This is hilarious. Every year around this time, I get asked where to buy the best tamales in Orange County. Really, the answers rarely change. Below is the article on the subject I did last year, which itself is mostly a retread of a story I did back in 2007. This time around, a shout-out to the aw ... More >>
Cham Kerem have always describedthemselves as 'low-budget revolutionary peoples hip-hop' since emerging on scene.The group, comprised of members from Anaheim and SanTana, released Visions of the Sun last year. The rough-edged rebel raps weren't always the most studio polished, but remained unapologe ... More >>
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 >>
Last week, SanTana Police Department officials released video stills of two men harassing another man whom police say they'd go on to murder just outside El Chile Picante. And for the umpteenth time, I threw up my fists and screamed in frustration.See, Orange County killers have this nasty habit of ... More >>
Henry Bustos grew up exceptionally poor in a small village in Michoacan, Mexico and sold candy and fruit on the roadside to help his family survive.At the age of 16, Bustos entered the United States without government permission and worked at minimum wage for numerous Southern California constructio ... More >>
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Houston to do a book signing for my book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. Afterward, I went with friends and fans to enjoy some awesome Tex-Mex at El Real Tex-Mex, and among those who attended were two colleagues/pals from our sister paper, the Houston P ... More >>
South Coast Plaza typically isn't a haven for bargain hunters, but for several years the prix-fixe lunch at Florent and Amelia Marneau's Marche Moderne has had one of the best lunch specials in the county.Dinner for two at Marche can easily top $100, but like Rachael Ray taught us on $40 a Day, expe ... More >>
I have been known to wait outside Taco Maria for 20 minutes, desperate to be the first in line before the masses come. I've been known to drunkenly tweet that if you don't know Taco Maria, you don't know Mexican food, and fight with people over said sentiments. I've plugged Taco Maria God-knows-how- ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And what are some Mexican regional stereotypes of Mexicans?
Aside from La Palma Chicken Pie Shop and a handful of chain restaurants (Claim Jumper, KFC, Marie Callender's), there just aren't enough places doing pot pie anymore. And if they are, it's certainly almost never beef pot pie.Comfort food in the wrong hands can be too much of a good thing--over-porti ... More >>
Mare is supposed to be known for its seafood. But you should know by now that Alessandro Pirozzi of Cucina Alessa fame has the golden touch, even with game meats, as it turns out. The venison filet mignon he serves at his newest restaurant, two cubes the size of a baseball sitting on opposite side ... More >>
The menu said the mackerel would be seared tableside; but I didn't expect the hand-held flamethrower. I admit it:I was nervous. I inched away in my seat a little when the waiter lit it and the thing whooshed like an acetylene torch. We were sitting in an all-wooden booth shrouded with noren, the tra ... More >>
Rocq Cafe has already established itself as the place in South County for intense, incredible macarons, but even the hungriest of cookie monsters (sorry! Had to go there!) needs a real meal sometimes.Much of Rocq's menu is on the lighter side--sandwiches, salads, housemade pastas--and those suffice ... More >>
As we approach the home stretch of our favorites, we look back on one helluva fair season. Between our team's participation in culinary chowdowns (Go Dave!) to our interviews with Robert Irvine and Fabio Viviani, one thing is clear: It's all about the grub. Usually deep fried, and always incredible, ... More >>
The picture you see above is crappy, and it shows only a quarter cut. The sandwich isn't much to look at anyway. Its appearance isn't important. What's important is that it is possibly the best dish at North Shore Poke Company, which is little more than a cold station with the proprietor, Shawn Gole ... More >>
Like how the Thompson Twins were neither related nor named Thompson, the "karma" is as ambiguous as the fact that they don't serve alcohol (and that they close by 10 p.m.). Mick's has a number of factors going against it, even before we try to explain where this is located on the ground floor of an ... More >>
When folks ask us where our favorite place is for breakfast, we fail to mention Bruxie. Why? Partially because we forget (we're only look young). It's not like they're notorious for only the most important meal. But we're glad that we do, because one of our favorite bites is served on the weekends t ... More >>
There was a time when we couldn't get enough of the luxe loncheras. Eventually, we got bored and took a break. Maybe five months passed before we even contemplated a truck stop. So in the last year, we've had our fair share of catch up with mobile meals. An entire menu devoted to sausages is enough ... More >>
Even with fantastic sandwiches packed with charred Argentinian sausage, lengths of skirt steak, or a buffet of meats and cheeses, the star on the menu at Puerto Madero is a simple fish pastry. Tuna salads and sandwiches might be in other people's lunch bags, but one of the best ways to savor th ... More >>
The meticulously-crafted, flavor-formulated burgers at Umami are the main draw, but whether you love or hate the Japanese-influenced twist on classic Americana, it can't be argued that every great burger needs an equally great potato pairing to truly shine.Fortunately, the Umami cooks are skilled in ... More >>
You'd think there would be a lot of food choices in an area as concentrated with workers and residents as Downtown SanTana, but you'd be wrong. Good Mexican is out of the question, you can only eat so many arepas at Mil Jugos or Soul Burgers at Memphis before you're all doughy inside, and the Crosby ... More >>
Long Beach is a great town, a town that likes to pride itself on its diversity, unlike us Neanderthals over in Orange County. Nevertheless, it's a place that boils with racial tension from time to time, as the city has turned from Iowa-on-the-Beach to one of the most diverse towns in the country.&nb ... More >>
It's been a SanTana-heavy list for me in this round of 100 faves, but we gotta speak the truth, and SanTana has really emerged in the past year as a destination not just for Mexican food but for ALL sorts of food--and it's only going to get better. That's why I love Olé Spain Delishop so much--not ... More >>
Ladies and germs: it's okay to eat at Chapter One: The Modern Local again. Us Forkers had an unofficial ban against the place because one of its former partners trashed Mexican SanTana during a city council meeting last year. A terrible disappointment, because we did love Chapter One--Edwin gave it ... More >>
Apologies for the crappy photo above, but the lighting at the Crosby is never bueno...We're all still waiting for the Crosby guys to open their much-anticipated Grilled Cheese Stop, so in the meanwhile we must content ourselves with the genius that sparked this restaurant: the Starving Artist at the ... More >>
The garlic noodles at AnQui? Of course. The tamarind crab? Legendary. Cocktails? Superb. The South Coast Plaza eatery can always be counted on for a great, inventive dinner--a recent addition is tongue tacos made from a wonton shell--take THAT, Glen Bell!They also have a molecular gastronomy section ... More >>
We have no shortage of burrito joints in our fair county, and yet one type famous in our neighboring county makes itself noticeably absent here: the California burrito.What's that? You've never heard of a California burrito? Let's just say it's not named that because it has a cornucopia of our state ... More >>
Japanese parents don't name their children after themselves. There are no men named Junior walking around Japan. Yet Japanese businesses have no problem calling their house specialty after the name of the shop. So it is with the Kohryu Ramen at Costa Mesa's Kohryu Ramen. With two new heavyweight ra ... More >>
It was May, sometime during Meyer lemon season, when we happened by for dinner at Irvine's Lucca Cafe. Chef Cathy Pavlos had made a lemon curd dessert served in a glass Ball jar to celebrate the delicately tart fruit's ephemeral appearance.
The wonderful beef roll at Irvine's101 Noodle Express, or any other dish for that matter, is enhanced with the spicy-salty condiment of green pickled Chinese vegetables, cilantro, and fresh serrano chilis called shao shan tsai. It sits on your tabletop in a small clear container which will be nearl ... More >>
We are now more than halfway through our march toward our favorite dishes in Orange County. It's run the gamut from Japanese to Mexican, from American comfort food to post-Ramadan fast food. When we get to the end, you'll know it's time to go pick up your free copy of this year's Best Of issue i ... More >>
Sitting down for lunch at Twisted Vine in downtown Fullerton, Dave Fernandez and I talked about family, restaurant reviews and great wines. It wasn't quite a business meeting, more like two friends sharing a bite to eat. Of course, he periodically checked his iPhone for incoming reservations, men ... More >>
Out of all the reasons to call the cops to get to a Taco Bell, I'm sure none would infuriate them more that a drunken woman calling about the lack of beef at a restaurant. Really, does this story need any other intro? She's a candidate for this year's Darwin Awards, whenever they may be held.
See, the Spanish juxtaposed with Captain America ... oh, never mind.Mexicans have taken over your menial jobs, your shitty apartments and your marijuana-delivery options, America.Prepare to have our amigos south of the border take over your movie theaters next.Like an endless wave of, oh, whateve ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana eatery will scare away OC Register readers—more birria for us!
[¡Ask a Mexican!] Also, a racist tries to bait Gustavo, part MCMXLVIII
Flickr user tinfoilraccoonNew Year's Day is coming. In the interest of the gastronomic improvement of our fair readership area, I offer the following set of suggested New Years' resolutions for the diners of Orange County.
[¡Ask a Mexican!] What better way to learn Spanish than shutting your yap and watching 'Sábado Gigante'?
[Hole In the Wall] Zacatecan specialties make their way onto the menu of this new Huntington Beach eatery
When America Ochoa immigrated to the United States from her native Michoacan, Mexico, she, like many others, eventually settled in the Orange County city of Santa Ana. Before ever coming to the States, however, she developed an interest in music and awakened to the possibilities of Mexican ra ... More >>
From Spencer two cubicles away from me:So I'm going to [vacation spot], and will be hosted by a family. Apparently, it's a cultural thing that guests treat their host family with food from the region they're from. What can I give them?The obvious answer would be any of our ethnic cuisines that yo ... More >>
El Camino Real in Fullerton needs no real introduction to Weekly readers; we've given it much love over the years for its weekend menudo that draws in Mexican mamis too tired to cook and the fact that Kobe Bryant is known to haunt the place. It's probably the best, for lack of a better term, "normal ... More >>
Alcoholism among Mexicans: A blight as terrible as Carlos Mencia
A Match Ordained in Heaven
A flea-market cuisine guide