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Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from the county's best damn dining guide

ORANGE

LA BRASSERIE
The Orange institution looks, smells, tastes and sounds like the French eateries your grandparents frequented, the type of elegant dining experience that once required pearls, a dining jacket and an irony-free martini. All the French entrées Americans endlessly stereotype are here""duckling a l'orange, frog legs, pâté, escargot and the like. But La Brasserie also stays true to its rustic Alsatian roots by preparing nine different types of veal, each consisting of young cow slices cut into large portions, battered with egg and nearly floating over myriad tasty sauces. 202 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 978-6161. $$$

SHIKI
There are only two teppan tables at this modest place, but the chefs perform like kung-fu movie stars with a license to grill when they serve up tender chicken and steak with ginger, hot mustard and teriyaki sauces on the side. 1936 E. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 633-1765. $$

Location Info

Map

Dee Dee

311 S. Brookhurst
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > Thai

Region: Anaheim

Catalina Fish Kitchen

670 W. 17th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Costa Mesa

Anh Hong Restaurant

10195 Westminster Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Garden Grove

Brees' Quality Meats

11877 Valley View St.
Garden Grove, CA 92845

Category: Restaurant > Grocery

Region: Garden Grove

Seoul Oak Korean BBQ

8295 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Garden Grove

Aliso Beach Snack Bar

31131 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Laguna Beach

Solomon's Bakery

23020 Lake Forest Drive, Ste. 170
Mission Viejo, CA 92653

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: Laguna Hills

Volcano Burgers

3652 Cerritos Ave.
Rossmoor, CA 90720

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Los Alamitos

Charlie's Chili

102 McFadden Place
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Newport Beach

Kitayama Restaurant

101 Bayview Place
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Newport Beach

Pescadou Bistro

3325 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: Newport Beach

Q's Tortas

220 S. Bradford Ave.
Placentia, CA 92870

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Placentia

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TAQUERÃA MEXICO
Twenty-four hours a day, every day, you can get a taco (and only tacos) with steak, barbecued pork, chicken, carnitas, beef tongue, beef head or beef brains for under a buck. It's like having a warm tortilla security blanket. 108 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 538-5772. ¢

 

PLACENTIA

Q'S TORTAS
Q's is unique because it's one of the few restaurants in la naranja exclusively devoted to the torta-making trade. And the local landmark, having been there for nearly a quarter-century, does not disappoint, turning out juicy monstrosities only slightly smaller than the King James Bible. 220 S. Bradford Ave., Placentia, (714) 993-3270. ¢

SAN CLEMENTE

IVA LEE'S
So authentically Cajun they hand out beads to patrons, Iva Lee's is a haute-cuisine take on the Big Easy. Crawfish cakes are topped with a dollop of saffron aioli, and the pan-fried pork chops are thick and juicy. The chicory coffee crème brûlée is so tasty it's like eating crack pudding. 555 N. El Camino Real, Ste. E, San Clemente, (949) 361-2855; www.ivalees.com. $$$

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

CAFÉ MOZART
Café Mozart brews an impressive array of beers that ease its German-Austrian menu well down one's gullet. Bavarian bread dumplings""made of three different kinds of bread and flecked with bacon""come two per order, sit in a brown pool of wild mushrooms and exhibit the same luscious levity as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. 31952 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 496-0212; www.cafemozart.net. $$$

SANTA ANA

BANGKOK TASTE
Thong "Chim" Johnson, owner of Bangkok Taste, knows how to pack heat into her torrid Thai creations, like her luscious green curry and her garlic shrimp; no other Thai place I know of makes its own ice cream. 2737 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 532-2216. $

COLIMA
Where else can you dine on tender barbecued goat in a smoky sauce and swaddled in steaming tortillas made on the premises? The only thing I like better is the house specialty: a mild white fish fillet stuffed with shrimp, mushrooms and mixed vegetables. 130 N. Fairview, Santa Ana, (714) 836-1254.$

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. $

PANGEA
We love Pangea best because it delivers. Do be sure to indulge in their sandwiches: a fresh Artist Village turkey wrap, or the Malaysian curry chicken breast sandwich""really, any of these fusion-style globalnesses, or the hibachi-grilled Atlantic salmon fillet served with a zesty ponzu glaze, which Pangea rocks out with its cocks out. 211 W. Second St., Santa Ana, (714) 834-0688; www.pangea-cafe.com. $$

YELLOW BASKET
Eighteen whoppers are flipped at this Santa Ana food-mark, but the best is a triple cheeseburger that could out-Carl's-$6-burger any day""and at only $4.60. 2860 S. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 545-8219; www.yellowbasket.com. $

SEAL BEACH

MAHE
Mahe offers a delicious meeting of sushi and meat as God and Stewart Anderson, in their mercy, intended. Besides the raw stuff, the house special is the filet mignon stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon. Kill you? Sure. But it tastes damn good. 1400 Pacific Coast Hwy., Seal Beach, (562) 431-3022. $$$

STANTON

PARK AVENUE
Gourmet American food in Stanton""who'da thunk it? The whole stuffed chicken, covered in pan drippings, is as fatty as a marbled pork chop and stuffed with a whipped concoction of creamy mashed potatoes and spinach you couldn't pay us not to eat. 11200 Beach Blvd., Stanton, (714) 901-4400; www.parkavedining.com. $$$

SUNSET BEACH

HARBOR HOUSE CAFÉ
This 24-hour diner is a local institution that serves consistently good food. As it's incredibly popular with the late-night crowd, be prepared to wait for a table. 16341 Pacific Coast Hwy., Sunset Beach, (562) 592-5404; www.harborhousecafe.com. $

TUSTIN

DOSA PLACE
There are so many dosas at Dosa Place""crammed with goat, stuffed with cheese, oozing with curried potatoes""that you'll probably overlook the rest of the platters. Don't. Once in a while, scan over the South Indian portion of the menu and devote a lunch to the idli, two rice-flour dumplings touched with a molten chile powder, or an uttapam, a flour Frisbee the menu advertises as a pancake but is really more of a veggie-gorged omelet. 13812 Red Hill Ave., Tustin, (714) 505-7777; www.dosaplace.com. $

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