Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from the county's best damn dining guide

LONG BEACH

ALEGRÍA COCINA LATINA
The Spanish-styled brocheta vegetariana isn't like any bruschetta we're used to. The bread is replaced with corn tortillas, topped with skewers of grilled vegetables in a light sesame sauce on a pile of Peruvian corn, fresh-chopped tomatoes and tofu. That's right—tofu! 115 Pine Ave., Long Beach, (562) 436-3388. $$

 

Location Info

Map

La Langosta

408 S. Brookhurst St.
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Anaheim

Rasthal Vegetarian Cuisine

2751-2755 W. Lincoln Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Anaheim

Oki Doki

13681 Newport Ave., Ste. 9
Tustin, CA 92780

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Tustin

Harbor Café & Tacos

16540 Harbor Blvd.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Category: Restaurant >

Region: Fountain Valley

Heroes Bar & Grill

125 W. Santa Fe., Ste. 128
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Fullerton

Kung Pao House

217 N. Euclid St.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Fullerton

Roadside Burgers

513 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > Burgers

Region: Fullerton

BCD Tofu House

9520 Garden Grove Blvd., Ste. 9
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Korean

Region: Garden Grove

Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie

14354 Brookhurst St.
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: Garden Grove

Vien Dong

14271 Brookhurst St.
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Garden Grove

The Chicken Co.

9017 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Huntington Beach

Lucci's Deli and Market

8911 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: Huntington Beach

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COCO RENO'S
Coco Reno's, adjacent to its tattooed hipster sister bar the Reno Room, serves what can only be described as delight on a platter. Better known as carnitas, the cooks will even make 'em to order for those who are carb-challenged. Cancel the rice and beans, smother the succulent pork in cheddar cheese, slop on the sour cream and guac, and cheat just a little with a toasty tortilla. 3400 E. Broadway St., Long Beach, (562) 438-9381. $

 

M & M SOUL FOOD
Ask the folks at M & M to comment on the peach-hued walls, lowered ceilings and general bunker-like atmosphere (livened up only by an animatronic James Brown doll and a display case full of dolphin-shaped oil burners for sale), and they'll decline. Wisely so. But the food—perfectly grilled short ribs, snappy okra with nary a touch of sliminess, nummy peach cobbler, amongst other delicious dishes—they'll praise with the intensity of a Sunday-morning gospel choir. 5400 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, (562) 422-8395. $

LOS ALAMITOS

ISLAND GRILL
Island Grill sells Hawaiian food with a Japanese bent, so that means you can get your sushi and bento box fill along with sumptuous teriyaki bowls. But regardless of main course, your dessert should be the shaved ice: a frosty, chilled monolith flavored with fruit and so delicate you could whittle it down with dental floss. 4390 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos, (562) 431-6496. $

 

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 bibimbap 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

BLUE BEET CAFÉ
This restaurant is a steak oasis, where the meat is aged for about one week to break down the sinew—that's what makes it tender—while being marinated in head chef Jorge Guttierez's secret marinade before being charbroiled to delectability! 107 21st Place, Newport Beach, (949) 675-2338. $

EDDIE'S GALLEY
Eddie's Galley is one of those precious Balboa Peninsula institutions—since 1957!—that remains open despite the consistent encroachment of the Balboa Island folks. California cuisine unsullied by attempts at fusion—this California is about omelets gorged with whatever tickles your tongue, hamburgers and hot dogs, all doused with filling chili. 829 Harbor Island Dr., Newport Beach,(949) 673-4110. $

MASTRO'S OCEAN CLUB FISH HOUSE
Mastro's prides itself on an à la carte menu with gargantuan portions—think Claim Jumper, but three times the style and cost. So it's not a problem that an appetizer like vanilla-battered shrimp includes just three of the crustaceans: the shrimp are among the largest you'll ever see, about the size of a cop's blackjack. And any qualms over paying almost $30 for a fish fillet will disappear under the dense, buttery consistency of any of them. 8112 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 376-6990. $$$

PASCAL EPICERIE
If you have a really bad day and need a treat, go to Pascal's Epicerie for lunch. Located in a strip mall in Newport Beach, this delicatessen serves simple food with French flair. Try the Niçoise salad, with poached tuna, black olives, red potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and butter lettuce. 1000 Bristol St., Newport Beach, (949) 261-9041. $

TACO ROSA
It's not just the wide swath of Mexico—Mexico City, Oaxaca, even the Yucatan—that makes Taco Rosa one of few truly successful gourmet Mexican restaurants. Taco Rosa succeeds because its few tweaks are Mexican-based and surprising. Ask for the aguas frescas and instead of horchata, waiters will recommend a frosted, freshly squeezed cup of cantaloupe or melon—¡delicioso! 2632 San Miguel Rd., Newport Beach, (949) 720-0980. $$

ORANGE

BYBLOS CAFÉ
It's a drop-kick from the historic traffic circle in the city of Orange, one of the county's best place for a leisurely summer lunch. "Fine Mediterranean Cuisine" (here, it means a mix of Lebanese and Greek cuisine) is the advertised fare. You are committing a crime if you do not have a cup of the lentil soup. 129 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 538-7180. $$

 

HOLLYWOOD BOLLYWOOD
The butter chicken? Just like they make it on the Indian subcontinent: slathered in sauce, blackened and firm old-school style, and spicy enough to gently sterilize your sinuses, which is just how we like it. And the naan, you ask? The naan is awesome. Awesome naan. 1840 N. Tustin Ave., Ste. C, Orange, (714) 974-5500. $

PLACENTIA

TONY'S LITTLE ITALY
The best lunchtime pizza is made at Tony's Little Italy: as thick as a Tom Clancy novel, and the circumference of a basketball hoop. They also sell subs and such Italian-American classics as spaghetti, ravioli and mostaccioli, but the focus is on the pizza—it says so on their window. 1808 N. Placentia Ave., Unit B, Placentia, (714) 528-2159; www.tonyslittleitaly.com. $

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