By Matt Coker
By Keith Plocek
By Edwin Goei
By Edwin Goei
By Matt Coker
By Edwin Goei
By Dave Mau
GREEN FIELD CHURRASCARIA
The phrase "food coma" was invented for the visceral carnality that clogs your pores at Green Field Churrascaria, which specializes in the terrifying meat onslaught known as churrascaria, or Brazilian barbecue. Churrascaria is pricey, but here's what you get: all-you-can eat Brazilian sausage, tightly packed and burnt to nirvana, like a nonsweet Chinese sausage; a chicken thigh, good but perhaps too dry; and beef loin, best ever, rare but hot clear through. And this is only the first offering—the folks at Green Field will not be satisfied until meat starts poking out of your ears. 5305 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 597-0906. $$
Home to the English pasty, a dish riddled with mystery meat and wrapped in a tasty enigma. It's a turnover filled with what was described as "paste"—piles of meat, vegetables and whatever else is lying around chopped together and folded into a delicately sublime crust. 3641 Katella Ave., Los Angeles, (562) 431-9747. $
5645 E. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807
4544 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621-1133
Region: Buena Park
20782 Trabuco Oaks Drive
Coto De Caza, CA 92679
Region: Coto de Caza
1500 Adams Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Region: Costa Mesa
4453 Cerritos Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630
34689 St. of the Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
Region: Dana Point
550 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832
410 E. Chapman Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
1050 W. Valencia Drive
Fullerton, CA 92833-3305
12302 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844
Region: Garden Grove
Hawaiian staples such as manapua (steamed pork buns) and boiling saimin noodles are fine at Aloha BBQ, along with a Korean-skewed side menu filled with bimimbap and complimentary kimchi. As great as those are, the most impressive meat meal is the spicy pork ribs. Most rib places content themselves with giving patrons a couple of twigs, but Aloha BBQ carts over four massive things that appear to have been torn from a hippo. 24000 Alicia Pkwy., Ste. 4, Mission Viejo, (949) 581-0976. $
Kitayama's fans say it's as close to fine Japanese dining as you can get without flying to Tokyo. We're talking savory steak and seafood dishes and unbelievable sushi and sashimi. 101 Bayview Place, Newport Beach, (949) 725-0777.$$$
THE LIDO SHIPYARD SAUSAGE CO. AND SABATINO'S FAMILY RESTAURANT
The meals begin like an explosion at the back end of a cornucopia. The sausage is made on the premises and is meaty, clean and flavorful. The stuffed pasta is also incredible. 251 Shipyard Way, Newport Beach, (949) 723-0621. $$
The Ritz: where suited lawyers and PR flacks take their dates to spend the equivalent of a Toyota Corolla on dinner. Exquisite cuisine: if there's a place claiming to better pair filet mignon and lobster tail, both proud avatars of their race, they're lying. 880 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 720-1800; www.ritzrestaurant.com. $$$$
CITRUS CITY GRILLE
The place is cavernous—there's a long, bending wall along a 60-degree curve on one side, as if this is half of what used to be a roller rink. A tender chicken is done Southwestern with a sharp-as-curry-but-not-curried white corn and side of wild rice. Demi-glazed pork chops emerge from a reduction of beef broth and red wine and then (here's the surprise) figs. 122 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 639-9600. $$
If the delicacies on the Persian menu are in unfamiliar combinations of letters strung together with hyphens, just leave it to the waiters. You will love it. 1998 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 921-2773. $$$
Some of the best Greek cuisine in North Orange County. The food is simple and perfect for long lunches in the pretty dining room or the small garden patio. I love their chicken-and-lemon soup. They serve a whole range of roasted meats, including lamb and fresh seafood. Their pistachio baklava tends to be very rich. 1390 N. Kraemer Blvd., Placentia, (714) 528-2021. $
So authentically Cajun they hand out beads to patrons, Iva Lee's is a haute-cuisine take on the Big Easy. Crawfish cakes are topped with a dollop of saffron aioli, and the pan-fried pork chops are thick and juicy. The chicory coffee crème brulee is so tasty, it's like eating crack pudding. 555 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 361-2855; www.ivalees.com. $$$
BAD TO THE BONE BBQ
Barbecue sandwiches are usually messy affairs, but Bad to the Bone's house sausage sandwich is as austere as it is sumptuous. A lean, sweet pork sausage speckled with pepper bits and accompanied by sautéed onions and bell peppers, it strikes several notes, the wonderfully bitter distinct from the sweet and salty. The crunchy French roll lends a taste of honey. 31738 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. E, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 218-0227; www.badtothebonebbq.com. $$
Thong "Chim" Johnson, owner of Bangkok Taste, knows how to pack heat into her torrid Thai creations, like her luscious green curry and her garlic shrimp; no other Thai place I know of makes its own ice cream like Johnson's does. 2737 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 532-2216. $
One of the few Chinese buffets 'round town that won't wreak havoc on your porcelain throne. Good mix of Chinese-American dishes, from sweet orange chicken to a hybrid chow mein speckled with baby octopus, snow peas, onions and carrots. 3420 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, (714) 957-2688. $
MARISCOS LA SIRENA
This little palace serves caldo de caguama (turtle soup) but also represents its own endangered genus—the restaurant whose métier is stunning Sinaloan-style Mexican food with a side of stereotypes—blistering aguachile with wooden parrots, nuclear ceviche served under drooping nets, and deer steaks that are almost as tender as each waitress' top is low. 515. S. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 541-0350. $$
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