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Grub Guide

The best damn dining guide in Orange County

MISSION VIEJOALOHA BBQ
Hawaiian staples such as manapua (steamed pork buns) and boiling saimin noodles are fine at Aloha BBQ, along with a Korean-skewed side menu filled with bimimbap and complimentary kimchi. As great as those are, the most impressive meat meal is the spicy pork ribs. Most rib places content themselves with giving patrons a couple of twigs, but Aloha BBQ carts over four massive things that appear to have been torn from a hippo. 24000 Alicia Pkwy., Ste. 4, Mission Viejo, (949) 581-0976. $

NEWPORT BEACH

CAFFÉ IL FARRO
Spelt is the ancient health-imparting grain on which half of Caffé il Farro's pastas and risottos are based, but if you prefer the kind of pasta that gives your blood-glucose level a boost, try the homemade heart-shaped ravioli. 111 21st St., Newport Beach, (949) 723-5711.$

Location Info

Map

ESPN Zone

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

BRODARD

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

HOAG HOSPITAL CAFETERIA
There are bagels and muffins and, a friend swears, "killer" breakfast burritos in the morning at Newport Beach's ritzy Hoag cafeteria. In the refrigerated case, you can get a grilled chicken caesar salad or a roast beef horseradish panini. Want sushi? They've got vegetarian rolls for $3.75 and spicy tuna cut rolls for $4.15. Newport Beach class at cafeteria prices. 1Hoag Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 645-8600. $

ROY'S
Roy's is all about Hawaii—from the "Aloha" you get when you come in the door and the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole playing over the speakers to the blah, blah, blah about Tokyo-born founder Roy Yamaguchi, whose childhood visits to Maui, we're told, indelibly shaped his palate (and his palette). Whatever: Yamaguchi has been fusing ever since, and with great success; he is now the Wolfgang Puck of some 31 eponymous restaurants in North America with such entrées as rib-eye or wild Scottish salmon. 453 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 640-7697. $$$

ORANGE

LA BRASSERIE
The Orange institution looks, smells, tastes and sounds like the French eateries your grandparents frequented, the type of elegant dining experience that once required pearls, a dining jacket and an irony-free martini. All the French entrées Americans endlessly stereotype are here—duckling a l'orange, frog legs, pâté, escargot and the like. But La Brasserie also stays true to its rustic Alsatian roots by preparing nine different types of veal, each consisting of young cow slices cut into large portions, battered with egg and nearly floating over myriad tasty sauces. 202 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 978-6161. $$$

HOLLINGSHEAD'S DELI
It's a permanent tailgate at Hollingshead's, and not just because of the Green Bay Packers garb for sale hanging from the ceiling or the pickled eggs and pickles kept in chilled brine. Hollingshead's is one of Orange County's premier booze barns, stocking drafts, ales, Hefeweizen and other brands from across the world (with a special focus on Deutschland and the former Soviet Bloc). The limited menu is stubbornly heartland: deviled eggs, boldly pungent macaroni salads and the sweetest baked beans this side of the Lambeau Field parking lot. 368 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 978-9467. $

PLACENTIA

Q'S TORTAS
Q's is unique because it's one of the few restaurants in la naranja exclusively devoted to the torta-making trade. And the local landmark, having been there for nearly a quarter-century, does not disappoint, turning out juicy monstrosities only slightly smaller than the King James Bible. 220 S. Bradford Ave., Placentia, (714) 993-3270. ¢

SAN CLEMENTE

LA COTORRA MARKET
The Cuban and Mexican proprietors, a husband-and-wife team, are friendly, and they run their spotless store with the precision of a naval vessel. Take my advice: come for the Lotto ticket, but stay for the steak sandwich. 156 Ave. del Mar, San Clemente, (949) 492-3663. $

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

CAFÉ MOZART
Café Mozart brews an impressive array of beers that ease its German-Austrian menu well down one's gullet. Bavarian bread dumplings—made of three different kinds of bread and flecked with bacon—come two per order, sit in a brown pool of wild mushrooms and exhibit the same luscious levity of Eine kleine Nachtmusik. 31952 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 496-0212; www.cafemozart.net. $$$

SANTA ANA

BANGKOK TASTE
Thong "Chim" Johnson, owner of Bangkok Taste, knows how to pack heat into her torrid Thai creations, like her luscious green curry and her garlic shrimp; no other Thai place I know of makes its own ice cream. 2737 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 532-2216. $

BEBA'S RESTAURANT
Orange County's sizable Bolivian community packs Beba's for such hard-to-prepare plates as the divine ají de papalisa (beef simmered in an intoxicating ají sauce with three types of potato) and the addicting thimpú (a slab of lamb covered in a yellow sauce). Order at least one salteña, a meat pie that's more wondrous with each nibble. 630 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 973-4928. $

BRISTOL BURGERS
Santa Ana's finest used to crack down on Latinos who would cruise around this quasi-1950s diner, but why drive around slowly in circles? Inside is Bristol's Monster Burger: three patties topped with buttery avocado, fatty bacon, crunchy lettuce and onions, and two slices of Cheddar. Make sure to top off the burger with splashes of Tapatío and pickled jalapeño slices. A close rival is Bristol's pork tamale covered in sweet chili beans, a surprisingly appetizing combination of spice and sweetness and warmth. 2640 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, (714) 241-7166. $

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