Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from OC'c best damn dining guide

THAI DINING
Start with their tom kah gai soup, a creamy, flavorful offering of the popular Thai chicken-coconut soup; then try the beef panang. It rates pretty high on the beef panang scale—and it'll make you sweat. 28051 Greenfield Dr., Ste. J, Laguna Niguel, (949) 643-5521. $

LAKE FOREST

BIAGIO'S
Order the Sicilian-style linguine with basil, oregano and anchovies blended into a marinara sauce and poured over a healthy serving of flat spaghetti. You'll also find delicious the accompanying salad and warm, crusty, homemade bread. 24301 Muirlands Rd., Ste. H, Lake Forest, (949) 837-3850. $

LONG BEACH

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: Out of Town

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

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BUBBA GUMP SHRIMP CO.
The inheritor to the dumb Forrest Gumpfranchise actually fries some good seafood—shrimp, steaks, fillets with stupid names. Guaranteed to please are the Shrimpin' Dippin' Broth, a half-pound of spicy steamed shrimp served with dippin' bread for dippin' and coleslaw, and Shrimper's Net Catch, a massive basket of beer-steamed shrimp served with garlic and Cajun sauces. Ignore the dumb names and stick to the food. 87 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, (562) 437-2434; www.bubbagump.com. $

 

M & M SOUL FOOD
Ask the folks at M & M to comment on the peach-hued walls, lowered ceilings and general bunker-like atmosphere (livened up only by an animatronic James Brown doll and a display case full of dolphin-shaped oil burners for sale), and they'll decline. Wisely so. But the food—perfectly grilled short ribs, snappy okra with nary a touch of sliminess, nummy peach cobbler, amongst others—they'll praise with the intensity of a Sunday-morning gospel choir. 5400 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, (562) 422-8395. $

 

UNCLE AL'S SEAFOOD
Albert "Uncle Al" Fadonougbo has successfully drawn upon both sides of the Middle Passage in creating his restaurant's menu during the past 10 years. Though most of the entrées appear mundane on the menu, Fadonougbo's massive-but-delicate hands combine Cajun complexity with West African subtlety to inject some much-needed energy into Long Beach's soulless soul-food scene. Do chomp through Uncle Al's po'boy menu and marvel at his cross-continental fusion. 400 E. First St., Long Beach, (562) 436-2553. $

LOS ALAMITOS

THE ORIGINAL FISH COMPANY
Both restaurant and market and far from the sea, the Original Fish Co. is where you can chomp through swordfish as a sandwich, on a skewer, as a fillet, mesquite-smoked or combined with a hunk of beef. Its other seafood platters are rightfully popular, but don't forget their accompanying sourdough rolls: slightly bitter, around the size of an enlarged orange and brilliant. 11061 Los Alamitos Blvd., Los Alamitos, (562) 594-4553; www.originalfishcompany.com. $$

 

MISSION VIEJO

ROYAL DONUTS NO. 6
Do not be put off by the terrifying nominal collision of fats. The doughnuts are good, but it's the sloppy double-cheese burgers that really shame the chains. 24501 Marguerite Pkwy., Ste. 5, Mission Viejo, (949) 837-3909. $

NEWPORT BEACH

BISTRO LE CRILLON
A quaint, Provençal-themed restaurant named after the village in Provence from which chef Chantal Berton's family hails. Thecassoulet c'est magnifique, a hearty mixture of flageolets blancs (white French beans), confit of duck and three types of sausage. Simmered and baked for days on end, the result is a mildly tangy bouquet of flavors. 2523 Eastbluff Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 640-8181; www.bistrolecrillon.com. $$$

PAVILION
The clam chowder at Pavilion—a lump of something undistinguishable that turns into the most delicious clam chowder of your life, redolent of ginger and marine goodness—is an apt metaphor for Pavilion: showy to the point of ostentatiousness, but with the substance to warrant the flash. Everything is expensive but damn worth it. 690 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-0808. $$$

SEJOUR
Fancy place in Newport's Lido district with fusion cuisine and an atmosphere that recalls the British Empire as the sun finally set. 3400 Via Lido, Newport Beach, (949) 675-9800; www.sejour.us. $$$

TACO ROSA
It's not just the wide swath of Mexico—Mexico City, Oaxaca, even the Yucatan—that makes Taco Rosa one of the few truly successful gourmet Mexican restaurants. Taco Rosa succeeds because its few tweaks are Mexican-based and surprising. Ask for the aguas frescas and, instead of horchata, waiters will recommend a frosted, freshly squeezed cup of cantaloupe or melon—¡delicioso! 2632 San Miguel Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 720-0980. $$

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, Ste. 6, Newport Beach, (949) 797-9292; www.yi-dynasty.com. $$$

ORANGE

CAFÉ LUCCA
Gourmet paninis are the jewels here, from hot sopresata and pepper-studded mortadella glued together by provolone and luscious red pepper pesto to a chocolate rendition for the Waldorf set. But also content yourself with the wondrous gelati: 16 separate flavors constructed daily with just water, sugar and fruit—no preservatives, chemicals or other artificial gunk. Each flavor not only tastes like its corresponding fruit but also leaps onto the tongue: furious, refreshing, delicious. 106 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 289-1255; www.cafelucca.com. $$

COSTA AZUL
Everything at Costa Azul—great empanadas, spicy enchiladas, delicious chocolate-dipped alfajor shortbread cookies—is secondary to its terrifying, glistening asado: five pieces of cow for a ridiculous $11.50. No extra spices, sauces or sides adorn any of these cuts in Costa Azul's asado—just pure, monumental beef. 121 N. Lemon St., Orange, (714) 628-0633. $

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