By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Best Spot to Pick Up a Day Laborer Home Depot. Latino men and their eldest sons begin loitering out front before sunrise, knowing the many gabachos with the American flags flapping from their Chevys will pay well for a day's work. Better yet—no cop harassment here! 800 N. Brookhurst St., Anaheim, (714) 533-9930.
Best Place for a DJ to Save Your Life Beats, Vinyl & Life. The best one-stop hip-hop specialty shop in Anaheim (and probably OC), with a staff of actual/professional DJs and producers too—you may remember DJ JFX from appearances at Detroit and Blue Café as he swipes your ATM card and sends you home with a stack of 12"s. 517 S. Brookhurst St., Anaheim, (714) 774-7780; www.bvandl.com.
Best Meat Market Boogie. Our sole Boogie experience: a woman no older than 18 dancing on a table. She wore ass shorts with stickers of ruby lips on the bottom of her cheeks and a mesh T-shirt with nothing underneath. She invited us to turn the switch on the vibrator inside her hoo-hah. We went to Fritz's instead. 1721 S. Manchester Ave., Anaheim, (714) 956-1410.
Best Guilty PleasureAw, we knock Disneyland—hideously overpriced, not to mention full of people who are hideously overweight, what's not to knock?—but the truth is we love it. It's sweet, the folks who work there are peaches to the last man even while being bum rushed by nine-year-old urban savages, we have a secret thing for Tinkerbell (even the girls), and every time we go we can write the (hideous) admission off our taxes. Here you have your Walter Disney and his most famous creation (although that slut Snow White comes close behind), the one and the only Mickey Mouse. We've taken a lot of liberties with Mickey over the years; if we haven't portrayed him as Homeless Junkie Mickey, it's only because we didn't think of it or we were afraid Courtney Love would sue.
Best Company Mascot The Original Pancake House. Forget Mickey. This massive mascot looming over Lincoln Avenue—a grinning, two-dimensional cook in poofy hat flipping flapjacks—is a city icon as reassuring to Anaheimers as the Big A. And so are the pancakes—wheels of flour soaked with any number of syrups and gobs of butter. Chase them with coffee, and it's a good morning. 1418 E. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 535-9815; www.originalpancakehouse.com.
Best Unincorporated Area The Garza Island, for now. Unsure why, but this tiny blip of county land is being eyed for incorporation by Anaheim. Why they'd want this weentsy 495-acre crumb—boxed in by a sewer drain on the left, a ditch on the right, a fire hydrant to the south and my dad's Firebird to the north—remains unclear. You'd think they had better things to worry about—like why people moon their trains, and where Gwen Stefani's dress is. The yellow area on your Thomas Guide between Broadway, Katella Avenue, Gilbert Avenue and Brookhurst Street.
Best Dose of Irony Xalos Bar. The former Nazi-loving Shack is now proudly named after Jalostitlán, Jalisco, a Mexican town that has exported hundreds to Anaheim over the past decades. Some of them come here every weekend, and so do other Mexicans—Jalostitlán women are renowned across Mexico for being the hottest this side of Mount Etna—and the Nazis do not. 1160 N. Kraemer Ave., Anaheim, (714) 632-0390; www.xalosbar.com.
Best Mexican Wrestling Anaheim Indoor Swapmeet. Los luchadores mince neither actions nor words in these Sunday-afternoon lucha librematches. Families roll three generations deep, little kids throw sodas into the ring, white fighters call the overwhelmingly Latino audience beaners, and wrestlers get on all fours with offers of gay sex to scare away other wrestlers. 1440 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 999-0888.
Best Belly Dancing and Belly Dancing Accessories Saut Wa Soora. Here is where you go for the city's most extensive selection of Middle Eastern music CDs and cassettes, DVDs, videos, belly dancing videos, and belly dancing accessories. 2565 W. Ball Rd., Anaheim, (714) 220-0553.
Best Hessians Pro-Rock. Housed in the same dilapidated shopping mall as JC Fandango, Pro-Rock has the largest collection of metal records (in English and Spanish) outside KNAC's archive. 1064 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 774-3443.
Best Pie, Chicken Pot La Palma Chicken Pie Shop. Orange County's original hole-in-the-wall, this is where hipsters go to eat flaky, wonderful, gravy-laden chicken pot pies like their grandparents eat. And for atmosphere, its famous neon chicken is shining again. 928 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, (714) 533-2021.
Best Thai Corner The corner of Euclid Avenue and La Palma Avenue is Thai Town, where OC Thais get their hair done, buy produce at three grocery stores, wait for dental checkups—and eat at the county's three best Thai restaurants. Win Thai Cuisine (1151 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, 714-778-0940)boasts 116 entrées—from pad Thai to a green mussel soup pungent with the ocean. Siam Hot Chili Paste (1739 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 714-956-8444)serves fiery northeast Thailand salads and the flashiest karaoke shows outside the Thai Elvis. E-Sarn Restaurant (1719 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 714-999-0563) beats all with an untranslated menu, waiters who speak little English, and a pig tripe soup that makes offal taste like filet mignon.