Dave Lieberman

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2013

    Lisa & Mo Desserts: Not Just Good For Gluten-Free, Good Period.

    I am the worst kind of skeptic when it comes to dairy substitutes; I think non-dairy ice cream is one of the cruelest tricks ever played on a vulnerable public; I think that you'd have a tastier experience eating the box that tempeh bacon comes in than the contents; I think "nut cheese" ought to be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2013

    Caffe Sospeso: Third-Wave Coffee Comes to Tijuana, No Sugar, No Milk

    As a general rule, coffee in Baja is a disappointment. I don't mean the actual plants or the seeds that come from them; there's some truly amazing coffee coming out of states from San Luis Potosí all the way south to Chiapas. No, I mean that by and large, finding a good cup of coffee in Baja is j ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2013

    Fonda Santa Fe: A Market Stall Made Fancy and Imported to Avenida Revolución

    I'd always known that food in Mexico was both fantastic and cheap, but I'd never really thought about it until I added up all the costs for food that my friend Weston and I ate during a week in Jalisco last year, so we could square up before heading back to our respective cities. We spent more on on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2013

    Kärlekens Trädgård: The Viking Bread Reconquista in El Porvenir

    Of all the flags I see flying in the Valle de Guadalupe--the tricolor bandera nacional, the red, white and black emblem of the fútbol champion Xolos, and more political flags than I care to think about--the last one I expected ever to see was a gold Scandinavian cross on blue background, the Swedis ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2013

    Mariscos Becerra: Smoking By the Water's Edge

    The sun was in our eyes as Greer and I headed west toward Playas de Tijuana on the border-hugging Avenida Internacional; we'd skipped lunch, knowing that gastronomic wonders awaited us past the new El Chaparral border checkpoint."I know a great place for a seafood lunch," I said knowingly. Then--it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2012

    Anaheim Police Arrest Protesters; Angrily Point Rifles at Photographers

    Just after 3 p.m. in Anaheim, law enforcement officers knocked down an unarmed male protester in the street for an as yet known reason and police--some oddly wearing military combat equipment and camouflage--reacted with hostility to citizens who tried to film the event.While two officers handcuf ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2012

    Game of Burgers: Burger Barons, Round One

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2012

    Mariscos El Cholo: Clamming It Up On Sixth and Madero

    One of my father's cardinal rules of life was that the police always eat where there's good food at a good price. New to town? Look to see where the uniforms are eating. It could be a luncheonette in New Jersey with the best Taylor ham, egg and cheese on a hard roll, a little shack in Iowa servi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2012

    Lo Mejor del Zarandeado: Nayarit-Style Fish Bliss At Anaheim's Mariscos Los Primos

    State College Boulevard in Anaheim has hosted something like a dozen Mexican seafood restaurants in the five years since I moved here. They all claim to be Sinaloa- or Nayarit-style restaurants, because those are the Pacific coast states with the strongest seafood traditions, but with the exception ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2012

    Defying Leviticus at the BACON MANia Truck

    ​"And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you." Leviticus 11:7, King James VersionThere are many laws in Leviticus that I break on a regular basis, but after the fetishization of bacon in American food culture, I'm beginning to wo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2012

    Eating Good Mexican-American Food In... Greenwich Village?!

    ​I hate driving past signs advertising New York pizza. With a couple of very rare exceptions, it's almost never any good, but people have this einredenish--this self-imposed delusion--that places advertising New York pizza will actually be able to produce the chewy, slightly sour crust, the tangy ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2012

    It's No Secret Why Crowds Flock to Gomen For Lunch

    Dave Lieberman​Stanton: once a stretch of cheap motels catering to theme park tourists before the advent of the 5 freeway, then an industrial-looking, dingy gangland with no "there" there, and now increasingly a city on the vanguard of Orange County's gastronomic revolution. Hyperbole? Perhaps... ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2012

    Five Things I'd Like To Import From New Jersey and New York

    ​I've been out for a while dealing with some family stuff on the East Coast--you know I'm not originally from Califas, right?--and while it was pretty draining stuff, I did still have to eat. While the town I grew up in has turned into a bougie commuter paradise (they've got a fancy Wegman's, for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2012

    Sabatino's Opens Second Sausage Store In Newport Beach

    Dave Lieberman​Good sausages take time to make, and apparently, so do good sausage shops. You may recall that we teased you about the prospect of the place two years ago. Now the second outlet of Sabatino's--the 20-year-old institution that has been supplying Newport Beach with its Sicil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2012

    Checking In On Luigi's D'Italia Post-Kitchen Nightmares

    ​It's been about four months since Edwin reviewed the Ramsay-revamped Luigi's D'Italia in Anaheim and three months since the show aired on FOX. Gustavo went for the taping of the show itself; I went the following week, to see what they'd done to a restaurant that inspired one of two reactions in t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2012

    Jason Quinn Lets Everyone At Playground "Burn In Hell"

    ​Last week, Jason Quinn's response to a Yelper who wrote a negative review of his Santa Ana restaurant, Playground, caused quite a scene. Chefs respond negatively to negative reviews (shocking!) all the type, but they don't normally tell people to burn in hell.When the proverbial fit hit the shan, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2012

    Ten Great Bakeries in Orange County

    ​Ten years ago, so-called food "pundits" predicted the demise of bakeries at the hands of the Atkins and South Beach diets. We rolled our eyes then, and we were right, because there's never been a better time to get baked goods in Orange County. From Scandinavian to Vietnamese, from French to Mexi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2012

    Chef Joe Youkhan's Tasting Spoon

    ​Stories of Joe Youkhan's arancini reached my ears long before his truck of many colors hit the road. I was invited to a couple of pre-launch events, but it was during a really busy period at work and I had my head buried in software design rather than in luxe lonchera launchesThe truck doesn't ke ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 16, 2012

    Is Bella Pizza and Calzones at the Irvine Spectrum Actually Kosher?

    Dave Lieberman​Why is Bella Pizza & Calzones at the Irvine Spectrum lying about being kosher?

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2012

    Will Floral Park NIMBYers Stop the Santiago Creek Bike Trail Extension?

    Courtesy of Santiago Creek Greenway AllianceClick for a larger image.​See that map? It represents the new Santiago Creek Trail, which runs from the Orange County Water District Ponds near Cannon St. in Orange, all the way to the Santa Ana River--with one quarter-mile exception through Jack Fisher ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2012

    Guess Where Dave Ate!

    Dave Lieberman​Yep. It's a burger. Nothing escapes your eagle eyes, does it? Once upon a time, the presence of a fried egg atop a burger would have been the only clue you needed; while it's still not a common burger topping, I'll give you a hint: This is NOT at Slater's 50/50, but it's not far awa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2012

    Late-Night Caffeine Hounds Rejoice: The Night Owl is Open Late

    Dave Lieberman​I've always wanted to run into a busy, buzzing newsroom and shriek, "STOP THE PRESSES!" The problem is that (a) I write for a food blog, hardly an incubator for urgent, breaking news, (b) 90 percent of what I write is online and shouting, "Stop the blog software!" just doesn't have ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2011

    Excellent Sushi in Yorba Linda--Yes, Yorba Linda

    Dave Lieberman​One of the best things about writing about food in Orange County is the discovery of something great in a really out-of-the-way place. If you'd asked me what there was to eat in Yorba Linda, I'd have stammered something about the Wild Artichoke and are you sure you can't get to Plac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2011

    Meet Soho Taco's 'Red Crack'

    Dave Lieberman​There are a hell of a lot of salsas in Mexican cuisine; beyond the usual green salsa verde made with miltomates (tomatillos) and fresh chiles and the usual red salsa roja made with dried chiles, jitomates (tomatoes) and garlic, there's an array of smoky sauces and dips made from all ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2011

    Eating in the Horn of Africa: Abyssinia Ethiopian Cuisine

    Dave Lieberman​Anaheim is continuing its reputation as the most multicultural city in Orange County; it's hard to think of another city that is home to so many ethnic enclaves, from Middle Eastern to Samoan, from Korean to Mexican.One of the growing communities in West Anaheim is what I'll call Ho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2011

    Si Roo Closes in Little Seoul

    Dave Lieberman​The closure of an obscure food court eatery might not garner much interest, but Si Roo was unique in that it provided a set of Korean foods not found elsewhere in Orange County.

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Los Chocolate Chip Cukis: The Best Toll House Variation Ever

    Dave Lieberman​Quick, what was the first cookie you ever made? If it wasn't a sugar cookie, I bet it was a Toll House chocolate-chip cookie. The famous recipe is printed on the back of the bags of chocolate chips and contains no weird ingredients or odd techniques.

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2011

    Mrs. Knott's Fried Chicken--Worth The Wait?

    ​Two hours. That was the wait the first time I tried to go to Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The line stretched out the door, along the memorabilia, around the corner. All these people waiting for chicken? Even the takeout line was two dozen deep.And so it went. It'd be a huge line; it'd ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2011

    Recipe of the Week: Fun With Empanadas

    Dave Lieberman​Last week, I talked about how easy it was to make panisses, and the photo (taken with my old iPhone, yeah, yeah, haters gonna hate) had some empanadas in the background. Empanadas are, with about $10 worth of equipment you might not already own, the easiest appetizer to make.

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2011

    Tustin Avenue's Hidden Chippie

    Dave Lieberman​We're awash in great Vietnamese; Mexican food improves with every opening of a regional Mexican place determined to lift OC out of its carne asada rut; Chinese food has made Irvine, sleepy Irvine, a destination.But English? N . . . n . . . no. A bastion of fine, rough-hewn, stick-to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2011

    Eat This Now: Mabel's Pralines

    Dave Lieberman​I love New Orleans for many things. Everybody's got music in their heads, Creole cooking is immediately welcoming and comforting, and they invented one of my favorite drinks ever, the Sazerac.They're also the spiritual home of the praline, a sweet candy that's like rough brittle. I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2011

    The Raw Milk Debate Rages On--But Is Raw Milk Worth Its Higher Cost?

    Dave Lieberman​It seems not to be possible to have a reasoned discussion about raw milk. For such a minor part of people's everyday lives, it inspires bitter argument.Detractors of the raw milk movement, including pretty much every food safety organization you've ever heard of, say that food-borne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2011

    Cream Puffs at the Morsels Bakery Truck

    Dave Lieberman​It looks like it's true. Cupcakes are dead. While cupcakes used to be the default--nay, the only--dessert option at the various clustertrucks that roam Orange County serving fancy food in low-brow settings, now it's getting harder to find mobile cupcakes.Whew.

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2011

    Taking Back Pesto--Food Processors Be Damned

    Dave Lieberman​Pesto. The word conjures up the 1980s, when seemingly every Italian restaurant in the United States discovered that there was more to dressing pasta than "meat or marinara?" Like so many foodie obsessions, it started out being made the traditional way, only to be subsumed by America ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2011

    Where Did Dave Eat?

    Dave Lieberman​This one might be a bit of a poseur. . . . These are flautas. Flautas aren't as common on menus as one would think they'd be, given they're pretty much Mexican egg rolls. Where'd I eat 'em?You all know the rules. First correct answer gets a prize; no Weeklings allowed to guess, and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2011

    Eat This Now: Biónico at Calacas Café

    Dave LiebermanBlame the ugly photo on the photographer, not on the food.​Oh, the biónico ("bee-OH-nee-koh"), the best dish from any Mexican fruit stand. It's assorted chopped fresh fruit, topped with a tangy sauce made from fresh crema agria (Mexican sour cream), shredded coconut, granola and rai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 13, 2011

    What to Do With Carlsbad's Great Mussels

    Dave Lieberman​Carlsbad Aquafarm is a new addition to the Orange Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings, and a great resource for Orange County. They sell oysters, clams and mussels, farmed responsibly, with as much information as someone interested in sustainable seafood could want.Their mussels ar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 4, 2011

    Five Ways To Tell Which Dave Lieberman Is Which

    Food NetworkDid you know there are two food people named Dave Lieberman? Only one looks like this... and it's not me.​There's been somewhat of a rash of people lately asking me what happened in my career that I'm suddenly writing here. I was confused the first time or two, until I realized they th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2011

    At the Farmers' Market: Tangelos

    Dave Lieberman​It's hard to try to explain citrus cultivars. "Oh, it's a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo." So is a Cara Cara orange. Citrus varieties seem to have no upper limit on number, but as humans have cross-bred trees, fruits have gotten better and better.Tangelos, then, are a tanger ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2011

    A Bit of 'French' Culture at Jax Donuts in Anaheim

    Dave Lieberman​Jax Donuts in Anaheim has gotten more press than doughnut shops normally do because of Gustavo's writing about the coffee klatsch of men from his parents' home ranchos in Zacatecas who hang out there and sip and talk. They're very nice people, they tease my daughter and make her ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2011

    Get This In Your Belly: Coloradito de Puerco at El Moctezuma #2

    Dave Lieberman​I've been to El Moctezuma many times. I'm slowly working my way through its menu of Oaxacan specialities such as memelas; tlayudas; huge, banana-leaf-wrapped tamales; and of course plenty of moles.Until we took a visiting Marylander for Oaxacan food last week, I had never had the co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2011

    The Tiny Kitchen Chronicles: Five Superfluous Tools (And What to Use Instead)

    Flickr user stop_that​The Anaheim outpost of OC Weekly's test kitchen is a tiny place, an apartment-style galley in which it's hard to fit even two people. To say that storage is at a premium is quite an understatement; tools are only permitted if there is no other way to accomplish a task.Origina ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2011

    Where Is Dave Eating?

    Dave Lieberman​Behold the torta. Bread with some heft, beans, milanesa de res, lettuce, tomatoes, panela . . .. . . but where's it from? The fact that it's reasonably authentic Mexican tells you at once that it's not from Aliso Viejo or Yorba Linda. One guess per comment, no Weeklings allowed, and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2011

    Signs of the Apocalypse: Bacon Salt for Vegetarians and Jews

    Dave Lieberman​A friend of mine gave me a jar of a product called "J&D's Bacon Salt." Initially, I had trouble figuring out what I was going to use it on. Eggs, certainly, and in gumbo or coq au vin.

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2011

    New Noodles: Battle Recently Opened Ramen

    Flickr user camknowsCheap, cheap facsimile: reject this if financial straits allow!​It's difficult to write about ramen because the simple dish of yellow noodles in broth is fetishized by its partisans; ramen arguably inspires more heated discussions than any other element of Japanese cuisine. It' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2011

    Not Lasagna and Not Cannelloni: Lasagna Rolls

    Dave Lieberman​Cannelloni are Italian crepes wrapped around savory fillings such as meat purée or spiced cheese, then laid in a pan and baked with sauce; lasagna is a casserole built like stacked enchiladas, with layers of meat and cheese.Combine them, and you have lasagna rolls, David Zinczenko ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2011

    Chomping the Chomp Chomp Truck

    Dave Lieberman​Singaporean food is not exactly commonplace in Orange County; there are exactly zero Singaporean restaurants here, and even Los Angeles is not teeming with stalls dishing up chilli crab, Hainan chicken rice and popiah. So it was exciting to hear of the Chomp Chomp truck, a new, O ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2011

    It Isn't What You Think It Is: Egg Cream

    Dave Lieberman​The pride of New York's soda fountains, the egg cream, contains neither egg nor cream (despite what a woefully uninformed cook at Jerry's Famous Deli in Westwood tried to tell me 10 years ago).It is a chocolate-milk soda, and it is one of the most addicting drinks in the world.You t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2011

    Mall Food Court Turo-Turo: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

    Dave Lieberman​I don't know why it never occurred to me that Filipino turo-turo ("point-point") food is a perfect fit for a mall food court. You almost never see Filipino food in malls, even though you see takes on Chinese, Japanese and Hawaiian.

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2011

    Serendipitous South County Bagels

    Dave Lieberman​Dave Lieberman​During some culinary exploration in South County last week, I pulled in to a ghastly new-OC type plaza on El Toro Road and smelled . . . bagels. Real bagels. Good bagels. I thought I'd been hallucinating because OC's bagel scene is pretty dire.

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