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Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from OC's best damn dining guide

SANTOUKA RAMEN
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. $$DANA POINTTHAI THIS
Order the "Old MacDonald," a fresh vegetable fried rice dish. And get their creamy, orange Thai iced tea. 24501 Del Prado, Ste. B, Dana Point, (949) 240-7944; www.thaithis.com. $$

FOUNTAIN VALLEY

KASEN
DO NOT under any circumstances journey to Kasen and attempt to order teriyaki chicken or shrimp tempura or—dear God—California rolls, which are about as authentically Japanese as the Viennese waltz. Kasen is not that type of Japanese restaurant. 9039 Garfield Ave., Fountain Valley, (714) 963-8769. $$

Location Info

Map

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

Yogiraj

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

POFOLKS

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

FULLERTON

CHICAGO HARV'S
Most every county hot-dog cart advertises Chicago dogs, but Harv's is one of the few places that does it better than the South Side. They ship in bulky Vienna sausages directly from the Windy City, stuff 'em into a poppy-speckled bun next to dill pickle slivers, and squirt the mess with stinky-but-super quarts of relish and mustard that'll leave lips a yellow-green color as vibrant as a 1970s Notre Dame football uniform. 410 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-0491. ¢

LARRY'S PIZZA AND SPORTS PARLOR
The 32-year-old Larry's is a North County icon, a place where kiddie athletes celebrate after a victory—or, conversely, drown their losses in pitchers of pink lemonade—while their coaches knock back beers with parents and watch the big leaguers duke it out on television. Larry's pizza is utilitarian: pizza slices thick as pocket Bibles, prepared with fragrant mozzarella and provolone cheese, toppings sprinkled over the pie rather than baked in so that picky kids won't goo up their fingers trying to discard unwanted salami. 926 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-3484. $

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's—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 beloved, 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 GROVEBOULANGERIE 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 and not a mistranslated Who song. 14352 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 418-9098. ¢HANDAAN
A traditional turo-turo (buffet), Handaan rotates out various Filipino goodies—adobo, satays and about five different offals. But the sides—vinegar-spiked rice and pansit bihon, tiny tasty noodles cooked with cabbage, celery, carrots and baby shrimp—remain constant. 9777 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 636-8431. $HWANG HAE DO BBQ
Hwang Hae Do is the Orange County outpost of an Artesia restaurant famed for its mandoo—delicate dumplings native to North Korea which are a bit bigger than the five knuckles of your hand bunched together and bloated with herbed ground beef and snappy zucchini bits. But Hwang Hae Do also prepares other Korean favorites: chicken, pork or beef shavings (bulgogi) doused in soy sauce and brought out on a skillet with almost-caramelized onions; eggy seafood pancakes engorged with grilled octopus, buttery clams and some viciously pickled house kim chi; noodles of various temperatures, consistencies and strewn vegetables. 9448 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 590-1588. $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 BEACHBODHI TREE VEGETARIAN CAFÉ
Deciding what to eat at Bodhi Tree—there are more than 100 mock-meat choices—involves the same deliberation needed for a koan. The tofu-drop soup, bobbing with meaty chunks of bean curd, bamboo shoots and cilantro, is free. Not free but worth the somewhat-pricey $4.50 is the chicken-satay baguette sandwich full of faux fowl, tomatoes and so many julliened carrots it could be classified under the salad portion of the menu and mislead no one. 501 Main St., Ste. E, Huntington Beach, (714) 969-9500. $PERUVIAN KITCHEN
The folks at Peruvian Kitchen don't dumb it down for the city's bros at all. In addition to their black-but-moist hen, they offer fried rice adorned with raisins, carrots and corn; sturdy French fries with snappy hot dog slices; and a fabulous mesquite-smoked yam. But go for the anticuchos: two skewers of dark-brown beef heart glazed with garlic. The anticuchos are chewy, intensely meaty and easily the best offal in the county. 17552 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 847-7555. $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. $WINGS 'N THINGS
With its dim lighting, cozy booths and just-shy-of-tacky, wall-to-wall collection of Buffalo Bills football memorabilia interspersed with Little League team pictures, Wings 'N Things is like a portal to Eastern Standard Time. Authentic Buffalo-style wings (in hot sauces ranging from mild, medium and hot to "X-hot" and "Beyond Hot") are available in 10-piece ($6.25) or 16-piece ($8.75) servings. It's the county's most apt introductory course to Midwestern living. 18302 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 848-2767. $IRVINEBRITTA'S CAFÉ
Britta's is a quaint, European-style café where servers offer you individual pieces of bread (baguette or pumpernickel?) and a savory rustic tart isn't some old queen sashaying through a gay Parisian bistro but an appetizer you'll completely enjoy. Cheese lovers will freak out over the calzone packed with goat cheese, buffalo mozzarella, proscuitto and tomatoes. 4237 Campus Dr., Ste. B-165, Irvine, (949) 509-1211; www.brittascafe.com. $$

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