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Grub Guide

Tasty morsels from the county's best damn dining guide

CYPRESS

DALTON'S

"Family-style" before the phrase meant "Norms," Dalton's has gabby servers with odd hairstyles, a mostly older clientele, hearty extra-large egg breakfasts served all day, and a menu dominated by meat and fried stuff. 9575 Valley View St., Cypress, (714) 229-8101. $

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Merhaba Restaurant

2801 W. Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > African

Region: Anaheim

Mr. Stox Restaurant

1105 E. Katella Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92805

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Anaheim

Napa Rose

1600 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802

Category: Restaurant > California

Region: Anaheim

TAPS Fish House & Brewery

101 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Brea

Filipino Express

4544 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621-1133

Category: Restaurant > Filipino

Region: Buena Park

POFOLKS

7701 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Buena Park

Gallo's Italian Deli

3900 E. Coast Highway
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: Corona Del Mar

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FRANCO'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

This tiny Cypress restaurant is the kind of place where the tablecloths are checkered; the waiters earnestly smack fingers against lips when describing linguine; and Frank, Dino and Pagliacci roar without rest. Franco's has an extensive Italian menu—all your major pastas, subs and even a surprising selection of veal dishes—but leave space for the cheesecake, one of the best ever to grace this world: thick, almost like tiramisù, but so strong with cinnamon you can feel it sizzle on your tongue. 4453 Cerritos Ave., Cypress, (714) 761-9040. $$

DANA POINT

GEMMELL'S

The appetizers are memorable—a feuillette, puff pastry with shrimp in the middle, placed in an herb-butter sauce with shallots and parsley; and a mousse of duck liver surrounded by minced aspic and sprinkled with cognac—but even better are the main courses: buttery Dover sole, New York steak bathed in a creamy beige sauce of brandy and peppercorns, smooth French onion soup. Salivating yet? 34471 Golden Lantern St., Dana Point, (949) 234-0063; www.gemmellsrestaurant.com . $$$

Harbor House Café

Besides Denny's, this is basically the only 24-hour joint in the area, and thus a popular hangout for high school kids. After the one in San Clemente closed something like a decade ago, this became the hangout for San Clemente High School students, too. As far as eats go, it's known for its wide omelet selection and thick shakes. 34157 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, (949) 496-9270. $

FOUNTAIN VALLEY

EBISU JAPANESE NOODLE RESTAURANT

This restaurant is a sleek ramen mecca that serves miso ramen, a curative soybean-flavored elixir, poured over a tangled cake of supple noodles rife with bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, hard-boiled-egg halves and scallions. 18930 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 964-5993; www.ebisuramen.com . $

LUCKY CHINESE

Here, they set the standard for more-bowl-for-your-buck. A bowl of rice and one selection from the steam table will knock you on your ass for less than $3. The sweet-and-supple barbecue pork somehow stays tender under those harsh fluorescents. The kung pao chicken has kick, maybe even too much. Bitterly cheap gluttons, this is your place. 18525 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 962-4221. ¢

FULLERTON

El Camino Real

For the best Mexican food in Fullerton for lunch, call ahead of time. The lunch lines are usually so long they are reminiscent of the toilet-paper lines in the good ol' Soviet Union. Vegetarians can rejoice in the potato taquitos! 303 N. Euclid St., Fullerton, (714) 447-3962. ¢

CHICAGO HARV'S

Most every county hot-dog cart advertises Chicago dogs, but Harv's is among the few places that does it better than the South Side. They ship in bulky Vienna sausages directly from the Windy City, stuff 'em into a poppy-speckled bun next to dill-pickle slivers, and squirt the mess with stinky-but-super quarts of relish and mustard that'll leave lips a yellow-green color as vibrant as a 1970s Notre Dame football uniform. 410 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-0491. ¢

GENGHIS KHAN MONGOLIAN BBQ

Genghis Khan's stir-frying of various frozen meat shavings transforms the Mongolian barbecue into a time machine: The brusque force of the Mongol Empire rampages anew across taste buds, meat and vegetables. There are other choices besides the Mongolian barbecue, but the restaurant offers it as an all-you-can-eat option for a reason. 333 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 870-6930. ¢

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 could want. 8902 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 638-5757. $$

Kaju Soft Tofu Restaurant

This is an idyllic eatery that specializes in a soft and spicy tofu soup. Depending on what you want to put in the soup, it becomes a sort of paella, except that with paella, the waitress doesn't drop a raw egg into it as it's being served. The bulgogi—thinly sliced, seasoned beef with sweet caramelized onions served on a fajita-like skillet—is a good complement to the soup. 8895 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 636-2849. $$

LA VERANDA

Most of the Vietnamese dishes listed in La Veranda's colossal 14-page menu are unsullied by French influences—here, the colonization runs backward. Traditional French delicacies such as escargot, frog legs and coq au vin are accompanied by such Vietnamese side dishes as pickled daikon, nuoc mam (sweet fish sauce) and rice paper. The ensuing DIY combos result in plates that should earn La Veranda at least a four-star rating from the Michelin guide. 10131 Westminster Ave., Ste. 114, Garden Grove, (714) 539-3368. $$

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 . $$

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