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Grub Guide

Orange County's best damn dining guide

KOCHEE KABOB HOUSE
Kochee Kabob might lack decorative charm and a relaxed ambiance, but its grilled meat is, well, hard to beat—eight kinds of kebabs, 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.

 

LA HABRA

Location Info

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India House Restaurant

7775 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: Buena Park

Silverado Cafe

28272 Silverado Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Silverado

Katie Mcguire's Pie & Bake Shoppe

10121 Valley View St.
Cypress, CA 90630

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Cypress

Beverly's Best Bakery

3020 Brea Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92835

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: Fullerton

Chicago Harv's

410 E. Chapman Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Fullerton

Anna's Mondu

9972 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Category: Restaurant > Korean

Region: Garden Grove

Vien Dong

14271 Brookhurst St.
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Garden Grove

Zubies Dry Dock

9059 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Huntington Beach

Clay Oven Cuisine Of India

15435 Jeffrey Road, Ste 116
Irvine, CA 92618

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Irvine

Kochee Kabob House

4143 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92612

Category: Restaurant > Middle Eastern

Region: Irvine

Casa Olamendi's

1100 S. Coast Highway, Ste. 202
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Laguna Beach

French 75 Bistro and Champagne Bar

1464 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: Laguna Beach

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IMPERIAL BURGERS
Imperial Burgers serves many more things besides its Cheddar cheese-heavy pastrami burritos—its namesakes, for instance, charbroiled marriages of meat, soft bun, sweet cheese and lettuce. Or standard breakfasts of pancakes, hash browns and sausage. And always sip on ultra-sweet Orange Bang whenever you find this increasingly rare beverage. Everything is good here, really. But La Habra is so far away, and the pastrami burrito is so good—why would you ever order anything else? 241 E. Imperial Hwy., La Habra, (714) 525-1611. $

LA PALMA

PAESANO'S
You probably slap together half of Paesano's menu at least once a week for dinner: sauce-drenched entrées such as mostaccioli, spaghetti and lasagna that aren't so much Old World as they are Hoboken. So why bother visiting this 26-year-old eatery? Meatballs—lacy, herbed, delish. And subs. Good subs. 5540 Orangethorpe Ave., La Palma, (714) 521-4748. $

LAGUNA, LAGUNA, LAGUNA!

CASA OLAMENDI
Casa Olamendi's is the sort of place in which you ask for a balcony seat for a sunny lunch or come later and watch the sun sink into the sea over the two T's: tamales and tequila. Tamales typically arrive on a combo plate, served without the husk and covered with a little cheese, with good corn masa and delicious, tender chicken chunks. 1100 S. Coast Hwy. Ste. 202, Laguna Beach (949) 497-4148. $$

FRENCH 75 BISTRO AND CHAMPAGNE BAR
The most beautiful bar in Orange County—with prices to match. The resonant thunk of champagne corks popping will be the only competition for the jazz piano as you savor the basil-fed escargot and langoustines with Black Forest ham swimming in herb-garlic butter.1464 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8444. $$$

 

GAURANGA'S VEGETARIAN CUISINE
Gauranga's has outdoor, ocean-view seating where you can enjoy a large salad bar, spicy yellow-lentil soup and cauliflower fritters. Sweet hibiscus tea is Krishna hooch, and cardamom-scented rice pudding is tasty, too.285 Legion St., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-7029.$

MADISON SQUARE & GARDEN CAFE
Topped with berry-infused butter, the ginger and lemon-perfumed ricotta pancakes are creamy and moist. Also, try the Shanghai chicken salad; it's a towering bed of gourmet greens, shredded carrots, rice, noodles, won tons and chicken. 320 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-0137. $

KOSHER BITE DELI
Orange County seems just too spic-n-span Christian to host a real New York-style Jewish deli, but try telling that to the folks at Kosher Bite in Laguna Hills, a cluttered room where the air conditioning is three ceiling fans on their last wobbly rotations, potato-and-barley soup is boiled daily, the Sabbath means rest and the menu—knishes, matzo ball, pastrami on rye—is as stubbornly Borscht Belt as Carl Reiner. 23595 Moulton Pkwy., Ste. H, Laguna Hills, (949) 770-1818. $

ROYAL THAI
Feeling a cold coming? Phone Royal Thai and place an order for the po tak soup. It's a yummy clear chicken/seafood broth with New Zealand green mussels, scallops, calamari, shrimp and fresh green chiles. It'll make your eyes tear up and clear your head better than any over-the-counter sinus meds. And that's just smelling the stuff. 1750 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8424. $

LAKE FOREST

ABEL'S BAKERY
Abel Salgado has been keeping the challah coming for 40 years, the last five of them in one of Orange County's few Jewish bakeries. Trays buckle with rugala, small cookies moist with chocolate chips, and the holy hamantashen, a fruity triangle-shaped turnover sold by the thousands during the festival of Purim and by the hundreds the rest of the year. 24601 Raymond Way, Ste. 7, Lake Forest, (949) 699-0930. ¢

LONG BEACH

LA CRÊPERIE CAFÉ
Someone once said, "Simplicity is the spice of life." Snicker all you want, but they must have been referring to the Bolero crepe at La Crêperie Café. This sorta-Provençal café offers perfection drenched in butter and sugar with a twist of lemon. C'est bon!5110 E. Second St., Long Beach, (562) 434-8499. $$

DIPIAZZA
Established in 1952, this award-winning Italian restaurant received Best Pizza honors in the Entertainment Book for five straight years. It offers a huge menu selection, including American dishes; you'll want to try the enticing chicken piccata, fettuccine alfredo, lasagna, shrimp and pastas. The chicken Parmesan melt sandwich and the calamari steak will create lasting memories in your stomach. Plus, they sell Fernet Branca, which will cure your cholera. 5205E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 498-2461; www.dipiazzas.com. $$

 

SIR WINSTON'S
Located in Long Beach's biggest sitting duck (otherwise known as the Queen Mary), Sir Winston's is the LBC's focus for fancy food. Their lobster just reeks of garlic—delicious. But before that, order the Boursin cheese salad. It's made with real Boursin cheese—not the fake kind so many restaurants use—and has lots of tomatoes and cucumbers.1126 Queens Highway Dr., Long Beach, (562) 499-1657. $$$

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