Cram It In

Pulling an all-nighter before midterms can leave you famished. Unfortunately, many kids will squeeze into booths at Norms or Denny's, both of which saturate the county. Wow. Denny's. Hash browns at 3:30 a.m. Rawk & roll, dewd!

Screw that shit. Norm's and Denny's is where you take your grandma for her birthday. ("Blow the candles off the Grand Slam, Grammy!"). We suggest instead that you check out these tastier, more cosmopolitan all-night eats:

Earl's Home Cookin', 807 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 639-8590. (College served: Chapman).This is a big place, and it's very popular with the old people. And why not? The old people love home cooking, which Earl's specializes in. Mmmmm . . . greasy home cooking. Everything has grease—the burgers, sandwiches, even the salads. Any time of day or night, chances are you'll run into the same old dude busy gnawing away at a steak. Earl's also defies the state of California's ban on smoking with a smoking room separated from the main restaurant—the trick is screen windows. Too bad it's not separated enough to keep the rest of the place from smelling of smoke. Mmmmm . . . smoky flavoring. Harbor House Cafe, 34157 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, (949) 496-9270. (Colleges served: Soka, Saddleback, Irvine Valley, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station); or 16341 Pacific Coast Hwy., Sunset Beach, (562) 592-5404. (Colleges served: Golden West, Long Beach State, the breaks off Tower 34).Everyone knows that the two most perfect foods for any time of day are the omelet and the tuna melt. Both Harbor Houses serve omelets in several variations that are the size of national monuments, as well as the grilled sandwiches filled with albacore that has been whipped up with celery, mayo and pickle relish, piled high on rye or wheat breads, and bound together with a couple of slices of Cheddar, Jack, Swiss or American cheese. Taquera De Anda, 308 W. Valencia Dr., Fullerton, (714) 871-4211. (Colleges served: Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton College, Western Law School).The best and perhaps only place in Fullerton to feast on cow tongue and brain around the clock. The tacos are cheap, greasy and good. The burritos aren't bad either. Drink the horchata, and you can almost forgive yourself the next morning when you walk out to your car and discover chopped onions festooning your seats and the smell of seared poultry and cilantro in your nostrils. Taqueras Guadalajara, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (714) 953-1191. (Colleges served: Santa Ana, Santiago Canyon, GED classes at Orange County Jail); or 520 N. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 758-1370. (Colleges served: Disney U—not to be confused with Cal State Fullerton—Fullerton College, Western Law School). This is the land of cheap tacos. They run just 95 cents, and they're bigger than normal taquera tacos. The Santa Ana version is tiny, just a little hole in the wall with your standard plastic booths and scratched-up CD jukebox packed with Mexican regional songs. The jukebox is special—each song is a quarter, which comes out to 50 whole cents less than your average taquera jukebox. Over in Anaheim, Guadalajara is much larger, looking almost like a banquet hall. It has a huge television that has soccer permanently burned onto its screen. In fact, the restaurant's mascot is a goat wearing the uniform of Chivas, the Guadalajaran soccer team. Take that, Norms!


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >