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Grub Guide

A sampling of Orange County's best damn dining guide

CYPRESS

MIKE'S BARBEQUE
This establishment's barbecue is definitely Memphis-style, from the secret sauce with 20 ingredients to the beef brisket. The menu is your basic barbecue, but choosing what to eat isn't easy because everything is so good.11513 Knott Ave., Cypress, (714) 799-6222. $

FOUNTAIN VALLEY

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E-San Rod-Sap

1719 W. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Thai

Region: Anaheim

TAPS Fish House & Brewery

101 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Brea

The Golden Truffle

1767 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Eclectic

Region: Costa Mesa

El Matador Restaurant

1768 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Costa Mesa

Orchid Restaurant and Lounge

3033 Bristol St., # D
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Costa Mesa

Mike's Bar-B-Que

11513 Knott Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Cypress

Moonlight Pizza & Chicken

9895 Warner Ave.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Category: Restaurant > Hot Chicken

Region: Fountain Valley

The British Grocer

305 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > English

Region: Fullerton

Hot Wok Restaurant

1111 S. Lemon St.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Fullerton

Mandarin Pavilion

1050 W. Valencia Drive
Fullerton, CA 92833-3305

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Fullerton

Roadside Burgers

513 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > Burgers

Region: Fullerton

Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie

14354 Brookhurst St.
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: Garden Grove

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EBISU JAPANESE NOODLE RESTAURANT
This restaurant is a sleek ramen mecca that serves miso ramen, a curative soybean-flavored elixir, poured over a tangled cake of supple noodles rife with bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, hard-boiled-egg halves and scallions. 18924 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 964-5993; www.ebisuramen.com. $

 

MOONLIGHT CHICKEN & PIZZA
Moonlight's soujouk pizza—grazed with the spicy Armenian beef sausage—is grander than mere foodstuff: it's an ambassador for that mythical melting pot, for the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation of owners Vazgen Akoyan and Karine Karpetyan. Add pineapple and you have the best retort to the anti-immigrant crowd since the Statue of Liberty. 9895 Warner Ave., Ste. G, Fountain Valley, (714) 963-4488. $

 

FULLERTON

THE BRITISH GROCER
Jacky Wyld's shop, in existence for 20 years now, sells a variety of British wares and foods: English teas, Jaffa cakes, Heinz beans and the like. But make a beeline for Wyld's freezer, one of the few places in the county where you can find a couple of different kinds of blood sausage to drool over. Snatch a free copy of the Union Jack, "America's Only National British Newspaper," on your way out. 305 N. Harbor Blvd., Ste. 124, Fullerton, (714) 738-0229. ¢-$$

HOT WOK
The greatest greasy Chinese on Earth: the three-item combo plus chow mein and fried rice for just a bit north of $5.1111 S. Lemon St., Fullerton, (714) 525-3333. $

 

MANDARIN PAVILION
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. $$ROADSIDE BURGERS
Though it bills itself as a tribute to Route 66, Roadside is just too good. Its burgers—well-wrapped and slightly bigger and tastier (and more expensive) than your typical burger dive—are a tad too gourmet for true shack consideration. Still, the nostalgia at Roadside is all about the location: across the street is the historic Fox Theater. When that majestic building opens its doors anew, patrons will likely cross the street to share a malt with their beloveds, and the curtain will rise on another scene in our American play. Onion rings are extra.513 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 871-0040. $GARDEN GROVEAZTECA
As far as Azteca goes, there are two words to keep in mind: "garlic" and "taco"—beef tacos with the usual fixings, but flavored with fresh garlic-and-vinegar dressing and lime. The garlic hits first, but it's the citrus that finishes each bite.12911 Main St., Garden Grove, (714) 638-3790. $BOULANGERIE PIERRE & PATISSERIE
Many of the elderly Vietnamese who make up the morning crowd walk out laden with crunchy baguettes, but the younger afternoon clients prefer Boulangerie Pierre's other confections. The croissants are the antithesis of the baguettes: fluffy, flaky, light, some gooey with a peppery cheese baked inside. Boulangerie Pierre's best sweet bet, though, is the baba au rum: a rum-soaked, fruit-topped mini-cake, not a mistranslated Who song. 14352 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 418-9098. ¢INTERNATIONAL MEATS & DELI
They have about the most authentic Hungarian food to be found without a passport. Try eating as they do in Eastern Europe—smorgasbord-style meats, cheeses and breads—or order some kolbasz, one of six kinds of homemade sausage available.10382 Stanford Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 539-6334. $VIEN DONG
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. $HUNTINGTON BEACHCHICKEN CO.
If it wasn't copyrighted, we would tell you they do chicken right. So we'll just say that they do chicken correctly. They turn lowly poultry into buttery works of art. Forget chicken soup: this is what your soul is craving. 9017 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 963-0500. $LUCCI'S DELI AND MARKET
Lucci's offers more than 30 hot and cold sandwiches under $5, not counting the house-specialty torpedoes that go for $2.99 and $5.25. There is pizza. There are the standard Italian dinners like spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna and eggplant, along with classics like linguine with clam sauce and fettuccine Alfredo—all between $6 and $10. Lucci's does catering, too, and even bakes wedding cakes. 8911 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 968-4466. $$SMOKIN' MO'S
A tour of barbecue traditions within the confines of a gleaming Surf City development, Smokin' Mo's redeems the red states from which it pulls its stuff. Tennessee shines with vinegary, massive, great pork ribs, and Louisiana appears with hot links that please like a boat ride through the bayou. Better than that, we love its pig mascot—wide-eyed, holding a massive wooden spoon, grinning at the thought of eating its brethren, the happiest cannibal since that weird gay German guy. 301 Main St., Ste. 107, Huntington Beach, (714) 374-3033; www.mosbbq.com. $ZUBIES DRY DOCK
Zubies has yummy pizzas, sawdust on the ground 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. $$IRVINECLAY OVEN
What makes the Clay Oven stand out is the way it uses the traditional tandoori tools to expand upon the cuisine. You can't find a better swordfish in Orange County. It's so tender it flakes apart at the mere hint of a fork. 15435 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine, (949) 552-2851. $

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