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Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from the County's best damn dining guide

Visit the rest of Orange County's best damn dining guide at ocweekly.com/food, where it says "Where to Eat Now" on the right side of the screen. If there are any bugs with it, e-mail Gustavo at garellano@ocweekly.com with your complaints!

DINNER FOR TWO:

¢ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10!

$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10-$20

$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20-$40

$$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ¡Eres muy rico!

ANAHEIM

KAPIT BAHAY

Here are just some of Kapit Bahay's game pieces: about four or five different fish deep-fried until the bones become jelly; pork and chicken adobo marinated long into the day in a murky broth of soy sauce, ginger, vinegar and garlic; sweet-sour viscous soups bumpy with rice, cucumbers or baby squids; beef minced with vegetables and covered in raw onion hoops or stabbed by a skewer; purple eggs called balut that contain a two-week-old duck embryo you're supposed to slurp whole. Even better desserts! 615 N. Euclid, Anaheim, (714) 635-4400. $

MARISCOS LICENCIADO #2

Mariscos Licenciado #2—#1 is in the 909—sells Sinaloan seafood but lies landlocked in the same decaying commercial pocket JC Fandango calls paradise. Nevertheless, a coastal breeze flows through the simple eatery. It starts somewhere in Mazatlán, sweeps past the tiled counter where men in tejanas sit and curse at televised soccer matches, and cools giant vats of boiling octopus and shrimp with a salty Sinaloan soul. 1052 N. State College, Anaheim, (714) 776-3415. $

MATIKI ISLAND BARBEQUE

Whether tucked between two bread slices or served alongside rondures of rice and macaroni salad, the beef at Matiki Island Barbeque is among the most memorably delicious pieces of cow you'll ever chew: ruddy, soft, not burnt at all, a veritable luau on your palate. That beef and other entrées are the sole enticers here—no need for Polynesian bric-a-brac when the food is a slice of the island alongside two scoops of rice and one of macaroni salad. 3070 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 821-5228. $

PICANTERÍA ARIQUEPEÑA EL MISTI

Little more than a long dining hall adorned with WPA-style farmer murals, El Misti prepares the diet of Arequipa, a city of about 750,000 acclaimed for its desiccated, hearty dishes and thunderously flavored drinks. El Misti offers Peruvian standards as well for the unadventurous: coconut-milk-based chupe soups, the buttery stir-fried chow meins known as tallarines and savory pollo a brasa. All good versions, really—but why would you eat anything else on the planet when the prospect of pig knuckles is but a request away? 3070 W. Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, (714) 995-5944; www.elmisticuisine.com. $

BREA

BREA'S BEST BURGERS

The perfect non-chain burger, a quarter-pound patty all gussied up with the Thousand Island dressing, the lettuce, the onions, the tomatoes and the sesame-seed bun. Brea's Best also has sandwiches, hot dogs, tacos, burritos and breakfast fare. You could even eat healthy by ordering an ostrich burger—but why would you? A word of warning: the place gets mobbed during the weekday lunch rush, so plan accordingly. 707 S. Brea Blvd., Brea, (714) 990-2615. $

BUENA PARK

NANCY'S PUPUSERÍA RESTAURANT

Customers at Nancy's wait with patience, and so should you—as Sunday school taught, patience is a virtue, and its reward is the pupusa. Namesake owner Nancy Funes' namesake Salvadoran pupusas are grilled discs o' plenty, bubbling with slightly salty cheese and not too greasy, as they are in so many other county pupuserías. Her pupusas de calabasa—brimming with fresh zucchini bits within the pupusa's cheesy morass that don't compromise the zucchini's natural, juicy snappiness—is a minor miracle, maybe not on the level of Fatima but at least Medjugorje. 8111 Knott Ave., Buena Park, (714) 995-2086. ¢

CORONA DEL MAR

GALLO'S ITALIAN DELI

The thirtysomething-year-old deli is little more than counters, chips and sodas—which is to say, it's the perfect beach shack restaurant, even if it's on PCH. Request the Gallo's combo; the server will no doubt reply (as he once did to me), "Are you sure about that?" When he grabs sausages and begins hacking off massive slices, you'll understand his skepticism—the sandwich is bigger than most house cats. 3900 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 675-7404. $

COSTA MESA

ANGOTEI

Small and claustrophobic, but they clear all the red tape as far as being authentic. There's lots of off-the-menu shit: conch, tuna cheeks, abalone—you know their shit's good when they got abalone. 675 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 557-2696. $$



FRANK'S PHILADELPHIA

There are no frills at Frank's Philadelphia when it comes to their Philly cheesesteak: humongous loaf (even the small is ginormous), beef bits chopped into portions so teensy you can absorb them through your fingertips; grilled peppers that remain juicy and fleshy even after meeting cast iron, and the melted mozzarella pours into your innards like milk. 2244 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (949) 722-8725. $

SANTOUKA RAMEN

Despite its chain ownership, Santouka's soup is stately, with cooks offering ramen from different regions: Tokyo (heavy with soy sauce, with a whisper of dried bonito flakes), the miso-flavored liquid pride of Hokkaido, and another style, shio ramen, simply flavored with salt. 665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 434-1101. $

SCOTT'S SEAFOOD

The dictionary describes scallops as the puffy, powerful adductor muscles of free-swimming mollusks. Scott's Seafood describes the scallop sauté as flown in fresh from Maine and served over caramelized leeks with seared tomatoes, herb corn polenta and sauce Chardonnay. 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 979-2400. $$$

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