#17. Mexican Teriyaki Bowl at Mos 2

#17. Mexican Teriyaki Bowl at Mos 2

You'll have noticed we're changing who writes this feature on a day by day basis: this is how you know we're getting close to the end of our countdown. Make sure to pick up a copy of our Best of OC 2010 when it hits the newsstands October 14!

Decades before Kogi was an "inspired" idea in the head of OC native Roy Choi, another Asian-Mexican fusion feast was enrapturing Orange County: MOS Burgers, a Japanese-American burger stand not related to the Japanese fast-food empire, set up in deepest, darkest SanTana: off Edinger. It no longer exists, but it spirit lives on in the four Mos 2 locations still operating, and its place in Orange County (even Southern California?) culinary history is assured: here is where the Mexican teriyaki bowl was born--or at least, has reached its apotheosis.

A yellowing

Orange County Register

article dating from 1989 that hangs at the SanTana branch next to the city's DMV office celebrates the original Mos Burgers as a prime example of


cuisine, a horrible name for what we call fusion. Years later, that same critic would call its teriyaki burrito "plain weird"--a comment that nowadays we'd all call borderline racist, and absolutely stupid. But Mos 2 eventually whittled down the menu to teriyaki plates and bowls, changed how it prepared them to match the palates of Santa Ana and Anaheim, and earned the undying devotion of thousands of high schoolers.

I'm one of them. Eating a Mos 2 teriyaki bowl--beef shaved until it resembles the meat in a carne asada taco, cebollitas chopped up and thrown on top, teriyaki sauce and Tapatio on the side; loving the fact that the clumpy white rice below the beef absorbed said condiments (some grains soaked up only the teriyaki; others, the Tapatío), then washing everything down with a massive, frosty, too-sweet horchata--takes me back to Anaheim High, circa 1997, crossing Lincoln Boulevard after school for a bowl. To all-day study sessions in a garage while attending Orange Coast College and working at the now-defunct Family Fun Center. To this morning, scarfing down a bowl before lunch because I hadn't scarfed down a bowl in so long. There is nothing pretty about the food--just a big, massive, delicious mess, much like the city that spawned it and the culture that embraced it the most.

The Mos 2 Mexican teriyaki bowl isn't even the best teriyaki bowl in Orange County, and probably isn't even the first mestizo bowl of its kind, but give me the bowl over the vast of OC's offerings on any given lunch.

Mos 2, 1008 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 772-8543; also at 221 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 835-8288; and 1933 W. 17th St., Santa Ana, (714) 541-5997.

The rest of the list!

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#99. Nem Nuong Cuon at Brodard
#98. Pork Chop Anything at Nice Time Deli
#97. Flying Saucer at Alberto's
#96. Frozen Custard at Marc Burger's in Macy's Signature Kitchen
#95. Collard Greens at Johnny Reb's
#94. Strawberry Shortcake from Job's Daughters
#93. Cuban Sandwich at DeSimone's Deli
#92. Lamb with Preserved Cabbage at Mas Islamic Chinese
#91. Baked Rice at Luc Dinh Ky
#90. Beans on Toast at The Olde Ship
#89. Midnight Al Pastor Burrito or Taco at Taqueria Tapatia
#88. Budino di Cioccolato, Pizzeria Ortica
#87. Beef Teriyaki Bowl, Teriyami
#86. Salmon Onigiri at Cream Pan
#85. Beef Fat Fries at SideDoor
#84. Silken Tofu & Thousand Year Old Egg at Asian Tapas
#83. Cambodian Beef Jerky at Sophy's
#82. Com Tam at Com Tam Tran Quy Cap
#81. Chipotle-Piloncillo Goat Cheese at SOL Cocina
#80. Nem Nuong Cuon at Au Lac Restaurant
#79. Blackened Mushroom & Tofu Burger at Taco Loco
#78. Fried Veggie Fish Fillet at Dong Phuong Tofu
#77. Tofu Vegetable Salad at BCD Tofu House
#76. Che Ba Mau at Thach Che Hien Khanh
#75. Barracuda Sushi at Ohshima
#74. Whole Lamb with Kabsa at Olive Tree
#73. 5 a.m. Chitterlings at Tri-Village
#72. Spinach Empanadas at El Gaucho #2
#71. Croissants at Molinos Bakery
#70. Beso de Monja at El Rincón del Sabor
#69. Fatteh at Kareem's
#68. Korean Beef Rib Sandwich at Kaffa
#67. Rice Flour Pupusas at Pupusería San Sivar
#66. The Hash Browns at Pop's Cafe
#65. Seven Courses of Beef at Thien An
#64. Baby Back Ribs at Blake's Place
#63. Fish and Chips at The Chippy
#62. Roasted Beef Marrow Bones at Brasserie Pascal
#61. The Lunch Buffet at Tandoor Cuisine of India
#60. Eggs, Charcuterie and Bread at Uyen Thy Bistro
#59. Wang Mandoo at Myung In
#58. Gobi Paratha at Traditions
#57. Kibbeh at Zait & Zaatar
#56. Chicago Dog at Portillo's
#55. Persian Buffet at Irvine's Wholesome Choice
#54. Anything at night at Joe's Italian Ice
#53. Salteñas at Rollie's Bakery
#52. Iskender Kabob at Doner G
#51. Secret Beer-Battered Fish Burrito at the OG Taco Adobe
#50. Bun Rieu at Kim Huong
#49. Truffle Fries at Andrei's
#48. Monday Night Pizza Special at Pizza Shack
#47. Corn Dog at Disneyland's The Little Red Wagon
#46. Linguini with Clams at Franco's Pasta Cucina
#45. Chamoyada at Natural
#44. Meatloaf at Memphis
#43. Paletas at Delicias de México
#42. Omakase at Sushi Shibucho
#41. Odessa Sandwich at Moscow Deli
#40. Tacos de Rajas con Queso at Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen
#39. Crepes con Caramel at Anepalco's Cafe
#38. "Cobra" Chicken Sandwich at Memphis at the Santora.
#37. Beef Shawerma Plate at Sahara Falafel
#36. Flan at Taleo Mexican Grill
#35. Ahi Poke at Fish Camp
#34. Chao Chow Rice Noodle Soup at Trieu Chau
#33. Sweet Corn Soup at Raya At The Ritz Carlton
#32. Reuben Sandwich at Harry's Deli
#31. Enchilada Combo at Baja Fish Tacos
#30. Torta Ahogada at Los Primos
#29. Beef Panang from Thai Nakorn
#28. Quesadilla de Huitlacoche from Los Chilangos
#27. Haven Burger from Haven Gastropub
#26. Vegetarian Combo Platter at Tana Ethiopian
#25. Pecan-Sea Salt Tarts at Old Vine Cafe
#24. Fish Burrito at Los Cotijas
#23. Quarter, Half, or Whole Chicken at the Surfin' Chicken
#22. Kheema Dosa at Dosa Place
#21. Falafels at Kareem's Restaurant
#20. Hakata Ramen at Shin-Sen-Gumi
#19. Sausage at Sabatino's
#18. Deep Fried Fish with Mango Salad at Thai Nakorn

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