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Grub Guide

DANA POINT

PROUD MARY'S
Opened in 1977 by Mary Merrill and her five children, this most certainly qualifies as a family-run establishment. Located in Dana Wharf on the waterfront, Proud Mary's serves breakfast and lunch. Their menu—at least their breakfast one—features lots of eggs scrambled into such dishes as breakfast burritos and omelets. 34689 St. of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point, (949) 493-5853. $

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Matiki Island Barbeque

3070 W. Lincoln Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Hawaiian

Region: Anaheim

Hot Dog On A Stick

2153 Brea Mall Way
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Restaurant > Fast Food

Region: Brea

Filipino Express

4544 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621-1133

Category: Restaurant > Filipino

Region: Buena Park

Maggiano's Little Italy

3333 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Costa Mesa

Proud Mary's Restaurant

34689 St. of the Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: Dana Point

The Wheel Of Life

14370 Culver Drive
Irvine, CA 92604

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Irvine

Five Feet Restaurant

12017 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92840-4001

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: Garden Grove

Penguin Cafe

981 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Laguna Beach

Corner Broiler

24301 Muirlands
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Lake Forest

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

321 W. Katella Ave., Ste. 101
Anaheim, CA 92802

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Anaheim

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine

453 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Category: Restaurant > Asian Fusion

Region: Newport Beach

The Filling Station

201 N. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Orange

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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

KAPPO HONDA
Dubbed a Japanese pub restaurant, Kappo Honda serves the holy trinity of Japanese beer—Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo—along with Bud and Bud Light for some reason. The beer serves as amniotic fluid to some very solid excellent food. 18450 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 964-4629. $$

FULLERTON

THE GREAT ZUCCHINI
The hearty bun kebab combo—a hamburger with a Pakistani patty, fries served with chutney, and a Pakistani cola: the melting pot gone carhop—is but one of the highlights of the Great Zucchini, whose name sounds more appropriate for a Little Italy diner than for one of the county's few Pakistani eateries. It's a small list, and you have to ask for a special menu to see it, but the Great Zucchini's preparation of Pakistani standbys attracts subcontinent expats from North County and beyond. 765 St. College Blvd., Ste. B, Fullerton, (714) 879-8522. $

HOTBELLIES
While offering all the dishes once balanced on the arms of roller-skating waitresses, Hotbellies also incorporates Asian cuisine, the better to serve the new multicultural, multitasteful American race. Get with the times, Hotbellies announces via a menu ranging from cheesy Philadelphia beef to soy sauce-baptized bulgogi (Korean barbecue)—this is the 21st century. 1860 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, (714) 870-4340. $

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. $$

GARDEN GROVE

AZTECA
As far as Azteca goes, there are two words to keep in mind: "garlic" and "taco"—beef tacos with the usual fixings, but flavored with fresh garlic-and-vinegar dressing and lime. The garlic hits first, but it's the citrus that finishes each bite. 12911 Main St., Garden Grove, (714) 638-3790. $

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. $

SHIK DO RAK
Dduk bo sam—which means "wrapped in a rice noodle"—is the $30 hamburger of Korean cookery, a trendy Korean barbecue style that originated recently in downtown Los Angeles and can be found locally only at the just-opened Shik Do Rak in Garden Grove. Just like regular Korean barbeque, except you play around with a rice-paper wrapper and make your own grilled-on-the-spot burrito. If you do it right, each mouthful will be crunchy, spicy and slippery with beef fat: grease-dappled bliss. 9691 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 534-7668. $$

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 BEACH

BREWBAKERS
Part fraternity, part bakery, part miniature brewery, Brewbakers is as much a bonding experience as an eating establishment, a gustatory amusement park in the midst of chain-heavy Huntington Beach. While the personal beer-making process is the main attraction, owner Dennis Midden maintains that baking is his first love, and a chomp through his pretzels—chewy loops with a perfect crustiness and enough salt to enhance the taste but not cover it—confirms it. 7242 Heil Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 596-5506; www.brewbakers1.com. $$

GALLAGHER'S
Make Gallagher's your fish-and-chip home away from home. Icelandic cod served amid skin-on steak fries made from real potatoes awaits you under beer batter that's really beer batter! And the tartar sauce is smooth and garlicky—a perfect complement. 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 113, Huntington Beach, (714) 536-2422; www.gallagherspub.com. $

WHEEL OF LIFE
Wheel of Life's extensive and affordable menu is pan-Asian, encompassing everything from Vietnamese spring rolls, Indian curry, Chinese chow mein and pad Thai to soy Mongolian beef. Everything is 100 percent vegan, and manager Rose Tallman boasts she will make anything your tongue desires. Even so, it's a good bet not to stray from the menu—with more than 100 choices, choosing just a few is already a multiple-choice test more suited to a computer. 7251 Warner Ave., Ste. F, Huntington Beach, (714) 375-9505.$

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