Grub Guide

The best damn dining guide in Orange County


Never has bread been so uplifting as it is here. The Kabuli naan, for instance, is a minor meal masterpiece, stuffed with sweet nuts, raisins and cherry bits that clash with the bread's smoky shell with the intensity of an India-Pakistan cricket match. But the vegetarian offerings are Ashoka's finest creations, unpretentious stews and purées that allow greenery to taste like greenery while pulsating with spices. 18041 Magnolia St., (714) 593-2968; $$


This restaurant is a work of art. Never mind the monster wine cellar; it's like the Piazza Fantasia inside. You can't go wrong ordering pizza, so try the quattro formaggio that comes with tangy goat cheese. 550 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 879-4022. $

Most every county hot-dog cart advertises Chicago dogs, but Harv's is among the few places that does 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 lips a yellow-green color as vibrant as a 1970s Notre Dame football uniform. 410 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-0491. ¢

Location Info



5645 E. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Anaheim

Win Thai Cuisine

1151 N. Euclid St.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Thai

Region: Anaheim

Renaissance Bistro

955 E. Birch St.
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Brea

Filipino Express

4544 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621-1133

Category: Restaurant > Filipino

Region: Buena Park

Trabuco Oaks Steak House

20782 Trabuco Oaks Drive
Coto De Caza, CA 92679

Category: Restaurant > Steakhouse

Region: Coto de Caza

Doria's Original Haus of Pizza

1500 Adams Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Costa Mesa

Franco's Italian Restaurant

4453 Cerritos Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Cypress

Proud Mary's Restaurant

34689 St. of the Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: Dana Point

Angelo's and Vinci's Ristorante

550 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Fullerton

Chicago Harv's

410 E. Chapman Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Fullerton

Mandarin Pavilion

1050 W. Valencia Drive
Fullerton, CA 92833-3305

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Fullerton

Joe's Italian Ice

12302 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Ice Cream

Region: Garden Grove

The windowless room nestled near a nondescript corner of working-class Fullerton has black-bowtied waiters who bring out such treasures as the three-flavor sizzling rice soup, a scintillating broth of grains, shrimp, ham and mushrooms that actually is sizzling when it arrives at the table. It's one option of their mandatory three-course dinners. 1050 W. Valencia Dr., Fullerton, (714) 870-7950. $$


Although Ali Baba's prepares decent versions of subcontinent standards such as chicken tikka and tandoori and an epic chicken biryani that's more rice than fowl, concentrate on the Pakistani specialties—three types of kebabs and a scorching chicken kahari. And do trot out with an order of Afghan naan—a little less than two feet in length, dimpled, soft and sweet, about the thickness of a Bic, and easily feeds four. 14282 Brookhurst St., Ste. 1, Garden Grove, (714) 531-2000. $

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 now 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. ¢

Serving the best in Northern Vietnamese food, including banh tom co ngu, an addictive dish of lightly fried shrimp and sweet potato. As with many dishes, it comes with a plate loaded with mint leaves, lettuce and rice paper for rolling into burrito-like tubes. 14271 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 531-8253. $


Make Gallagher's your fish-and-chip 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; $

Owner Pablo Benavente references his Peruvian roots during lunch and Italian dinners. Before you chow through an extensive, expensive gustatory tour of Southern Italy—highlights include powerfully herbed cannelloni, filling risotto and multiple chicken dishes—Benavente trots out a thimble of ají, the deceptively spicy Andean condiment, for your bread-spreading pleasure. 6078 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 841-3619; $$

Zubies has yummy pizzas, sawdust on the floor and lots of TVs. Don't worry if food falls on the ground—you won't be able to find it even if you try. 9059 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 963-6362. $$


The dim sum jockeys who patrol China Garden with their carts and filled plates want you to gorge immediately, but pace yourself: the visits will not cease, the goodness of the county's best dim sum will not end. Cha shu bao, filled with sweet red barbecued pork, is a perfect foil to the steaming cup of sharp house oolong tea. So is the steamed chicken bun, a light, chewy thing filled with ground chicken meat, ginger and herbs. 14825 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine, (949) 653-9988. $$

Kochee Kabob might lack decorative charm and relaxed ambiance, but its grilled meat is, well, hard to beat—eight kinds of kebab, each paired with flurries of long-grained, nutty basmati rice and a salad that can't quite measure up. Kochee Kabob's meats are flavorful enough without condiments, but there are two available: sour chili powder and a green hot sauce that's a fusion of a mint chutney and emerald Tapatío. 4143 Campus Dr., Ste. 195, Irvine, (949) 854-0206.

At The Melting Pot, it's hard to eat a full meal, with dessert and drinks, without leaving at least a C-note behind, but the spent Franklin is worth it. Such a cost gets you a bowl of cheesy fondue, fine salad, French-influenced meat entrées and a dessert that's flambeauxed in front of ya. 2646 Dupont Drive, Irvine, (949) 955-3242. $$$

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