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Best Restaurant Orange County 2011 - The Crosby - CLOSED

The Crosby

The Crosby

400 N. Broadway

Santa Ana, CA 92701

714-543-3543

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Readers' Choice: Seasons 52

Okay, so its service can sometimes be spotty, the music is usually a bit too loud, and forget about enjoying yourself after 9 p.m., when the hipsters invade and it becomes a shrine to PBR imbibing. But the culinary talents exhibited at the Crosby, in those precious few hours when it's functioning as a bona fide restaurant, are almost too good for Orange County, thanks to constant experimentation by chef Aron Habiger, who possesses a fearlessness better suited to a skydiving instructor. He's more than happy to let his underlings mess with the menu, and the Crosby kids can wow you with a decadent steak, a sandwich constructed from honest-to-goodness headcheese, or weekly specials that disappear forever, living on only in legend. (Did you ever try the carnitas tostada topped with Sri Lankan-style coconut sambol?) Even more impressively, Habiger is committed to creating a food culture in OC; earlier this year, he hosted the first OC happy-hour event of KCRW-FM 89.9's Good Food With Evan Kleiman, following that up by turning over his kitchen for a night to Dee Nguyen of Break of Dawn (last year's Best Restaurant winner). Habiger promises more of such events in the months to come—and, as always, the food will not only impress, but also genuinely wow. $$

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