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Grub Guide

The county's best damn dining guide

Visit the rest of Orange County's best damn dining guide at ocweekly.com/food, where it says "Where to Eat Now" on the right side of the screen. If there are any bugs with it, e-mail Gustavo at garellano@ocweekly.com with your complaints!

DINNER FOR TWO:

¢ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10!

Location Info

Map

Ali Baba Restaurant

100 S. Brookhurst St.
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > Middle Eastern

Region: Anaheim

Matiki Island Barbeque

3070 W. Lincoln Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Hawaiian

Region: Anaheim

El Misti Picanteria Arequipena

3070 W. Lincoln Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Peruvian

Region: Anaheim

Hot Dog On A Stick

2153 Brea Mall Way
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Restaurant > Fast Food

Region: Brea

Karuta Restaurant

6890 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Buena Park

Irvine Lake Cafe

4621 Santiago Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Silverado

Beach Pit BBQ

1676 Tustin Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Costa Mesa

Karl Strauss Brewery

901 S. Coast Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Costa Mesa

Harbor House Cafe

34157 Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Dana Point

Anh Hong Restaurant

10195 Westminster Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Garden Grove

Seoul Oak Korean BBQ

8295 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Garden Grove

Duke's Huntington

317 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Category: Restaurant > Hawaiian

Region: Huntington Beach

$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10-$20

$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20-$40

$$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ¡Eres muy rico!

ANAHEIM

ALI BABA RESTAURANT
For those of you who like your Arabic and Persian food on sticks, order the jujeh kebab, chicken kebabs surrounded by mounds of basmati rice. The slightly bland rice serves as a good counterpart to the succulent chicken, pepper and onion pieces. 100 S. Brookhurst St., Anaheim, (714) 774-5632. $$

ANGELO'S
I defy anyone to find a finer summer Friday night than the kind you get at Angelo's: a burger-fries-and-Coke combo for six bucks, a girl/boy by your side, nameless kids chucking pickles at one another, buxom waitresses skating without pause, and the half-Latino, half-white crowd communally willing another Vlad Guerrero horsehide bomb into the television sky. 511 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 533-1401. $

MATIKI ISLAND BARBEQUE
Whether tucked between two bread slices or served alongside rondures of rice and macaroni salad, the beef at Matiki Island Barbeque is among the most memorably delicious pieces of cow you'll ever chew: ruddy, soft, not burnt at all, a veritable luau on your palate. That beef and other entrées are the sole enticers here—no need for Polynesian bric-a-brac when the food is a slice of the island. 3070 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 821-5228. $

PICANTERÍA ARIQUEPEÑA EL MISTI
Little more than a long dining hall adorned with WPA-style farmer murals, El Misti prepares the diet of Arequipa, a city of about 750,000 acclaimed for its desiccated, hearty dishes and thunderously flavored drinks. El Misti offers Peruvian standards as well for the unadventurous: coconut-milk-based chupe soups, the buttery stir-fried chow meins known as tallarines and savory pollo a brasa. All good versions, really—but why would you eat anything else on the planet when pig knuckles are but a request away? 3070 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 995-5944; www.elmisticuisine.com. $

BREA

HOT DOG ON A STICK
While these lemonade-churning chicks and guys do serve the dead stuff, they also peddle awesome veggie corn dogs. And to ensure that you are not ingesting a real wienie, the jockey-hatted crew differentiate their dogs with a green dot on the end of the stick. 2153 Brea Mall Way, Brea, (714) 256-2602. ¢

BUENA PARK

KARUTA
Whether the hissing grill and spinning knives at Karuta strike you as a little pop-culture retro or even warmly nostalgic, they are a startling reminder of the joys and dangers of this food-and-fun combo. While you're awaiting portions of shrimp, sesame chicken and teriyaki steak, along with mixed veggies and sprouts, the comic/surgeon/cook will make a what-did-the-banana-say-to-the-vibrator joke while strobe lights dance on his flicking, flashing knives. Food's good too. 6890 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, (714) 994-2730.$$

CANYON CITIES

IRVINE LAKE CAFE
When you get hungry in the backwaters of OC, turn that skiff around and motor over to this café. They offer supersatisfying breakfast burritos and always-fresh Farmers Bros. coffee that can be packed for boat or car. 4621 Santiago Canyon Rd., Silverado, (714) 649-9111. $

CORONA DEL MAR

CAFÉ JARDIN
Located at the tranquil Sherman Library and Gardens, the café's menu is well-thought-out. The mushroom soup is the color of a spa mud pack with an earthy mushroom flavor, and all of the desserts are made on the premises. 2647 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 673-0033. $$

COSTA MESA

AVO'S BISTRO
Order at the counter—their succulent braised-beef-and-lamb gyro is a good choice—and the food is brought to your table. Their secret-recipe tsatsiki provides a creamy condiment in many of the already flavorful foods. 580 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 556-6555. $

BEACH PIT BBQ
Former baseball player Tim DeCinces focuses his menu on pan-Southern fare like sausage, pulled pork, chicken, brisket and ribs—no regional styles yet, although the off-the-menu pork taquitos hint at what Southerners can expect as more Mexicans settle in Dixie. I'm partial to the smoked sausage, each about the size of a kielbasa and arriving five to an order, prepared in a manner that allows the skin to maintain a distinct smoked flavor even as the interior houses a wonderful mix of juice, spice and pork. 1676 Tustin Ave., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-RIBS; www.beachpitbbq.com. $$

COSTA BRAVA
Slurping zinc-laden raw oysters at Costa Brava brings out the bravado in its loyal patrons. Try the super-popular coctel de camarones; the flash-fried whole catfish and red snapper filet with garlic sauce are also done up right. 727 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8272. $

KARL STRAUSS BREWERY
You can excuse most patrons of this Costa Mesa restaurant if all they concentrate on is getting hammered. After all, Karl Strauss' brewing process is so refined it could probably make a fine lager out of Santa Ana River water. But to obsess over their brews does disservice to their smoky steaks, surprisingly tasteful salads and magnificent hoagies. 901-A South Coast Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 546-BREW; www.karlstrauss.com. $$

CYPRESS

CAFÉ HIRO
Café Hiro is a 3-year-old Cypress eatery that has everything going for it except the design scheme, a setup that would only happen elsewhere if Goodwill decorated Denny's. But Hiro's exquisite entrées—a fantastic fusion of Japanese, Italian, French and American—ensure a steady stream of suitors; ridiculously cheap prices guarantee many rendezvous. And the ahi poke appetizer special—the buttery fish seared, warm and salty on the outside and chilled on the inside, wonderfully contrasting with the accompanying field greens' snappiness—launches a thousand romances. 10509 Valley View St., Cypress, (714) 527-6090. $$

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