Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from the county's best damn dining guide

SOL GRILL
New Orleans feel, Mediterranean taste: the kung fu shrimp and blackened ahi are excellent, but the jambalaya over fettuccine will leave your innards glowing. 110 McFadden Place, Newport Beach, (949) 723-4105. $$

SEASIDE BAKERY
It's 2 in the morning, and you're stumbling out of some bar at the Newport Pier. Nothing soaks up the booze like a nice warm croissant stuffed with ham and Cheddar cheese. A few bites of this, and you can kiss your fears of alcohol poisoning goodbye. 2108 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, (949) 675-2533. ¢

YI DYNASTY KOREAN BBQ
With a barbecue promising such exotica as honey-corn tripe, black pork bellies, barbecued bone marrow, wild boar and stingray, Yi Dynasty is sure to placate even the most demanding gourmand. Korean cooking protocol—panchan, DIY meat cooking, feuding tastes in your mouth—is in effect at all times. 1701 Corinthian Way, Newport Beach, (949) 797-9292; www.yi-dynasty.com. $$$

Location Info

Map

Merhaba Restaurant

2801 W. Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > African

Region: Anaheim

BOUTIQUE SAMOA

1217 S. Western Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > Polynesian

Region: Anaheim

Sarkis Pastry

2424 W. Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > Middle Eastern

Region: Anaheim

Thai Laos Market

1721 W. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Grocery

Region: Anaheim

Hot Dog On A Stick

2153 Brea Mall Way
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Restaurant > Fast Food

Region: Brea

POFOLKS

7701 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Buena Park

Trabuco Oaks Steak House

20782 Trabuco Oaks Drive
Coto De Caza, CA 92679

Category: Restaurant > Steakhouse

Region: Coto de Caza

Cafe Jardin at Sherman Gardens

2647 E. Coast Highway
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: Corona Del Mar

Hi-Time Wine Cellars

250 Ogle St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Wine Bar

Region: Costa Mesa

Super Corokke

675 Paularino Ave., Ste. C
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Costa Mesa

Scott's Seafood Grill & Bar

3300 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Costa Mesa

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ORANGE

EGG ROLLS, ETC.
Naming a restaurant Egg Rolls, Etc., implies that the eatery specializes in various versions of Asia's preferred fried snack. This recently opened Orange establishment, however, creates but one kind—lumpia, the Filipino type that's bulky enough to wield for bruising purposes. The "Etc." portion of Egg Rolls' name is more accurate, referring to the turo-turo ("point-point") cafeteria tradition of Filipino cuisine to which the restaurant adheres. 1710 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 937-0800. ¢

 

THE FILLING STATION
The menu is hi-fi breakfast/lunch food. The grilled-chicken caesar salad is distinctly clean and refreshing, letting you taste each ingredient in the mix, and the Old Towne scramble proves this is a very good place to wake up. 201 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 289-9714; www.fillingstationcafe.com. $

PLACENTIA

REMBRANDT'S BEAUTIFUL CUISINE
Rembrandt's may claim to do "beautiful food," but that translates to hearty, plain fare done to nostalgic perfection: a Brown Derby for our county minus the starlets and that whole wrecking-ball thing. This is truly the little steakhouse that time forgot. It looks like what the Velvet Turtle would be if they'd redone it Spanish-style in the '80s: stark, white walls, huge paintings, chandeliers and filet mignon to the hilt. 909 E. Yorba Linda Blvd., Placentia, (714) 528-6222; www.rembrandtsrestaurant.com. $$$

SAN CLEMENTE

SURFIN' CHICKEN
José "El Cuatro" Martínez's method of preparing chicken is as miraculous as Mass. He soaks his hens in lemon butter before slapping them onto the open-fire grill. He then shakes tremendous amounts of chile powder onto the meat and grills them until crisp, the lemon and powder fusing onto the chicken and seeping through the tender meat to the bone. The result is mysterious: soft, slightly smoky and exuding a sour/spicy crackle that's nearly radioactive. 71 Via Pico Plaza, San Clemente, (949) 498-6603. $

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

RAMOS HOUSE CAFÉ
After Burrell's and a couple of Santa Ana Mexican taquerías, Ramos House is probably the only restaurant left in Orange County that operates in a living, noisy neighborhood. Its Southern fried breakfasts—fried green tomatoes topped with goat cheese is the most imaginative spin—are a Capistrano Valley institution, the bitter Bloody Marys, Orange County's best. But it's the comforting cinnamon beignets that make the long Saturday-morning drive and the one-hour wait all worth it. 31752 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 443-1342; www.ramoshouse.com. $

SANTA ANA

NANCY PUEBLA RESTAURANT
Lurking within this seemingly mundane Mexican restaurant are delicious, complex rarities from the central state of Puebla, platters more familiar to an ethnography than an Orange County menu—dense mole poblano, pale goat menudo and guilotas, a chewy type of quail so region-specific that it's not even listed in most Spanish dictionaries. 1221 E. First St., Ste. C, Santa Ana, (714) 834-9004. $

 

ROYAL KHYBER
The self-proclaimed "restaurant of the year" unabashedly serves upscale Indian cuisine in a setting more suited for coats and ties than T-shirts and jeans. The spicy chicken Madras features big chicken chunks and sliced tomatoes buried in a potent curry highlighted by freshly ground black pepper. It torches. 1621 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 436-1010; www.royalkhyber.com. $$

TOMMY PASTRAMI
Even in the Brobdingnagian world of Reubens, Tommy's version eclipses all local competitors—Everest to everyone else's Santiago Peak. Grab Tommy's jumbo Reuben with your hands, and half of the meat and sauerkraut immediately plops onto your plate. More meat and sauerkraut falls forth when you finally take a chomp. This process repeats itself with each bite—and still the sandwich, like Jesus blessing fish and loaves, offers even more meat. More sauerkraut. More bread. By the time you finish, there's enough on the plate to feed a class of ravenous kindergartners. 3751 S. Harbor Blvd., Ste. B, Santa Ana, (714) 540-2700; www.tommypastraminydeli.com. $$

TIKAL TIENDA Y RESTAURANTE
All the mainstays of the Guatemalan diet are available at the county's only Guatemalan produce store—pork, chicken or chipilín (mint) tamales wrapped in banana leaves, the equivalent of corn Jell-O; and chile rellenos stuffed with carrots, onions, potatoes and ground beef. Tikal truly excels in the soup business, though. Foremost among the broths is hilacha, a brick-red boiling stew sharp with tomato, shredded beef strands and about three different squashes bobbing in slow circles. 1002 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, (714) 973-8547.¢

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