By Kiera Wright-Ruiz
By Cleo Tobbi
By Moss Perricone
By Anne Marie Panoringan
By Edwin Goei
By Edwin Goei
By Edwin Goei
Defending champion Brazil is one of the favorites to advance to the later rounds, and places to watch include Green Field Churrascaria (5305 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, 562-597-0906), The Agora Brazilian Steakhouse (1830 Main St., Irvine, 949-222-9910) and Amazon Churrascaria (1445 S. Lemon St., Fullerton, 714-447-1200).
If you’re looking for a taste of Argentina, try Regina’s Restaurant (11025 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, 714-638-9595), which plans on opening at 9 a.m. every day of the World Cup, but might open earlier if Argentina or Mexico is playing, according to manager Alias Niquias.
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If your World Cup allegiance falls to one of the three Asian nations in this year’s event, don’t get too attached: Japan and South Korea are 300-1 to win the championship, while North Korea is 2,000-1. And finding a Korean or Japanese restaurant with a TV that’s open early enough to watch the games could be just as unlikely.
Newcomer Doori Korean Restaurant (1811 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, 714-525-0072), which debuted in January, opens at 6 a.m. every day; most dishes are less than $10 (including the beef bulgoki), and a nice wide-screen TV anchors the west wall. Employee Andrew Yang, whose dad owns the place, says, “We’ll absolutely have all but the earliest games on.”
While Doori isn’t fine dining, two other Korean places in the tony Amerige Heights Town Center fit that designation: Maru Kooski (901-M Starbuck St., Fullerton, 714-449-9599) and Koba Tofu Grill (1933 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, 714-879-5500; also 14730 Culver Dr., Irvine, 949-262-0261). Both open at 11 a.m., each has TVs, and with both Koreas and Japan each playing an 11:30 a.m. match in the first round, it’s a safe bet the games will be on.
As for the final Asian nation playing for the Cup, while sushi restaurants and Japanese steakhouses are ubiquitous in the county, few have TVs or are open early enough to catch even the later games. Benihana has locations in Anaheim (2100 E. Ball Rd., 714-774-4940) and Newport Beach (4250 Birch St., 949-955-0822), opens at 11:30 a.m. during the week and noon on weekends, and each location has two TVs in the bar area.
With 10 televisions strewn throughout its sprawling restaurant and an always-lively crowd, Chomp Sushi & Teppan Grill (181 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton, 714-738-3511) may be one of the best places in the county to watch any World Cup game. It opens at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday (at 10 a.m. for Sunday brunch) and has a killer $3 happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. during the week. Celebrate your favorite country’s win, or drown any soccer-related sorrows.
It’s no surprise that soccer-centric Europe exported more nations (13!) than any other continent to the World Cup.
With the United States drawing England in its first game (June 12, 11:30 a.m.), there will be few bars in Orange County not airing the ABC-televised game. But the Olde Ship Pub in Santa Ana (1120 W. 17th St., 714-550-7600) couldn’t be a more fitting spot.
“Oh, my gosh, we will be absolutely slammed,” says manager Lynne Waterson, whose restaurant offers eight TVs. “We show all the [European] Premiere and Champions league games on Saturday and always get a big crowd, and the World Cup should be even bigger.”
The pub will open as early as 4:30 a.m. for most matches, but remember: Alcohol can’t be served until 6 a.m.
Silky Sullivan’s (10201 Slater Ave., Fountain Valley, 714-963-2718) is an Irish pub that plans on carrying most of the later games, but if England or the U.S. is playing, it’s possible it will open early, so call ahead.
Another place for any British, Aussie or Kiwi match is the British & Dominion Social Club (12882 Valley View St., Garden Grove, 714-898-6733), which is opening its doors free for the England-vs.-U.S. match.
Though robbed of a World Cup appearance by non-calls in its final qualifying match, there’s plenty of reason for Irish natives to watch the World Cup: The country that snuck in under them is France. For a healthy contingent of Franco-football-haters, check out the nine TVs at the very Irish Harp Inn (130 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, 949-646-8855).
Italy and Germany are World Cup powerhouses, and there are plenty of local restaurants offering World Cup coverage and authentic cuisine.
Two venerable Italian restaurants sit about three blocks from each other in West Anaheim: Sal’s Bit of Italy (918 S. Magnolia Ave., 714-826-3590) and Mama Cozza’s (2170 W. Ball Rd., 714-635-0063). Sal’s, which opened 40 years ago, is on the cozier side, but it has two TVs and will likely bring in a third for Italy’s games. Mamma Cozza’s is working on its 44th year, and the six TVs in its bar area will be glued to anything relating to Italy and the World Cup.
Those showing their allegiance to Germany (along with neighboring nations Slovakia and Slovenia) should consider the Old World German Restaurant (7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, 714-895-8020), which will open at 6 a.m. every World Cup morning; Gustav’s Jagerhaus (2525 E. Ball Rd., Anaheim, 714-520-9500); and a newer, more contemporary German-ish restaurant located in the Camp, Valhalla Table (2981 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714-549-2960).