So, when I found out that U.S. Taco Co. -- Taco Bell's attempt at cornering the more well-to-do market -- opened in downtown Huntington Beach this week, I messaged my editor, and asked if I could review it, and then I got ready. I got ready to head down to Huntington Beach and enjoy myself. Sure, t ... More >>
It's kind of fun watching the United States fast food wars. The fast food customer base isn't getting any larger, so now for any of the big chains to grow, they literally have to steal customers from each other. We saw it a bit ago, with the reintroduction of the Big Carl, the Bonus jack, and every ... More >>
California has a hop obsession. At any brewery, in any bar, you're likely to encounter the devout disciples of the bitter plant, known as hopheads, guzzling the latest hopped-up brew. Without doubt, beers like IPAs and Double IPAs (DIPA) are the quintessential California beers. But believe it or n ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And is it Dia de los Muertos or Dia de Muertos?
[Hole In the Wall] This pizzeria wows with its New York-style thin crust and selection of whites
Nothing against the late, great Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrel, but when I saw a burger on the menu of the Slidebar named the Cowboy from Hell after the metal legends' 1990 album, I began to wonder. How would Dimebag feel about a monster of a burger--a humongous patty topped with slices of sauteed ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Placentia dive serves chimichangas, enchiladas, and the best wet burrito around
[UPDATED Aug. 1] See the latest updates to the list at the bottom of this post.I'd never had a Hatch chile until I moved to California and married a girl whose family used to live in New Mexico. Now I can't get enough of them. Chile verde, stuffed chiles, hot sauce, rajas con crema, stewed with pota ... More >>
It looks like your typical pizza pie. Nothing out of the ordinary--tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni and crust. That is, until one unlucky victim takes a bite. Pizza Russian Roulette is a game of odds. One slice is loaded with ghost pepper sauce and super-spicy oil. Whoever happens to pick up that sli ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] Check out the orange chicken at this Huntington Beach strip-mall gem
There comes a moment in every Hatch chile lover's life when they triumph over the line at the store, come home with two sacks of hard-won green chiles, and then realize that they're fading fast and they now have to figure out what to do with 60 pounds of spicy peppers. Most go into the freezer, ... More >>
After jolting the country with the 'Merica Burger, the monstrosity made of 100% ground bacon, the folks at Slater's 50/50 didn't know how they would ever outdo themselves. Then they had an idea. They'd simply turn up the heat.
We've got no shortage of places in Orange County that specialize in burgers and only burgers. They're not diners (not enough blue hair and orthopedic shoes on the waitstaff), they're not fast food (not at these prices), and they're not gastropubs (which have non-burger foods). The question is, are t ... More >>
On June 6, Chef Rick Bayless received from the Mexican government the Order of the Aztec Eagle, Insignia class (lower ranking reserved for non-royals and non-politicians) for his work in promoting Mexican cuisine in general, and Mexican haute cuisine, specifically, in his PBS television series Mexic ... More >>
Most older gabachos have a general idea that the Mexican food they grew up eating in Southern California was heavily influenced by Sonoran cooking: the flour tortillas and burritos and machaca and chile colorado and obsession with beef that distinguishes Cal-Mex from Tex-Mex (which owes most of its ... More >>
"It should have a certain foundation. Its gotta have certain flavors that blend well together. A lot of people forget it's about a balance at the end of the day. And most importantly, what you drink should stimulate your appetite, and not the other way around."Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen's approach is v ... More >>
An excerpt from 'Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America'
[Hole In the Wall] This Little Saigon standard excels with the dishes of Central Vietnam
Photo by Laila DerakhshanianWhen Christian Murcia's second luxe lonchera concept launched this past July, their theme was to feature evolving artwork (no pun intended). In a move typically reserved for high-stakes gambling, they not only delivered on that promise, but they upped the ante with uni ... More >>
Taylor Hamby/OC Weekly KurosawaMesa is a purveyor of style, innovation and culture in this fair county, often compared to a LA lounge (even the unisex restrooms are hip) except without that whole LA douchebag hipster factor. It's a great venue for events, such as our upcoming Nov. 10 Happy H ... More >>
Gabbi Patrick and her namesake Mexican Kitchen in Old Towne Orange has rightfully earned praise for her meals, which skip across Mexico to offer different regional treats (go right now while they're offering her take on chiles en nogada, featuring fluffy picadillo and a walnut sauce so sweet it ... More >>
I'm currently in New Mexico for...something...and the statewide tradition of roasting just-harvested chiles is beginning anew. Last evening, as I drove down the old Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque (now Central Avenue), the sweet-smoky, full-bodied scent of those enchanting pepper pods getting roast ... More >>
Kevin LaraOur bacon-tastic journey comes to an end this week with one of Jay's signature items; a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped dog named The Rico. It harmonizes two types of bacon--enough said. To review parts one and two of our BACON MANia interview, you can find them here and here.The RicoIngredie ... More >>
After years of not being able to support a single place that sold food from the Mexican state of Puebla outside of too many sickly sweet interpretations of mole poblano, Orange County is suddenly awash in a Pueblan invasion, specifically of the cemita poblana variety. The epic sandwich--half-chee ... More >>
Javier CabralJose "Chuy" Tovar at The Real De Mexico DistilleryI met Jose "Chuy" Tovar through a Facebook inquiry he put in to me about places to find the best menudo (yes, he saw me on T.V). It turned out he was the chief operating pinche-officer of Real De Mexico Tequila, a two-year-old tequila ... More >>
Since Fullerton's the Cellar is one of OC's finest dining establishments, well-known for its extensive wine list, its staff could theoretically get a pass were they not able to make top-rate cocktails. But that's not how the Cellar rolls.
Dave LiebermanOrange County's third Whole Foods opened in mid-October in the Bella Terra complex at Beach and Edinger in Huntington Beach. This didn't stir up much sentiment around these parts, since most of us at Fork live closer to the organic juggernaut of a Whole Foods in Tustin, until we dis ... More >>
Flickr user specialkrbI'm a big fan of cooking at home. When you cook at home, you get to control what goes into the food you eat. You're not likely to load up your food with butter, salt or sugar just to hit someone over the head with the taste. A lot of things Americans buy in bottles, jars or ... More >>
Meg StrouseGabe Zambrano of the Soho Taco cart is on the line this week; if you missed the interview portions, click here and here. He closes this week with a great salsa recipe so simple even an editor could do it.
Because ustedes gentle readers love lists, behold the latest entry in our Top 100 dishes list that continues until Best Of--at which point, we'll give you MORE lists! Now, on with the show...Whenever it's my birthday, I ask dear old mami for one of two dishes to celebrate: asado de boda jerezano ... More >>
Dave Lieberman"You're insane." "You're going to die, you know." "Are you stupid?" "Can I have your car?" Such were the reactions I got when I mentioned that I would be taking part in a culinary tour of Tijuana given by Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet LA: total certainty that I would never ma ... More >>
I'm currently in New Mexico to research for my coming book on the history of Mexican food in the United States. One of the chapters will deal with the Southwestern cooking phenomenon that spread across the country during the late 1980s and early 1990s and has now largely disappeared to the point ... More >>
If there's a Mexican food more soul-satisfying than milanesa, I want it shot, drawn and delivered to me. I mean, how can you not love it? It's beef that's been dipped in egg and breaded, then deep-fried. It's the Mexican equivalent of chicken-fried steak, but with enough garlic to repel vampires in ... More >>
What started as a gag gift by the Offspring singer is becoming a serious business
Dave LiebermanA great fish taco is a thing of beauty: fried fish (yes, it must be fried!) topped with raw, shredded cabbage, crema (thin Mexican sour cream), chunky salsa and a squeeze of lime on corn tortillas. The first time I had them ("Fish tacos? Seriously?") was when I was working in the Sa ... More >>
It takes quite the personality to motivate about 10 suburbanites to get up early Sunday morning, drive an hour and a half to San Diego County, and end up in the unincorporated community of Rainbow for the honor of picking weeds for nothing, but that's the type of gal Donna Buono is. The San Clemente ... More >>
Orange County has more than its shares of great salsas--the chocolate mole at El Fortín, a chile de arbol concoction sold at Rivera Mexican Food, blindingly hot habaneros at El Bukanis, Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen, Conde Cakes, and--breaking news!--the REAL Taco Adobe in Orange, and more I'll keep to m ... More >>
Dated (circa 1993), yet timely -- George Clinton, with special guests Ice Cube, the Chili Peppers, Dr. Dre, etc.
While in Philadelphia last week, I was able to taste the city's two most famous Philly cheesesteak joints: Geno's and Pat's King of Steaks. Read my review of Geno's here, then come back. Read it? Geno's doesn't begin to COMPARE to some of OC's better Philly cheesesteak gems--I'm thinking Philly's Be ... More >>
The freaks come out at night
That Golden Glow at Haveli
Wising up and finally enjoying Taleo
Tamale Time at Chicago's Best
The Glory of It Thali
Gobbling down beef brains in Garden Groves Little Karachi
And march over to El Metate