Best Restaurant Orange County 2013 - Anepalco's Café
Danny Godinez could've stayed with his original Anepalco's Café near St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange, and his legacy in Orange County restaurant history would've been secured gracias to his chilaquiles, an unthinkable concoction of Mexican, French, high-dining and street-food technique that won a fanatical following who continue to line up every weekend for brunch—and you should, too. But this wasn't good enough for Godinez; not only did he open a second Anepalco's Café in Orange, just down the street from Angels Stadium in the Ayres Hotel, but he also boldly continued his fusion experiments. Operating from the same Mex-French foundation, Godinez stuns with every breakfast, lunch or dinner, whether it's the best eggs Benedict in town or a huitlacoche burger that should become the next cronut, prime rib rubbed in an achiote sauce that flutters off the fork, or an ahi crudo pambazo that improbably, incredibly combines Mexico City grub with the finest-grade tuna this side of Sushi Wasabi. The restaurant's reputation is such that produce growers and supermarket execs eat at the new location multiple times per week, leaving bills that could pay for a month's worth of rent in South OC. Yet success has never embiggened Godinez's head—you'll almost always see him bussing tables, dressed as a working-class stiff.