Buy Me Some Sushi and Cracker Jack

[Summer Guide] A rundown of the best non-chain eats at the Big A

A fried-chicken finger is a fried-chicken finger, even if it’s called a “fritter.” But when you have it with gravy? Now that’s a meal, regardless of what you call it. Too-often ignored by fast-food joints, sawmill gravy—thick, white, salty and as enriching as blubber—turns out to be great for dunking fries into, too. Katella Grill, a satellite stall from the Orange diner of the same name, seems to have a monopoly on boneless fried chicken at the park, and it does the poultry justice. Protected with an impermeable crust of flour, pepper and salt, the meat inside is moist and billowy hot when you break through the golden-fried shell—crispy until you drunk it in that gravy, of course. Section 129. Chicken fritters with gravy, $10.50.

If you’d like to pretend you are doing something remotely good for your diet, Chix has grilled-chicken sandwiches. But you’re only kidding yourself with the Fire & Ice Chicken Salad, which is salad in name only. Like most political ads, it’s technically true but wholly misleading. Sure, there are field greens at the bottom of the bowl, even some celery and carrot sticks. But on top of that is a massive scoop of a rich, blue-cheese-dressed coleslaw that probably already accounts for 1,000 calories. Above it all is a mound of delectable Buffalo-wing-sauce-laced sticks of fried chicken they call “twists.” Your diet would’ve been better off with the sushi. Section 102. Grilled bistro chicken sandwich, $9.50; Fire & Ice chicken salad, $9.50.

Located behind the rocks in the outfield—arguably the most scenic outdoor-dining area at the stadium—Rudy’s does permutations of everything fried potato. They have sweet-potato and good-old-plain (all from frozen, of course) fries, cooked in hot grease to a golden-brown crispiness before being smothered in all kinds of glop: cheese, chili, or the clear fan favorite—chopped garlic. They also give the fryer treatment to something called “funnel fries,” which turned out to be hollow sticks made from cake batter that would’ve tasted like cardboard if they weren’t drenched in whipped cream and strawberry syrup. Call this one dessert, and call it a day. Behind the rocks in the outfield. Chili-cheese fries or nacho fries, $7.50; garlic fries, $6; plain funnel fries, $5.50; funnel fries with strawberry syrup and whipped cream, $7.50.

No doggin' it here. On the field, on the other hand . . .
Edwin Goei
No doggin' it here. On the field, on the other hand . . .

Location Info


Minato Sushi

23505 El Toro Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Lake Forest

Sushi Tomo

24338 El Toro Road
Laguna Hills, CA 92637

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Laguna Hills

Sushi Wok Restaurant & Express

24371 El Toro Road
Mission Viejo, CA 92637

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Laguna Hills

Clyde Wright's BBQ

2000 Gene Autry Way, Gate 1, Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Anaheim, CA 92806

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Anaheim

Panini Cafe

3041 Michelson Drive
Irvine, CA 92612

Category: Restaurant > Paninis

Region: Irvine

Katella Grill

1325 W. Katella Ave.
Orange, CA 92867

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Orange

Rudy's Pub & Grill

3110 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Newport Beach

Angel Stadium of Anaheim, 2000 Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, (714) 940-2000;

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