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Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from OC'c best damn dining guide

TAQUERÍA EL GRANJENAL
Named after a Michoacán rancho that has sent thousands of its residents to Orange County, the colorful restaurant makes the best tacos in the county. They deviate from taco protocol by using full-sized corn tortillas and pile on chunks of your choice of grilled meat. The salsa is extraordinary, a dark-red lava extract whose burn factor is unknown outside Paricutín. 899 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-4964. $

CYPRESS

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

DANA POINT

MIRABEAU BISTRO
The eatery's appellation derives from the famous Cours Mirabeau, a tree-lined avenue of bistros in Aix-en-Provence dear to the restaurant's proprietors. And the food offered here—lamb osso bucco with a North African bent, fine wines, and an addictive pork-and-duck confit—is just as renowned. As the French Revolution-era orator Mirabeau might have shouted, c'est magnifique! 17 Monarch Bay Plaza, Dana Point, (949) 234-1679; www.mirabeaubistro.com. $$$

Location Info

Map

Dunarea

821 N. Euclid Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > European

Region: Anaheim

Siam Chili Paste

1739 W. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant >

Region: Anaheim

Super Corokke

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

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Costa Mesa

Irie Jamaican Restaurant

9062 Valley View St.
Cypress, CA 90630-5802

Category: Restaurant > Caribbean

Region: Cypress

Au Lac Vegetarian Restaurant

16563 Brookhurst St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Fountain Valley

TAAL

2720 Nutwood Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92831

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Fullerton

Table Ten California Grill

124 W. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92831

Category: Restaurant > California

Region: Fullerton

Light Town House

8902 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Korean

Region: Garden Grove

The Chicken Co.

9017 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Huntington Beach

East Winds Asian Cuisine

7114 Edinger Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Huntington Beach

TACOS EL CHARITO

Florida St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Huntington Beach

Darband Persian Cuisine

Heritage Square, 14210 Culver Drive
Irvine, CA 92604

Category: Restaurant > Persian

Region: Irvine

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

AU LAC
Au Lac is as soothing and tranquil as any place you'll find in a strip mall. They specialize in gourmet Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, but what really lines the kids up outside is the soy-meat masterpieces found on their almost entirely vegan-friendly menu. 16563 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 418-0658; www.aulac.com. $$

FULLERTON

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. $$

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. $$

TABLE TEN CALIFORNIA GRILL
Table Ten is a place where you can eat tacos filled with glossy maple-tinged corned beef in a sleek strip-mall boîte. The delectable caesar salad features hand-torn greens jacketed with a caesar vinaigrette. 124 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton, (714) 526-3210. $

GARDEN GROVE

LIGHT TOWN HOUSE
Korean barbecue rules here—pork belly, beef, eel, what have you. But don't overlook the mushroom tofu stew—not that spicy but containing enough chile to make you sweat and all the mushrooms you want. 8902 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 638-5757. $$

MAN MI BAKERY
Home to some of the most luscious whipped-cream cakes imaginable. Their most famous is a confection of two layers of yellow cake filled with a rich custard, kiwi fruit, pineapples, peaches, cherries and grapes and topped with a whipped-cream frosting. 8942 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 537-4955. ¢

NIZAM'S NIHARI HOUSE
Nizam's features the mainstays of the Pakistani diet—kebabs of lamb, fish and beef; goat, shrimp and chicken curries; many vegetarian selections; and an impressive roster of biryani, basmati rice moistened with chunks of meats and veggies; beef samosas furiously spiced, nicely fried and garnished with mint and onion chutneys. And the brain curry, hidden on the menu as maghaz masala, will eliminate your aversion to offal forever. 14204 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 636-2223. $

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. ¢

HUNTINGTON BEACH

BUKHARA
Bukhara—Indian for "strip mall"—is situated in, of all things, a Huntington Beach strip mall. It's an intimate and superb representation of its genre, featuring healthy food, an extensive menu and, most important, many vegetarian choices. The assault on one's taste buds is breathtaking from start to finish. 7594 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 842-3171. $$

CHICKEN CO.
If the phrase weren't copyrighted, we would tell you they do chicken right. So we'll just say they do chicken correctly. They turn lowly poultry into buttery works of art. Forget chicken soup: this is what your soul is craving. 9017 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 963-0500. $

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