Learning to appreciate wine is like learning to appreciate anything else. It takes time and an openness to trying new things. I learned that with wine, it's not about what it pairs well with as much as it's about what you like (although the adage about red wine with red meat is spot on). Drink what ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana food truck serves specialties from Guadalajara
The plight of 130 Pine Avenue over the last few years is a direct reflection of the changing culinary landscape of downtown Long Beach. When I first moved to the LBC seven years ago, the prime dining drag was a paradoxical mix of high-end restaurants and seedy nightclubs and 130 Pine was a Hooters. ... More >>
Chef Sharron Barshishat brushed off the business advances of a culinary salesman as we arrived at Paninoteca Maggio. This was technically our third visit, but the previous two times they were either closed or ran out of food, "It's a very tiny place; there's only so much I can store." Knowing how mu ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
We consumed Brouwerij West Tripels with one former Weekling co-hort during a Yelp event inside Slater's 50/50 Huntington Beach. In addition to the stellar beer selection, founder Scott Slater was on hand to answer questions from the audience.Slater reminisced about Sunday morning tailgating back in ... More >>
There's a new izakaya in Fullerton. No, not Honda Ya. That's old news. Izakaya Kopan is taking over the spot of Red Chopsticks, a pho purveyor located next to the popular sushi joint Chomp at 141 E. Commonwealth Ave.
Geographic isolation has the unfortunate tendency of making people over-estimate the worth of their restaurants, and nowhere is this more true than South County and its Mexican food scene. Oh, there's Mexi restaurants a'plenty, mostly Cal-Mex dining (and Dana Point's own curious scene, which I'll ex ... More >>
After 40 years of scooping homemade flavors and watching their surroundings grow from bean fields to buildings, Hans and Judy Biermann were ready for retirement. They found the right buyers, and new ownership took effect on Monday. We sat down to speak to the new management team during their recent ... More >>
Pho King Way, the Mission Viejo Vietnamese restaurant that was boarded up in early February because of a kitchen fire, will reopen tomorrow, Sept. 4, according to owner Alex Le's Yelp! page.Ye had originally hoped to restore the restaurant in April according to the Register, but when it went em ... More >>
Brian McReynolds agreed to our interview on the condition that his management team be a part of it as well. Amy is his front of the house lead, while Francisco mans the kitchen. Of course, trying to get three key people to sit still wasn't possible. We shared handwritten notes with two-thirds of Eat ... More >>
Chris warned me from the get go that he'd been reading up on our interviews. The man knew what everybody else was already saying, and he informed us that he put some thought into his answers. No pressure, man. We just want you to speak your mind. Tell us how you really feel. . . . and he did.Your ea ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana foodmaker hints at the potential of OC's cottage-food industry
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 >>
Have you downloaded it yet?You know how we're doing all these Ten Great lists of different local faves (pizza, tacos, etc.) under the "Best of Best of Best of!" category? It's for more than cheap hits--we're slowly trotting out our Best Of . . . app for smart phones and the like, which group toge ... More >>
The ultimate new foodie...You know them -- they blog and/or Yelp, prevent you from eating while they take photos with their camera phone, and can talk your ear off about the place they just ate at. (Of course, I'm guilty of all that, too.) What can you get besides a gift card to their favorite ea ... More >>
Photo courtesy of Lee Healy Marketing CommunicationsFresh salmon, Meyer lemon vinaigrette, chilled quinoa & bulgar wheat saladWe had the opportunity to explore Paul Martin's (American Grill) Orange County debut at the Irvine Spectrum yesterday. All hands were on deck for final preparations: s ... More >>
Today 36 clergy affixed their names to a paid ad and open letter to Village Voice and the classified ad site Backpage.com. The full page ad was published in the New York Times. The religious coalition demanded that we close down our legal, adult classifieds. Neither government officials nor G ... More >>
I'm just as guilty of butchering foreign word pronunciation as any American, but there are times when the media perpetuates mistakes that will make you look like a schmuck. This week--five things for you to avoid sounding like one in a Japanese restaurant.
Nello Cucina's Facebook pageIt's Thursday night, and you're famished after purchasing that wedding/housewarming/birthday present at the plaza previously known as Crystal Court. A bakery or fish taco isn't cutting it; we're thinking Italian and vino. Lucky you, the answer is by the carousel.Before ... More >>
Anne Marie PanoringanA cross section of awesomeness.The wait is finally over. Our favorite Slater (not A.C. or Kelly) has launched their bacontastic menu for public consumption in Huntington Beach. If last night's preview was any indicator, then Adams Avenue will never be the same.Those crazy Yel ... More >>
Javier CabralMi Tran and I during our last intern lunch at Au LacWell, folks, looks like this is the end, unless...(*cough) they gimme a staff writer job at OC Weekly!!! Haha. No but seriously, like the great Zacatecano paisano Antonio Aguilar originally sang "[Nada] es eterno en el mundo,". Yup, ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] At this Huntington Beach treasure, Hidalgo-style cookery shines
Last November, we celebrated the closure of the Baker's Square restaurant in Garden Grove's International West district, the very worst example of a chain that struggles to achieve mediocrity. It was, in retrospect, pretty bad--limp produce, low-quality meat, and service that met every criterion ... More >>
Betcha there'll never be a tamale pie truck...Cupcakes are on their way out, pies are supposedly in--but it seems Orange County's going to go through a Summer of Doughnut. M & M Donuts over in Anaheim have hundreds of Yelp reviews (!), all over a simple blueberry donut, a fried thing studded ... More >>
Christopher Victorio / OC WeeklyTo see the slideshow of scenes from the event, click here.For a few brief hours last night, the ailing GardenWalk mall became the place to see and be seen, and the best place to eat in Anaheim. The lines got long (though not as long as those execrable luxe-lonchera ... More >>
Piaggio on Wheels will be there this Sunday, and so can you!SOOOOO...remember that panel I'm going be on this Sunday in Santa Monica, alongside KCRW-FM 89.9's Evan Kleiman, celebrity chef Jet Tila, and Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold? If you're interested, tough tamales--event is ... More >>
The Orange County Interwebs Horror Show this week pulls from the collection of online tubes and chutes examples of the finest folks who call this region home.We're talking cheatin' radiomen, Mexican trailer trash, Costa Mesa flashers, surgically frightening Midwest transplants and Newport Beach f ... More >>
The first Orange County Interwebs Horror Show of 2011 looks for local smoke shops that don't card and lovingly admires a Surf City solo dancer and a bitch who out-Octomoms Octomom.Don't worry, those last two are separate items.
The question this week came to Edwin from Bill of Fullerton:Our Canadian graphic designer is planning to prepare his own version of poutine. Any restaurant in OC that prepares this gut bomb?Real poutine, Bill? Nowhere in Orange County. Not enough Quebecois here--we have hosers a'plenty, but ... More >>
Have you ever seen the YouTube videos of the annual Big Wheel races down Lombard Street in San Francisco? Adults in costumes get behind the handlebars of the kiddie scoot-scoots before putting their lives at risk on one of the world's most-windy streets. No wonder the sacrificial ritual is held a ... More >>
Wikimedia CommonsPhoto of Eibar's namesake town...Okay, I'm late to this story, but still beat the Orange County Register and those crazy Yelp kids, so the scoop: downtown SanTana now has another coffee shop to give the venerable Gypsy Den a challenge in the name of Eibar Coffee.
Photo by the Elmo MonsterReal damn street food: the taco acorazado at Alebrije'sI wasn't able to attend this past weekend's OC Foodie Fest (congrats to the organizers, btw, on the turnout) because I attended another one: the Eat Real Festival, held around Jack London Square in Oakland. You though ... More >>
Courtesy of Food NetworkNever underestimate the power of people who've been churned through the Anderson School of Business machine. This week's episode of Food Network's "The Great Food Truck Race" showed that an ounce of amazing marketing savvy can overcome a pound of unfamiliarity with the pro ... More >>
Dave LiebermanYou're not manly enough for the sandwich in the picture above. That, dear readers, is the pride of Guadalajara, the torta ahogada. Made of bread (classically a birote roll) spread with a little bit of bean paste, stuffed crammed to creaking with carnitas, then absolutely drenched (" ... More >>
Garden Grove's TusCA is a notch above the typical hotel restaurant
From a couple of weeks ago:This is going to sound like a ridiculously stupid (and simple) question but I'm yearning to find a good, authentic, and possibly cheap Italian restaurant in north Orange County (near or in Fullerton). Can the Mexican help me where the Yelp Gods have failed?Firstly, Y ... More >>
Dave LiebermanAs I was driving home from work one day recently, I saw a tiny sign on an empty storefront next to the 7-Eleven at Garden Grove and Lewis St., near the tri-city border of Orange, Garden Grove and Santa Ana. "Umami," it said, which piqued my interest due to the burger chain of the sa ... More >>
Flickr user othermaciej under Creative CommonsWhy is it so hard to find properly written menus? Some are too concise and offer no details; others can't shut up. Below are twelve helpful hints for people doing menu writing.
Brea, Brea, what is going on with your downtown? The grand civic experiment that housed some of the only non-chain restaurants in the entire city is now sprouting more and more blank doorways as restaurants close.
eliya @ flickr.com CC BY-NC 2.0This week contains one of the most ancient and cherished traditions in America, where families get up at shockingly early hours to fight traffic just to be together for a day. Thanksgiving, you say? No, Black Friday, the day by which all retail business for the enti ... More >>
I heard a rumor that the fledgling chain, which debuted in Phoenix last year, was planning on opening a second restaurant in Orange County. I checked with Debbie Porter, VP of Marketing for Fox Restaurant Concepts (FRC), who confirms that they are indeed looking at OC locations right now, althoug ... More >>
Sure, I may be a bit rough on the OC Music Awards at times (or, uh, lots of the time), but the lineups for their "best acoustic live showcase finals" and "best live band showcase finals" are definitely solid, including some of our favorite Locals Only bands, like the New Limb (pictured). For each of ... More >>
I was thinking about hitting up last night's Juana Molina show at Detroit Bar, and depending on your perspective, I guess it's both good and bad that I was too tired to go out.
I can't remember the last time a hole-in-the-wall garnered as much opening buzz as Empanada's Place, a Los Angeles-area institution that just opened a branch in Costa Mesa. Those crazy Yelp kids love it, and more reputable sources raved about it to me as well. All of those folks are smoking the chim ... More >>