Grub Guide

The best damn dining guide in Orange County


"Family-style" before the phrase meant "Norm's," Dalton's has gabby servers with odd hairstyles, a mostly older clientele, hearty extra-large egg breakfasts served all day, and a menu dominated by meat and fried stuff. 9575 Valley View St., Cypress, (714) 229-8101. $


Location Info



1545 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Anaheim

Luigi's D'Italia

801 S. State College Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92806

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Anaheim

The Clubhouse

3333 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Costa Mesa

Doria's Original Haus of Pizza

1500 Adams Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Costa Mesa

Maggiano's Little Italy

3333 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Costa Mesa

Native Foods

2937 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Eclectic

Region: Costa Mesa

Dalton's Restaurant

9575 Valley View St.
Cypress, CA 90630

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Cypress

Hennessey's Tavern

34111 La Plaza
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Dana Point

Kappo Honda

18450 Brookhurst St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Fountain Valley


9892 Westminster Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Garden Grove

Joe's Italian Ice

12302 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Ice Cream

Region: Garden Grove

Gallagher's Pub & Grill

300 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste. 113
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Category: Music Venues

Region: Huntington Beach

Try the tuna melt sandwich and bottomless iced tea, delivered by genial servers who understand you don't have all day to wait for the check. 34111 La Plaza, Dana Point, (949) 488-0121; $$


Dubbed a Japanese pub restaurant, Kappo Honda serves the holy trinity of Japanese beer—Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo—as well as Bud and Bud Light for some reason. The beer serves as amniotic fluid to some very solid, excellent food. 18450 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 964-4629. $$


Most every county hot-dog cart advertises Chicago dogs, but Harv's is among the few places that do it better than the South Side. They ship in bulky Vienna sausages directly from the Windy City, stuff 'em into a poppy-speckled bun next to dill pickle slivers, and squirt the mess with stinky-but-super quarts of relish and mustard that'll leave your lips a yellow-green color as vibrant as a 1970s Notre Dame football uniform. 410 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-0491. ¢

The Matsunoya special roll: salmon with cucumbers and a special sauce—maybe it's part mayonnaise? Regardless, this roll is the reason the Fullerton sushi icon has been around for more than 20 years. 1307 S. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 447-1612. $

This charming café, right in the center of Fullerton's ever-expanding downtown bar life, might capitalize on the needs of the health-starved—it's a vegetarian joint, opening daily at 7 a.m. with an almost entirely vegan breakfast menu—but in a home-cooked, motherly, it's-good-for-you-because-I-say-so way. Owner Sandy Sauers excels with small touches, such as a feta cheese and sun-dried tomato dressing that sits lightly on the portobello mushroom burger, adding a freshness to the dusky fungus, or almonds and golden raisins on a surprisingly zesty coleslaw. 108 W. Wilshire Ave., Fullerton, (714) 525-5111; $


No matter where the Vietnamese diaspora might take people, they return to Little Saigon for Brodard's hallowed BBQ pork rolls, a culinary beacon that attracts legions with its ruddy meat and the sweet sauce of heaven. There's other meals here, but everyone is focusing on those pork rolls, and you should too. 9892 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 530-1744. $$

A Pennsylvania-based chain, Joe's Italian Ice has just one West Coast location, this one in Garden Grove, from which the company has hawked its namesake product to the heated hoi polloi for two years. (They also offer such soda-shop standards as ice cream cones, sundaes and root beer floats.) You can order the Italian ice as is, but it's infinitely better as a Joe Latti: your choice of Italian ice crowned with a Babel-esque tower of velvety vanilla ice cream, each frosty product retaining its charm until uniting inside your mouth to create the most pleasant brain freeze of your life. 12302 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 750-1076. ¢

Taquería del Amigo only roasts its barbacoa (barbecued lamb) on weekends, and even then they're out of it by midday. But each teeny-tiny barbacoa taco is worth the seven-day wait—stringy, juicy throughout and embellished Hidalgo-style, meaning the taco men follow the renowned barbacoa tradition of the central Mexican state by roasting their ewe with maguey leaves (the plant from which tequila is distilled) that contribute an intoxicating glow to the lamb's mellow charm. 11915 Euclid, Garden Grove, (714) 537-8740. $


Make Gallagher's your fish-and-chips home away from home. Icelandic cod served amid skin-on steak fries made from real potatoes awaits you under beer batter that's really beer batter! And the tartar sauce is smooth and garlicky—a perfect complement. 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 113, Huntington Beach, (714) 536-2422; $

There's a lot to work through in the menu, and of the pastas, you should be particularly partial to the gnocchi. The linguine pescatora is a close cousin to Paolo's cioppino, brimming with mussels, shrimp, clams, salmon and calamari. Old World Village, 7561 Center Ave., Ste. 37, Huntington Beach, (714) 373-5399. $$

Munch down their vegetarian spring rolls, made special off the menu, or try the pad Thai noodles with shrimp and chicken and stir-fried vegetables—not too heavy or greasy. 19690 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 964-1151. $


You can imagine Bollywood goddess Aishwarya Rai filming some steamy-but-chaste dance scenes in the confines of Chakra's opulent set. But, thankfully, Chakra owners Ravi and Sunita Koneru invested money not only in the décor but also in chefs capable of embarking on a trek through India's major foodie provinces not found in any other Orange County restaurant—Gujarat, Kerala and even Hyderabad. 4143 Campus Dr., Irvine, (949) 854-0009; $$

Coffin dodger and whelp alike enjoy a sterling menu prepared by executive chef Yves Fournier, one in a long line of dazzling Chanteclair chefs that includes Pascal Olhats. Fournier maintains Chanteclair's multiyear tradition of Zagat listings with such items as his eponymous filet mignon, a dish that drips with enough blood to qualify as a Red Cross donation. Also lustrous is the steak Diane, a perfect compromise between no-frills meat fans and nuance-demanding foodies. 18912 Macarthur Blvd., Irvine, (949) 752-8001. $$$

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