (949) 488-8012 / French 75 1464 S. Coast Hwy. Laguna Beach (949) 494-8444 / Honda Ya Japanese Restaurant 556 El Camino Real Tustin (714) 832-0081 [AMR]

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