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Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from the county's best damn dining guide

ZIPANGU
There are marvels here: the kabocha dumpling is baby lobster and pureed Japanese pumpkin in a balsamic glaze and garnished with some sort of flash-fried sage or mint. The New York steak, served as sushi-sized pieces in a tangy teriyaki sauce, is buttery and tender and perfectly done. And enough sushi is here to warrant a Greenpeace visit. 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 545-2800; www.zipanguoc.com. $$

CYPRESS

IRIE JAMAICAN RESTAURANT
This mom-and-pop place serves an excellent ackee and salt fish that is a must-have. But you might be remiss if you passed on some of the other fine dishes, including oxtail, cow foot, curry goat or jerk chicken. 9062 Valley View St., Cypress, (714) 484-0661. $

Location Info

Map

Foscari

5645 E. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Anaheim

Bismillah Halal Tandoori Restaurant

8901 Knott Ave.
Buena Park, CA 90620

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Buena Park

Sushi Wave

2075 Newport Blvd., 108
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Sushi

Region: Costa Mesa

Silky Sullivan's Restaurant & Irish Pub

10201 Slater Ave.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Category: Restaurant > Irish

Region: Fountain Valley

Jang Toh

9872 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Korean

Region: Garden Grove

Nuoc Mia Vien Tay

14370 Brookhurst St.
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Category: Restaurant > Grocery

Region: Garden Grove

Diho Bakery

14130 Culver Drive
Irvine, CA 92604

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: Irvine

Taiko Japanese Restaurant

14775 Jeffrey Road
Irvine, CA 92618

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Irvine

Casa Olamendi's

1100 S. Coast Highway, Ste. 202
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Laguna Beach

Bistro Le Crillom

2523 Eastbluff Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: Newport Beach

Hoag Hospital Cafeteria

1 Hoag Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Newport Beach

Sol Grill

110 McFadden Place
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Restaurant > Eclectic

Region: Newport Beach

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DANA POINT

THE WIND & SEA RESTAURANT
When friends come to town, the first thing we do is take them here. King crab legs, calamari and steaks are specialties of the house, served in generous proportions at reasonable prices. It always tastes great in an ambiance of SoCal beach hedonism. 34699 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, (949) 496-6500; www.windandsearestaurant.com. $$$

DIAMOND BAR

ASIAN DELI
Asian Deli operated for years from a hectic Orange strip mall, a spotless Indonesian dive where patrons happily munched on vast rice dishes that resembled hail flurries along with satay skewers of sweet, spicy and smoky savors. Now based in Diamond Bar, it still saunters through the Indonesian cookbook—one of the world's most deliciously anarchic due to the country's archipelagic nature and position between various trade routes—as if bankrolled by President Megawati Sukarnoputri. 23545 Palomino Dr., Ste. F, Diamond Bar, (909) 861-1427; www.asian-deli.com. $

FOUNTAIN VALLEY

SILKY SULLIVAN'S
Fish and chips are the name of the game here: triangle-shaped pieces of fish fried to a dark brown, and the steak fries are the same. Each has a nice flavor and texture. And the salad is great. 10201 Slater Ave., Fountain Valley, (714) 963-2718; www.silkysullivans.com. $

 

FULLERTON

TAAL
A deviation from the usual buffets and quickie curries, Taal is a comprehensive take on Northern Indian cuisine with a couple of Chinese-Indian dishes—spicy chow mein!—to delightfully confuse eaters just so. 2720 Nutwood Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-7846; www.taalrestaurant.net. $$

 

ROMAN CUCINA
There's nothing pretentious or nouveau about the service or cuisine, no-nonsense Italian fare based on three kinds of pasta: fettuccine, linguine and penne. And you won't find veal, lamb, rabbit or anything else too far off the main Italian grub drag—pasta, beef and pork make Roman Cucina the simplest, most delicious Italian since Sonny Corleone. 211 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 680-6000; www.romancucina.com. $$

EL SOMBRERO PLAZA DULCERÍA
Though Cortés vanquished the Aztecs centuries ago, their taste for sweet and searing lives on in El Sombrero Plaza Dulcería, a Mexican candy store on the outskirts of Fullerton's rough Tokers Town barrio, the hellish equivalent of Willy Wonka's wonderland, an expansive, adobe-style building—it looks like the manse of a Gabriel García-Marquez protagonist. You'll find chile-centric candy in dozens of improbable combinations here, but also such sweets as the neon-tinted alfajor de coco that are so rich a single nibble per hour is the recommended consumption rate. 415 S. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 992-5441. $

GARDEN GROVE

CAPITAL SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
The clam-and-ginger soup at Capital Seafood is amazing. Small, chewy clams in their shells combined with a delicious, spicy, clear ginger broth make one of the most interesting and flavorful seafood soups out there. 8851 Westminster Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 892-4182; www.capitalseafoodrestaurant.com. $$

 

JANG TOH
Mmmm . . . grilled chicken gizzards. And other Korean goodies, too! 9872 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 530-5756. $

NUOC MÌA VIEN TÂY
The best drink in Orange County is also the least advertised. Nuoc Mía Vien Tây in Garden Grove sells an ambrosial sugar cane juice renowned throughout the Vietnamese diaspora but little known outside. A deep sip reveals its greatness: frothy but smooth, the sugar cane's earthy sweetness is tempered by the citric candor of tangerine and kumquat. It is extraterrestrial. It is patient, it is kind—it's the I Corinthians 13 of the beverage world. 14370 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 531-9801. ¢

REGINA'S RESTAURANT
Argentina lives in this tiny strip of Garden Grove's Westminster Boulevard, and the results are incredible: cheesy, fresh Argentine-style Italian pastas, gut-busting dishes of beef (the parillada has five different types alone) and over 30 native Argentine wines. But the best part is gracious owner Elías Niquias, who will greet you by name the second time you visit. 11025 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 638-9595; www.reginaargentina.com. $$

HUNTINGTON BEACH

BODHI 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 $3.50 is the chicken-satay baguette sandwich full of faux fowl, tomatoes and so many julliened carrots that 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. $

EAST COAST HOT DOGS
No tables inside—just counters and stools. No air conditioning—that's why there are two tables outside. There's a great Italian roast beef sandwich, a multi-folded pastrami, fries, onion rings and tater tots. But people line up five deep for the 11 hot dog varieties, ranging from Chicago to chili cheese to something called the Wow! Dog—a blackened kielbasa, sautéed onions and a schmear of thick, gritty mustard worthy of its exclamatory name. 19092 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 378-0364. ¢

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