Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from OC's best damn dining guide

Visit the rest of Orange County's best damn dining guide at, where it says "Where to Eat Now" on the right side of the screen. If there are any bugs with it, e-mail Gustavo at with your complaints!


¢ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10!

Location Info


Loreley Restaurant

1340 S. Sanderson Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92806

Category: Restaurant > German

Region: Anaheim

Plaza Garibaldi

500 N. Brookhurst St.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Anaheim

Sal's Bit of Italy

918 S. Magnolia Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > Bar Food

Region: Anaheim


3107 W. Lincoln Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801-6004

Category: Restaurant >

Region: Anaheim

Brea's Best Burgers

707 S. Brea Blvd.
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Brea


7701 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Buena Park

Silverado Cafe

28272 Silverado Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Silverado

Avo's Bistro

580 Anton Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: Costa Mesa

Hi-Time Wine Cellars

250 Ogle St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Wine Bar

Region: Costa Mesa

Lingonberry Cafe

1475 S. Coast Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Costa Mesa

Pinot Provence

686 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > California

Region: Costa Mesa

Santouka Ramen

665 Paularino Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Costa Mesa

$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10-$20

$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20-$40

$$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ¡Eres muy rico!


Cedar Bakery differentiates itself from the other Middle Eastern restaurants in Anaheim's crowded Little Gaza district by specializing in such small meals as sambouseks, cinnamon-dusted ground beef turnovers. Mornings begin with a bowl of kishek, a sort of Lebanese oatmeal of yogurt, bulgur wheat and salt that doesn't do much for the sweet tooth but bulks you up for the day like a one-hour free-weights session. Pair the kishek with a croissant, although these are salty and as svelte as the crescent on Turkey's flag, not the chubby Gallic version Americans will expect. 930 S. Brookhurst St., Anaheim, (714) 991-5888. $

It's located in Anaheim's German-American Phoenix Club, but there ain't no oompah bands or boars' heads on the walls. There is a menu that will open your mind to German cuisine, though. We're told the breaded veal cutlet is delicious, but we don't eat veal. 1340 S. Sanderson Ave., Anaheim, (714) 563-4164. $$

Plaza Garibaldi is named after the famous square in Mexico City where mariachi bands play. Their dinner shows feature Mariachi Garibaldi, a nine-piece band that warms your dining experience Mexico City-style. 500 N. Brookhurst, Anaheim, (714) 758-9014; $$

"Workmanlike" is the best adjective for Sal's—and a compliment for those of us who like our food as Sal's prepares it: unthemed, unspectacled, unattached to theatrics or waiters as therapists and best friends. Pub-like. Terrific pizza! 918 S. Magnolia, Anaheim, (714) 826-3590. $$

The subcontinental meal known as a thali is the original Hungry-Man meal: a metal tray that houses thimbles, cups and bowls heaped with vegetarian entrées from the southern Indian state of Gujarat. The thali at Yogiraj includes anything from sweetened black-eyed peas, spiced lentils and rasam, sour tomato-based soup to pea-potato stew or concoctions of cashews and peppers. Wash everything down with a rose sherbet, a creamy pink drink that tastes like strawberry Quik with a hint of rose water—the best damn drink in the world. 3107 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 995-5900. $


The perfect non-chain burger, a quarter-pound patty all gussied up with the Thousand Island dressing, the lettuce, the onions, the tomatoes and the sesame-seed bun. Brea's Best also has sandwiches, hot dogs, tacos, burritos and breakfast fare. You could even eat healthy by ordering an ostrich burger—but why would you? A word of warning: the place gets mobbed during the weekday lunch rush, so plan accordingly. 707 S. Brea Blvd., Brea, (714) 990-2615. $


PoFolks is a rustically eccentric restaurant—tin and wooden agricultural-company signs on the walls, a working train that chugs the perimeter—specializing in Norms-style home cooking with a Southern bent, the kind of place where fried chicken livers with red beans and rice is a daily special and peach cobbler isn't some ironic/iconic treat but what's for dessert. 7701 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, (714) 521-8955; $$


For breakfast, feast on their miner's omelet: a crepe-like blanket of eggs filled with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, chiles, tomatoes and cheese. I love the patty melt with fries and coleslaw for lunch. 28272 Silverado Canyon Rd., Silverado, (714) 649-2622. $


The filet mignon at this steakhouse is round and plump—like a muffin. Its ideal cut, deep flavor and tender texture make it possible to eat the entire thing without encountering a morsel of fat or gristle. In essence, it's a tremendous piece of meat. 2441 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 673-6585; $$$


Order at the counter—their succulent braised-beef-and-lamb gyro is a good choice—and the food is brought to your table. Their secret-recipe tsatsiki provides a creamy condiment for many of the already flavorful foods. 580 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 556-6555. $

Not sure if there's a restaurant in OC that sells it, but the best wine since the days of Dionysus is Commandaria St. John, an elixir from Cyprus that's reputed to be the oldest vintage in the world. Hi-Time Wine Cellar also stocks nearly every other hooch on the planet. 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa, (800) 331-3005; $$

IKEA's insane mealtime bargain includes not only food but also free baby-sitting! So, hightail it upstairs for the manager's special: a godsend that includes a large portion of Swedish meatballs with creamy gravy and two steamed red potatoes. 1475 South Coast Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 444-4532.$

Unlike other posh joints, where the idea of comfort is to make average folks feel uncomfortable, Pinot is nothing but inviting. The French-Californian cuisine and atmosphere manage to be classy without being stuffy, and the roasted-lamb noisette is one of the best cuts of lamb around. The Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel, 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 444-5900.$$$

Late last year, one of Japan's largest ramen chains, Santouka Ramen, opened its second California outpost here. But despite its chain ownership, Santouka's soup is stately, with cooks offering ramen from different regions: Tokyo (heavy with soy sauce, and a whisper of dried bonito flakes), the miso-flavored liquid pride of Hokkaido, and another style, shio ramen, simply flavored with salt. 665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 434-1101. $CYPRESSUZUSHIO
Make a beeline to the sushi bar, where the fish is most inventively prepared. Anything on the menu involving eel or avocado is a must. And the fried, heads-still-on-as-beady-little-eyes-stare-at-you shrimp are a greasy delight. 10545 Valley View St., Cypress, (714) 236-0678. $$DANA POINTTHAI THIS
Order the "Old MacDonald," a fresh vegetable fried rice dish. And get their creamy, orange Thai iced tea. 24501 Del Prado, Ste. B, Dana Point, (949) 240-7944; $$

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