Food & Drink

  • Best Sandwich

    Falafel Pita from Kareem's

    Kareem's is one of the oldest Middle Eastern restaurants in Anaheim's Little Arabia, and it's legendary for its falafels: emerald-green and poofy on the inside, dark-brown and crunchy on the outside. But while a falafel plate is fine, the better option is the pita sandwich, with the falafels lined up in a row, accentuated by the sharpness of tahini sauce,… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Nick's Pizza Ristorante Italiano

    It's been screamed from the corner booths, the mountaintops and even these very pages, so it bears repeating: Nick's Pizza (not to be confused with worthy contender Nick's Pizza D'Oro) serves the best pizza in Orange County. Zip it with that it's-not-real-pizza-unless-it's-thin-crust-like-in-New-Yawk crap: The kitchen will deliver a thin crust at Nick's if you ask, but why the hell would… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    East Coast Bagels

    Having a bagel boiled is the best way to make it delicious—otherwise, it's just bread with a hole in it. East Coast Bagels does it right, offering flavors such as pizza, cheese jalapeño, plain, everything, cheese and onion, garlic—all of them chewy yet soft, toasted and yeasty, and concentrated in its particular flavor. Add a multitude of sandwiches that arises… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant


    Inside Mitsuwa Market food court are eaters bouncing from stall to stall, depending on whether they want ramen or udon for the day, Japanese-style Chinese food or even Hawaiian grub. But the only option that is more than a one-trick pony is this humble spot, easily identifiable by its plastic food displays behind a glass counter. Miyabi-Tei's pork-cutlet curry offers… More >>
  • Best Pita Bread Writ Gargantuan

    Al Tannour

    Pita is now so common to the American palate we assume the entirety of the Middle East eats it, but each country in the region has its own bread traditions—and the best of the bunch is the khubz popular to Iraq. It's similar to pita bread except fluffier and the diameter of a basketball hoop, and it's made fresh every… More >>
  • Best Doughnuts

    Oh Those Donuts

    Feeding a groggy, cynical, sleepy group of reporters at the weekly staff meeting at Weekly World Headquarters is always a daunting task, with little room for error. That's why we always get our doughnuts from Oh Those Donuts. The staff forsakes trendiness in favor of an honest old-fashioned, a sugary glazed, cinnamon rolls as large as a face, raspberry fillings… More >>
  • Best Flour Tortillas

    Rubalcava's Bakery

    We think we know what a good flour tortilla is, but we don't. What we eat here is almost universally tripe (with no insult meant toward fatty, juicy, sweet tripe, mind you), with no flavor whatsoever, far removed from the buttery, flaky flatbread wonders of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas borne from their closeness to Northern Mexico. Thankfully, this year… More >>
  • Taco Asylum\'s Ghost Chili Pork Taco

    Best Taco

    Taco Asylum's Ghost Chili Pork Taco

    At $5, this is not a cheap taco, but once you take your first bite and recover from the onslaught of the ghost chili's eye-watering heat, you'll realize the texture of the thing—the combination of tender, braised pork; crunchy, crouton-like cracklins; and chili threads—is worth the few extra dollars. Plus, it's a big taco, with a fist-sized hunk of meat… More >>
  • Best Milkshake


    Sometimes, the best thing about getting a milkshake is what's around you: your significant other; a group of friends; your mom; whoever has just taken your broke ass out to dinner. At Bruxie, you are surrounded by waffles. (Just as good as the previously mentioned things around you, if not better.) Whether you've stopped at Bruxie for its savory or… More >>
  • Best Gelato That Makes Your Mouth an Offer It Can't Refuse

    Café Lucca

    Gelato is a special breed of creamy Italian goodness, a delicate blend of butterfat and air. Café Lucca's artisan gelato is homemade with fresh seasonal fruit and less fat than that scoop of Thrifty in a sugar cone you're used to getting at Rite Aid. There's also 15 percent less air, which means that as you're stuffing your face and… More >>
  • Strickland\'s Ice Cream

    Best Ice Cream

    Strickland's Ice Cream

    Strickland's makes its ice cream in the form of custard, which gives the treat not only a slightly different flavor, but also a different texture. There are also Dole ice-cream floats, for far too long exclusive to Disneyland. Just one warning: The flavors are limited, as is the quantity.… More >>
  • Best Fish and Chips


    If you haven't eaten the fish and chips at Slapfish, then you deserve a slap in the face. No, really. Of course, the permanent location has only been open since April, so maybe you can be excused. After only a year and a half of business—most of it in a fancy food truck—Slapfish's fish and chips is the Jason Wu… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Pop's Cafe

    Pop's Cafe is the kind of no-nonsense, no-frills refresh that we need every so often. Rickety, swiveling, red bar seats and a compact dining area belie the numerable menu offerings. Deep-fried French toast attracts attention, as do pancakes as big as your head and hash browns cooked up in gigantic slabs and served on even-more-gigantic plates—so big, in fact, that… More >>
  • Joe\'s Crab Shack

    Best Waitstaff That Demands You Ogle It Blatantly

    Joe's Crab Shack

    Like some horrifying moment from Fame, like a musical-theater flashmob from hell, it begins without warning: You're hunched over your "Bucket of Crab" when loud music starts to play—"Love Shack," "YMCA," "What I Like About You," and other tracks you've heard and danced to a million times. Then, suddenly, your server—you know the one we're talking about, the hot one—claps… More >>
  • Habanero Burger at Mick\'s Karma Bar

    Best Burger

    Habanero Burger at Mick's Karma Bar

    Michael Schepers opened a juice bar in a faceless Irvine corporate building, then decided to start making burgers on a whim. Soon, crazy Yelp kids and foodies in this burger-starved county began making pilgrimages to his tiny Mick's Karma Bar, to the point that Schepers was making hundreds of burgers per day. While his most famous is the Karma Burger,… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Crow Burger Kitchen

    Since the state banned foie gras this past July, our Californian diets have missed a certain duck-based gluttony. Enter duck-fat fries: all of the tasty glory with none of the painfully inhumane treatment of animals. And in a time when In-N-Out's Animal Style fries have mated with carne asada fries to create all kinds of fried-spud-based debauchery, these duck-fat varietals… More >>
  • Best Pho

    Pho Dakao

    There are two kinds of pho-lovers in this world: those who choose beef, and those who prefer chicken. Everyone in Little Saigon knows the best beef pho comes from Pho Thanh Lich (last year's Final Pho winner, as well as Best Pho title holder two years in a row here), and the best chicken pho comes from Pho Dakao (the… More >>
  • Best Brewery

    The Bruery

    According to the massive sign on the wall of the Bruery's tasting room, the Placentia brewery's dedicated space has been open for just more than a year now. Sporting a fancy electronic menu and crisp wooden surfaces, the Bruery tastes like paradise to all of the hops-loving beer connoisseurs. Whether you're at the bar sipping the fragrant Trade Winds triple,… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Dining


    You can have your 24-hour taco stands, your open-all-night doughnut shops and pho palaces, but no matter your Orange County tribe, you'll eventually end up at Norms, sitting in a booth, the night sky illuminated by the iconic orange-and-white glow of its sign. Nowhere else can you order a New York steak-and-eggs for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, late-night snack, hangover… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Dogzilla - CLOSED

    You may have to chase Orange County food truck Dogzilla around town to get one of its delicious dogs (the owners are great about updating the schedule on Twitter), but that journey is well worth it. Served not on a traditional, tasteless bun but rather on three sweet rolls split down the middle, Dogzilla's dogs are savory and juicy and… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Tandoor Cuisine of India

    Ah, Indian food, how we do love thee! Even the names of your dishes dance on our tongue: vindaloo, makhini, jalfrezi, tikka. . . . We can almost taste the tang, the acid and spices. Saying their names, however, doesn't do them justice. You have to chow down on the makini's tender tandoori chicken in tomato sauce, feel the boneless… More >>
  • Best Deli

    Hollingshead's Delicatessen

    Fork over the green to pay for the full-to-bursting sandwiches stuffed with fresh meat and cheese, and you will be chatted up by gregarious proprietor Ken Jr. (who runs the show with his family), a friendly, fanatical Green Bay Packer devotee with a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of beer. We heartily recommend the food—the dill pickle and turkey is proof there… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant

    Thuyen Vien

    It isn't easy being vegetarian or vegan in Orange County, where restaurants expect you to fork out big bucks for a veggie dish. Luckily, Thuyen Vien offers a fine alternative that even non-veggie fans can enjoy for cheap. The majority of the dishes is Vietnamese, but there are options such as vegan flan and crepes that steer clear from the… More >>
  • Best Shabu Shabu/Hot Pot Restaurant

    Little Sheep

    If shabu shabu is smooth jazz, then Mongolian hot pot is acid rock. That's not water in those pots; it's an honest-to-goodness broth that could serve as its own form of sustenance. And oh, the smells! You don't walk into such a restaurant as much as sail in, as though you're swimming through a delicious sea of odors. Your boiling… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant


    When the menu stops changing daily, when the controversial chalkboard proclamations of "If you want your meat well-done, bring it with you" is erased, that's when you'll know Jason Quinn has lost his edge, his ballsy confidence, his passion—everything that has made the winner of the second season of The Great Food Truck Race the toast of foodies and the… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Thai Nakorn

    You've probably knocked around the county trying every pad Thai joint from San Clemente to La Habra and slurped tom kha gai until your spice-lashed tongue couldn't take it anymore. But there really is no getting around it: If you're going to go eat Thai and want it done as close to how they do it in Thailand, you need… More >>
  • Best Korean Restaurant

    Han Yang

    The two things you see at every table at Han Yang are the two things you must order: the donkatsu, a breaded pork cutlet of divine design and unearthly perfection, and the beef bone soup called galbitang, which might serve as a cure-all if the FDA ever allowed it to be bottled. The donkatsu has a greaseless cocoon of breading… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant


    You again! Read our blurb on Best Fish and Chips, then enjoy dozens of the sustainably produced Carlsbad oysters without feeling unjustifiably uneasy. They're diminutive things with a quivering, shimmering meat not bigger than a throat lozenge, cupped in a deeply welled ivory shell that's its own nature-formed spoon. Jethro Naude and Andrew Gruel still do the cooking, and most… More >>
  • Best Filipino Restaurant

    Jollibee/Red Ribbon

    It's true that Jollibee is a fast-food chain at which the staple of fried chicken has more in common with the Colonel than Filipino pritong manok, but there's no denying the company that bested KFC and McDonald's in the Phillippines has become the unofficial ambassador to the greatness of Pinoy cooking, a cuisine most Americans underappreciate and misunderstand. First, it… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Décor

    Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar & Tangaroa Terrace

    It costs a heck of a lot to get into Disneyland these days. And unless you're a member of that secret society of 1 percenters called Club 33, you're not allowed to have any booze there. For us commoners, there's Trader Sam's, a tiki bar that comes alive with the same audio-animatronic magic as in the theme park. But since… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Dining

    Il Garage

    Wear something light, something apropos for a summer's evening, because you will be eating outside in the garden, close enough that you can lick dew off a ripening tomato, pluck a sprig of mint from the ground and get buzzed by the occasional June bug. Take the name of the place literally; it's actually the garage on the property of… More >>
  • Best Steakhouse


    The PR people at THE RANCH (their caps, not ours) hate it when we media types refer to the restaurant in write-ups as a steakhouse. If they've told us once, they've told us a thousand times, "It's not a steakhouse! It's a restaurant and saloon!" They're right, of course. And it is a great restaurant with none other than ex-Napa… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    CUCINA enoteca

    You like the poster? You can buy it. You like the chair? You can buy that, too. At CUCINA enoteca, everything's for sale, which makes it either the worst restaurant for shopaholics or the best. As you look around at what resembles an artsy swap meet or a shabby-chic interior designer's showroom, you marvel at the food. The daily polenta… More >>
  • Best Secret Menu Item

    Grilled Cheese Sandwhich From Old Vine Cafe

    Old Vine Cafe (a previous winner for Best Restaurant) remains a magnificent restaurant, the best hidden treasure in Orange County. Yet its most spectacular dish is also its rarest: a grilled cheese sandwich that chef/owner Mark McDonald only makes for special events, the ones in which Old Vine sets up a booth and spends the day slapping them together. You… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    Breakfast Burrito at Rooster Café

    The easy part in figuring out the best burrito in Orange County is narrowing the selection to breakfast burritos, which are not only the best type ever invented, but probably also the best food item invented. What makes the Rooster Café's breakfast burrito the best? First, it stretches the stomach; you can eat this thing at 9 in the morning… More >>
  • Best Corn Tortillas

    Tortilleria Flor de Mexicali

    If all you eat is the rubbery, tasteless, processed tortillas from the end caps at your mainstream grocery store, you've never had a real tortilla. Put a stake in the heart of GRUMA, the evil would-be monopoly that owns the Mission and Guerrero brands; get down to Flor de Mexicali, buy a pound of tortillas for just $1, then understand… More >>
  • Best Dessert

    Bananas Foster Créme Brûlée at Watermarc

    Not so much plain-ol' dessert as edible art, the bananas Foster crème brûlée should automatically come at the end of every meal at Laguna Beach's upscale Watermarc. Served on a rectangular white platter, one side nestles a crisp ramekin filled with creamy custard loaded with hints of vanilla and caramel—and the torched crust always gives a satisfying crack when hit… More >>
  • Best Coffee

    Café de Olla at Café Calacas

    An earthy dark-roasted coffee is spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with piloncillo, which is what gives café de olla its signature sweetness—oh, and the actual olla, an earthenware pot that lends a rich, smooth flavor to this elixir. But Café Calacas owners Jackie and Rudy Cordova use an espresso blend to brew this café de olla, imparting the traditional full-body… More >>
  • Best Pie

    La Palma Chicken Pie Shop

    This Anaheim institution just got a new paint job, but those wonderful, flaky, steaming, oozing chicken pot pies still remain, served by the same waitresses who wore poodle skirts during the Eisenhower years. How could you want anything more?… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse

    The Koffee Klatch

    This coffeehouse's diminutive size belies the ample amount of seating inside, as well as its large patio space. The Koffee Klatch is tucked away in a nondescript spot on Pacific Coast Highway, just a few blocks past Laguna's downtown; its somewhat-bohemian atmosphere and jazz backdrop make it a relaxing space for studying on your own or socializing with friends. The… More >>
  • Best 24-Hour Mexican Restaurant

    Albatros - CLOSED

    Perhaps the most cleverly named of the -bertos clones, Albatros' other claim to fame is its hours; open 24 hours, it's not only a rarity in Orange County, but also unheard of in South County. Oh, and the California burrito—a fluffy brick of beans, rice, meat, guacamole, sour cream and greasy French fries—is the greatest 4 a.m. meal since the… More >>
  • Best Waterfront Dining

    The Beachcomber

    On the shores of Crystal Cove, with a view of magnificent, diamond-speckled blue splendor, sits the Beachcomber. Park across Pacific Coast Highway at Crystal Cove, then hike down a trail, across a stream and through a muraled tunnel to get here. (The less adventurous can instead board a shuttle for $1 that will drop them off at the restaurant.) Half… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

    Olive Tree

    Amid the Lebanese bakeries, hookah lounges and Middle Eastern grocery markets of Anaheim's Little Arabia stands Olive Tree, hailed across Southern California as the best Middle Eastern restaurant of them all. The moderate prices do no injustice to the hefty portions: lamb shanks so tender they don't slide right off the bone so much as vanish; chicken shawerma charred to… More >>
  • Best Teahouse

    Tranquil Tea Lounge

    The name befits the setting: relaxed, pristine and chic, undeniably lending itself to a tranquil tea experience. The menu lists pages upon pages of teas, desserts, salads and sandwiches. Tea smoothies are also offered, including the matcha coconut cooler, a smooth blend of iced green tea and sweetened coconut milk. Whatever variety of tea you're a fan of (green, black,… More >>
  • Best Culinary Experimentalist

    Jason Quinn of Playground

    Perhaps you're the type of home cook who can whip up something delicious with nothing more than a few simple ingredients from the cupboard and assured self-confidence. Professional chefs improvise, too, but not many make it their mission to improvise nearly the entire menu every day. We usually associate that sort of high-wire spontaneity with high-dollar restaurants such as the… More >>
  • Best Breakfast

    Pancakes R Us

    It was one of the first IHOPs in Orange County, until Pancakes R Us owner, former CIA liaison/mujahideen fighter Abdulla Akbar, left the franchise in 2007, when he decided the menu was too boring. His new offerings were the same basic take on breakfast—hearty, meat-heavy American offerings with occasional dashes of European flair—but better. The best part of a trip… More >>
  • Best Omelet

    Early Bird Café

    Ask the French, and they'll tell you a properly done omelet is a rare object to behold—a simple but elusive creature in an American restaurant culture too used to mediocrity. But Joseph Mahon has done it. He has created an omelet with nary a burned spot, wrinkle, crease or a tear. It's uniformly yellow from bow to stern, as smooth,… More >>
  • Best Service

    Napa Rose

    The décor's kind of ugly, and the waiters' vests are dated, but none of that stops Napa Rose's Michael Cox, chef, sommelier, affineur and one of the most knowledgeable waiters in Orange County. Better known by his well-deserved nickname, Saucy, Cox has the uncanny ability to sass, attend and educate multiple tables simultaneously, without making you feel any less special.… More >>
  • Best Baguette

    Le Diplomate Cafe

    We can all agree the Vietnamese perfected French baguettes. They took the crust, originally tough and unappetizing, and turned it into something crisp and delicate. They took a crumb that was doughy and full of holes and made it soft, velvety and smooth. Le Diplomate Cafe went a step further and perfected the Vietnamese baguette. While it may be more… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    Cream Pan

    It isn't just the flaky croissants stuffed with pastry cream and studded with juicy sliced strawberries (even at unusual times of the year) that people line up for at Cream Pan, though the buns are certain to run out if you don't get a move on early in the morning; but there's also a whole case of tempting calorie bombs… More >>
  • Best Place to Be Hit On By Someone You're Not Interested In

    Canyon Inn Sports Bar and Grill

    Sometimes, there are nights when you're feeling pretty desperate. You're tired of life revolving around your 9 to 5, you don't have anyone special to go home to and your apartment sucks. So, you head to a local dive to distract yourself because nothing picks us up more than a good night of heavy drinking in a dimly lit room… More >>
  • Best Sausage

    Sabatino's Sausage Co.

    The Sabatino family hails from Chicago, that hog butcher for the world, so it's no surprise it knows its way with sausage. What's surprising is how Sabatino's Sausage Co. has managed to stay in business over the decades while hidden in two obscure Newport Beach storefronts. Find your way to the original, waterfront, red-checked-tableclothed Italian-American restaurant. Order the sausage and… More >>
  • Best Luxe Lonchera

    Taco Maria - CLOSED

    What do you get when an Orange County boy comes home from the pipiris nice restaurant in Oakland where he was a pastry chef and takes up the reins of his ancestral cuisine? You get Mexican food out of a truck that beats 99 percent of the Mexican food served in OC restaurants. High-quality steak is grilled and mixed with… More >>
  • Best Old-School Lonchera

    Tacos Ruben y Mulitas

    Part of the challenge of eating at the Best Old-School Lonchera is finding where Tacos Ruben y Mulitas parks. With no official website and misinformed Yelpers fabricating a location where it never stops, the oversized truck is harder to locate than you'd suspect for a thing painted a bright M&M green. Ask for the tortillas to be freshly made to… More >>
  • Best Place to Start a Hot Date

    Shuck Oyster Bar

    Are oysters actually an aphrodisiac? Well, do you really want to take the chance they're not? Grab a bottle of white wine (liquor license coming soon!), and take your date to Shuck Oyster Bar. Interesting conversation, cold wine and the best oysters in a light, airy place? Sounds as though it's the first step toward a very, very happy evening… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    SoCo Farmers Market

    The South Coast Collection near South Coast Plaza is quickly becoming a food juggernaut, and the crown jewel of the collection of small, artisanal shops is the weekly farmers' market on Saturdays. While it's not the largest in Orange County, it's one of the best-curated, with a collection of vegetables, fruits, sweets and bread, not to mention one of the… More >>
  • Best Cupcake

    Raya Belna

    A regular cupcake is perhaps the unhealthiest food on the planet, a little grenade of sugar, fat, food coloring and other ungodly things. That's why it's a major miracle that Raya Belna crafts cupcakes that are not only honest-to-goodness healthy, but also most likely good for you—seriously. Belna, who first earned fame as one of the cute hipster girls behind… More >>
  • Best Sunday Brunch

    Memphis At the Santora - CLOSED

    A perennial winner in this issue, Memphis At the Santora continually evolves. The Sunday brunch is a staple, but it's so popular the restaurant had to extend it to Saturday. Same menu, same gluttony: chef Diego Velasco's southern-ized diner menu always excels with his attention to detail, but brunch brings out the loco in him, with eggs Benedict drowning in… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Alebrije's Grill

    Yes, Alebrije's Grill is technically a lonchera, and we have a separate category for those. But fuck segregation: No Mexican chef does more satisfying food than Albert Hernández, who makes the best Mexico City-style food in the county—a thousand manifestations of masa, ranging from gargantuan mulitas to chilango-style quesadillas filled with mushrooms, grilled pineapple slices, ham and creamy quesillo. But… More >>
  • Best Restaurant

    Broadway By Amar Santana

    It takes balls for a young chef to move cross-country to open a restaurant for Charlie Palmer, then leave after barely more than a year to open his own place and name it after himself, but that's the type of guy Amar Santana is. His Broadway opened to immediate acclaim, helped not only by Santana's refreshing take on New American… More >>
  • Best Fish Taco

    Mariscos Los Corales

    Although this lonchera technically specializes in seafood from Nayarit, Mexico, Los Corales also prepares the taco gobernador, a speciality of Sinaloa: shrimp sautéed alongside jalapeños and tomatoes, then placed in a tortilla and cooked with cheese. But don't call it a quesadilla, as those don't include a secret pink sauce that unites all the flavors, nor do they inspire lines… More >>
  • Best Taco Tuesday

    Tacos El Chavito

    The perpetual Taco Tuesday special at Tacos El Chavito is two great, palm-sized tacos for a buck, plus free pineapple juice until it ends. Yeah, the lonchera is parked in the Slater Slums, but the cholos and day laborers standing in line alongside surfers and businessmen don't care—in these days of rising tortilla costs and the disappearance of tacos that… More >>
  • Best Jerk Chicken

    Eva's Caribbean Kitchen

    The cozy, island-inspired Eva's Caribbean Kitchen down in South Laguna, makes magic with every dish—but the jerk chicken is the stuff of dreams. Served with sweet mango chutney, the grilled bird is moist, juicy and coated in dark, wild jerk seasoning. The flavor starts with a deep sweetness before unfolding into a garlicky, peppery fire that'll open up your pores… More >>
  • Best Chicken Wings

    Santora's Pizza, Subs & Wings

    Years ago, we wrote, "Matthew 20:16 taught us that the last shall be first, and that's the best way to describe Santora's Pizza, Subs & Wings, a dank tavern just down the street from the sterile opulence of the Shops At Mission Viejo. The pizza is passable; the subs nothing a Togo's drone can't slap together in three minutes. But… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When Someone Else Is Paying

    A Party Catered By Soho Taco

    Soho Taco has earned fame for its tacos, made from fresh tortillas and quality cuts; the expert salsas of chef Gabriel Zambrano; and a masterful social-media campaign that had foodies craving the tacos long before they became commercially available from a lonchera. Before that, the only way to enjoy a Soho taco was from a taquiza, a private catering event—and… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Dat Thanh

    The best of second-wave Vietnamese restaurants need to appeal to elders, second-generation Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese alike; to adhere to hole-in-the-wall principles while updating the service and décor to this new land; and to specialize in one dish (the requisite dac biet) while mastering the rest of the menu. Dat Thanh does it all. It first became famous for its nem… More >>
  • Best Internet Café

    Laguneros Internet Café

    Just up the street from the tranquil waters of the Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach awaits the aptly named Laguneros Internet Café. The chill spot offers all the basics, plus free, high-speed wifi access and comfortable furniture for laptop lounging. Co-owned by Sherman Austin and his wife, Panquetzani, it distinguishes itself as a technosocial community space at a time when… More >>
  • Best North Vietnam-style Vietnamese Restaurant

    Vien Dong

    Being one of Little Saigon's oldest, most successful restaurants doesn't mean Vien Dong's décor is grimy and 30 years out of date. Not only is this place always exceptionally clean, but it has also been renovated and serves freshly made food that delights Vietnam natives, ABV (American-born Vietnamese) and even pale-white folks tired of burgers. The pleasant waiters serve one… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    El Borrego Sagrado

    Okay, so this Santa Ana dive doesn't make American-style 'cue, but any lovers of that tradition need to make a pilgrimage here to try one of the oldest traditions still in existence: mixiote, which finds meat rubbed with a fabulous mix of guajillo, achiote, thyme and garlic, then wrapped in a paper derived from the agave plant and cooked slowly… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Mas' Chinese Islamic

    Jamillah Ma is one of those rarities: a pioneer in her field who stays relevant years after entering the scene. She took Orange County by storm in the 1990s with Jamillah Garden, a since-shuttered restaurant that was the first in the county to serve Islamic Chinese cuisine, a tradition that's not only halal, but also home to fantastic lamb hot… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Ohshima Japanese Cuisine

    We named Ohshima the Best Japanese Restaurant back in 2010, and it's still a great place to feast on noodles, rice and other dishes from the Land of the Rising Elders. But its true speciality is sushi, for which chef Shige—who kind of resembles Ray Romano—holds court with rarities (barracuda sashimi) and puts personal spins on the standbys (using a… More >>
  • Best Supermarket Success Story

    Northgate González

    The story of the Northgate González supermarket is the American Dream at its best: immigrant Mexican opens a small store in Anaheim in 1980, oldest son takes out a mortgage on his house to secure funding, the rest of the 12 children help as they grow older. As recently as the beginning of the past decade, there were only 13… More >>
  • 320 Main

    Best Hamburger That Didn't Win In Our Online Burger Tournament

    320 Main

    We have no shortage of great burgers in the county, as this summer's contestants in the Weekly's Game of Burgers tournament demonstrated. We somehow overlooked 320 Main's Bacon Burger, which would have given any of those contenders a serious run deep into the tournament. The coarse grind on the Wagyu beef has a toothy consistency, and it's cooked carefully so… More >>