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Best Two-Hour Wait for Food Orange County 2007 - Anjin

Anjin

Anjin

3033 Bristol St.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

714-979-6700

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Japanese barbecue places can be tricky. One wrong move, and you end up at a bland, touristy teppanyaki like Benihana, where semi-impressive food tossing is abundant, but taste isn't. A general rule of thumb: Head where the crowds are. And Anjin has crowds. The wait can be almost unbearably, dissuadingly long—as long as two hours on the weekends. The trick is to get your name on the list a good hour before you anticipate hunger pangs. Anjin's polite wait staff is forgiving; they'll take down your cell number so you can wander Bristol's shopping centers until your table's ready. Unlike Benihana, Anjin is a yakiniku restaurant, meaning you cook your own plates of thinly sliced meat on a grill placed in the center of your table. But with a variety of fragrantly flavored meats marbled with just the right amount of fat, seafood (scallops, shrimp, salmon), and a nice variety of dipping sauces, you won't mind the DIY factor of it all. In fact, it can actually be fun. (And for vegetarians, Anjin offers an admirable-sized array of delicious rice dishes, as long as you don't mind the background aroma of burning flesh.)
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