Not to be confused with the East Coast convenience store chain of the same name, Long Beach's Wa Wa is a quick-n-dirty Chinese restaurant with cheap combo plates and made-to-order specialties that has dragged office zombies out of their Downtown cubicles for more than a decade. The red-and-white til ... More >>
Oversleepers, rejoice! Early Bird Cafe, the Fullerton breakfast spot that makes the county's greatest omelet and other morning jaw-droppers, will begin serving dinner on June 4.
Remember two weeks ago, when I mentioned that we were just a bar or two short of a real honest-to-God bar crawl in downtown Santa Ana, one that only requires taxis at the start and end? Well, chalk up another craft cocktail bar and restaurant: Little Sparrow Café will be opening in what was former ... More >>
Slowly but surely, we're rediscovering Sunday brunch. And so is everyone else, as SideDoor demonstrated last month. Expanding from their bar to the greenhouse, they also feature artists, DJs and other merriment in addition to brunch one weekend a month. But our first priority is that favorite meal. ... More >>
We don't hate everyone at the Orange County Register, you know. Roving editor Kedric Francis has always been kind to the paper, and he used to be a staple of our gossip column back when we had a gossip column and he was the editor of Riviera. Anyhoo, he's going to be on tomorrow on the SoCal Restaur ... More >>
Dino Ferraro's French/Italian/Spanish/Moroccan menu would be oddball anywhere but Beach Boulevard
Who has a food festival in the middle of the week? Taste of Anaheim that's who. Tonight, May 9th, the 18th Annual Taste of Anaheim will be held at Anaheim GardenWalk. Participating will be restaurants from the GardenWalk itself, like Fire Ice and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., but there will also be a lot, ... More >>
Hiro Noguchi may have required a translator to answer our questionnaire, but we shared a rapport over his omakase menu one afternoon. While skittish about dining on fresh coronet (pictured), it quickly became apparent that Noguchi would be our sushi hero, saving us from Americanized rolls and introd ... More >>
Every Monday, Clay Oven Irvine executive chef/owner Geeta Bansal shares an interview that she's done with some of the heavyweights of European cooking. Today, she regales us with a visit to Peru, where Virgilio Martinez is currently the toast of the country's cooking scene. Enjoy!
[Hole In the Wall] This Lake Forest spot wows with a simple-yet-potent Peruvian menu
In case you were worried that Pagolac, one of Little Saigon's best and oldest 7 courses-of-beef restaurants, seemed to have been replaced after nearly 24 years in business by a new Thai eatery called Golden Elephant at 14580 Brookhurst in Westminster, do not fret: Pagolac has merely moved to newer d ... More >>
Authentic Trinidadian restaurants--hell, Trinidadian anything--are about as common in Long Beach as Uzbeki cafés are in Mission Viejo. Yes, the Venezuela-adjacent Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago also has sandy beaches, nearly year-round sunshine and the occasional palm tree, but a kitchen ... More >>
So I know all of you go to Anepalco's off Main Street in Orange, the first branch of Danny Godinez's coming empire of alta cocina Mexican food. But not enough of you have yet made the trek to the second Anepalco's, the one off Chapman Avenue kitty-korner from UCI Medical Center. That one gets a good ... More >>
I've lost track of how many iterations of pho joint has occupied the space at 3013 Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa. A few years ago I ate at one called Pho 99, which at the time was part of a larger chain. That restaurant has since become a blip in the timeline, replaced by another pho restaurant. But w ... More >>
We've had some colorful stories these past couple of weeks because of Michelle's return. Who knew a new baby mama was so good at writing about food!? Let's take a quick look at what else happened this week... Edwin reviewed Hue Oi in Fountain Valley for his weekly story. They he announced the openi ... More >>
This Hue-style joint is one of Little Saigon's best places for bánh bèo and bún bò hue
Tavern on The Coast, a new Dana Point restaurant that replaces the shuttered Bella Napoli at 34212 PCH, opened last weekend. The chef, one Bryan Podgorski, was previously the Chef de Cuisine for Thomas Keller's Bouchon at the Venetian in Las Vegas. His wife, Pamela Dickinson, was the GM of Bouchon B ... More >>
Every second and fourth Wednesday night of the month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau hosts Dinner with Dave at Memphis at the Santora, where he treats drinkers to a free meal and live music as the evening progresses. To remind ustedes of this great night, Dave treats us every W ... More >>
We randomly came across Irvine's Avocado Café at the beginning of the year, tucked into a high rise community off Jamboree. Their Huntington Beach spot opened off Main Street not too long after. Chuy Vidales (aka the one man marketing team) was taking exterior photos for their Facebook page before ... More >>
Judy Fleenor returns to Santa Ana with her new restaurant
Homer: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Lisa, honey, are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon? Lisa: No. Homer: Ham? Lisa: No! Homer: Pork chops? Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal! Homer: HEH HEH! Yeah right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal! So ... More >>
A couple of months ago, I noticed a new banner in Triangle Square (or The Triangle, as the place now calls itself) advertising a coming restaurant called El Corazón de Costa Mesa. Sounds like a son jalisciense, no? Well, we just got the press release announcing a April 20 opening, and there are thi ... More >>
Every Monday, Clay Oven Irvine executive chef/owner Geeta Bansal shares an interview that she's done with some of the heavyweights of European cooking. Today, she regales us with a visit with Jean-Luc Rabane. Enjoy!
[Hole In the Wall] This Anaheim bakery sells the best Middle Eastern pastries in Orange County
Long Beach's Cooper Arms Building on the corner of Ocean Blvd. and Linden first opened in 1924. It featured some of the first apartment homes in the city and offered unobstructed views of the water and "amusement zones." Early purchasers were promised their money back thanks to revenue-producing ... More >>
Date night. Everyone looks forward to a date except the person who has to plan it, and it's even worse when it's a first date or blind date. It has to be normal--not everyone loves loncheras, for reasons I don't fully grok--and it has to be expensive enough that you don't look miserly.So let's talk ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Garden Grove restaurant serves Korean food for the masses
Sit at the bar to watch your pizzas being made at its new location in downtown Long Beach
For more than 50 years, Long Beach's Park Pantry has occupied the southeast corner of Broadway and Junipero, baking sugary breakfast pastries and serving classic diner eats to the local hoards. In that time, however, a lot around it has changed. Many of the city's other hometown American-food havens ... More >>
We've heard of chefs operating multiple restaurants, but who frequents more than one daily? When your two concepts are on the same stretch of Pine Avenue in Long Beach, the answer is Walter Cotta. Depending on the time of day, Cotta will bounce between the Latin flair of Alegria and Italian hospital ... More >>
In our ongoing quest to locate a solid first meal of the day, we were introduced to the cuisine of Nathaniel Nguyen. We should preface this by mentioning that brunch is served inside a Greek restaurant across from South Coast Plaza. It's offered on weekends from 8 a.m. to noon at this location only. ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Westminster spot brings Pakistani food to a county sorely needing it
Lake Forest residents have one more choice to add to the ever-growing collective of Vietnamese restaurants here. Pho Sapa opened recently in the space vacated by the first incarnation of Chili Chutney, at Jeronimo and El Toro. The restaurant is advertising two specials to get people in the door ... More >>
Every Monday, Clay Oven Irvine executive chef/owner Geeta Bansal shares an interview that she's done with some of the heavyweights of European cooking. Today, she regales us with a chat with Alain Senderens. Enjoy!
As Gustavo reported back in January, Judy Fleenor of Cafe Chiarini fame was planning to open a new restaurant called Crave on 4th Street in the former Tommy Pastrami space. The restaurant has now opened (actually, it opened about a month ago).
It's Friday ladies and gents, but before you go out and drink yourself to oblivion or find something more productive to do, let's take a look at this week in food. Edwin went to Two 40 South in Brea and experienced a wine fountain! I don't mean an actual fountain, which would really be in poor tast ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana spot makes fabulous Cuban cuisine
How fun are the vino-vending machines at the Brea bistro? Very!
I've been served by hundreds of waiters and waitresses over the course of five years as a food writer in Orange County. Most encounters are unremarkable for better or worse, and that's a sign of good service in my book. We once had such an inattentive waiter at the now-shuttered Carino's that I actu ... More >>
"Lakewood Village" is the type of quaint, planned downtown area that was originally built for the soccer moms and AARP members living in suburban Long Beach, but its orthopedic shoe store and secondhand book shop have become surrounded over the years by amenities for the rest of us. More specificall ... More >>
Chris Sarkissian is best known for a chain of pizza joints called Pepz. Learning about his new venture with Medii Kitchen, we realize this wasn't a cautious step forward, but more of a well-educated step back. We've got a lot of ground to cover in this week's On the Line.Your earliest food memory:My ... More >>
There is a social contract implied when you dine in a restaurant in this country. The social contract is pretty simple: "Don't be an ass." It shouldn't need to be said, really, but apparently restaurants are special places where manners aren't needed and you can act however you like.Anyone who's eve ... More >>
Every Monday, Clay Oven Irvine executive chef/owner Geeta Bansal shares an interview that she's done with some of the heavyweights of European cooking. Today, she regales us with a visit with Carme Ruscalleda, the renowned Catalan chef. Enjoy!
Noah Blom's latest restaurant, in Costa Mesa's OC Mix, is a throwback to a time when cooks used firewood and only firewood
Ch-ch-ch-changes happen all the time in the restaurant industry. Chefs leave, and are replaced by someone with a vision more aligned with that of the establishment. Alfonso Ramirez helms the kitchen within Westin South Coast Plaza's fine-dining establishment, Pinot Provence. Where have you worked in ... More >>
For the voracious foodie, indecisive eater and social butterfly alike, Dishcrawl is for the first time spreading its bar-crawl-for-food concept to the eclectic restaurants of downtown Long Beach.On March 12, Dishcrawl reps will escort ticketholders to four locations across downtown's dining and ente ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana favorite makes homestyle Mexican food for abuelitas and families
The 2-month-old Orange restaurant gets awesomer by the day