CONTINUED La Cave Restaurant
1695 Irvine Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 646-7944
First established way back on Valentine's Day, 1962, La Cave quickly became known as the source of the finest steaks and seafood in Orange County. Dark and romantic, with live jazz and lounge music Tuesdays through Saturdays, this underground treasure offers classic, elegant fare of steaks and seafood. Once you see the menu cart, wheeled to every table and offering that night's selections, you'll never go anywhere else.
Services: takeout available. Reservations suggested. Full bar. Hours: 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Most major credit cards accepted.Las Barcas21032 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 536-2616
And you thought healthy Mexican food was an oxymoron. Las Barcas, which serves up cuisine as stomach-friendly as it is savory, should relieve you of that sad assumption. Not that the soft tacos; carnitas platters; and cheese-stuffed, batter-fried chile rellenos don't hit the spot like nothing else. That fat "No Lard" sign in the window, however, just might prove even more satisfying—and you gotta love a place with a "Healthy Fitness Burrito" on the menu. Add to that cozy, casual atmosphere that recalls just about every past Mexican-restaurant experience you've had, minus the cholesterol. Consider Las Barcas a guilt-free pleasure.
Services: takeout available. Beer and wine served. Hours: daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Left at Albuquerque20 The City Blvd. W., Ste. R-2, Orange, (714) 769-4300; 3309 Michelson Dr., Irvine, (949) 757-7600
The Southwest craze of the 1980s came and went and left a few hearty and worthy survivors, among the best of which is Left at Albuquerque, a restaurant that, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, "reverberates with pizzazz and energy." Within a high-ceilinged, airy interior that suggests the great outdoors, servers hurry about with astounding culinary collisions of north and south (consider the mango chicken quesadillas or the Ancho tequila lime prawns) and standards (such as BBQ baby back ribs and tequila-grilled chicken breast) that are anything but standard. Do not miss the world-famous Left at Albuquerque bar, serving scores of Mexico's greatest tequilas. (We're partial to the Route 66 Margarita, 66 fluid ounces of margarita madness.)
Services: catering available. Full bar. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight. All major credit cards accepted.The Longboard Restaurant & Pub217 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 960-1896
Located right on the bikini-bearing street of Main Street sits the surfing-inspired Longboard Restaurant & Pub. They have 16 microbrews on tap and a great wine selection in addition to a menu filled with Caribbean, Cajun and American specialties. Try the Maine Street lobster flown in daily from the rocky coast of Maine or the jerk-chicken sandwich: marinated boneless chicken in a rich collection of Jamaican island fresh spices and seasonings, grilled, topped with lettuce and tomato, and served on a whole-wheat bun.
Services: takeout available. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 9:30 a.m.-11 p.m. American Express, MasterCard and Visa accepted.Lotus Caf1515 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 385-1233
Let's face it: steak gets old—really old. You're unlikely to find a more soothing alternative than the Lotus Caf, a cozy, casual little Chinese bistro that's practically brimming with positive energy. The menu, which includes such gems as the fresh veggie feast (assorted vegetables sauted with tofu and served with spicy kung pao or curry sauce) puts a unique vegetarian spin on Asian cuisine, and the atmosphere is as casual, low-key, plant-happy and family-oriented they come. It's a refreshingly perfect fit. And how's this for a bonus: the Lotus Caf now serves boba milk tea, which may be the most deservedly popular phenomenon in the past century or so.
Services: takeout available. Hours: Mon.- Thurs., 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5-9:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.Madeleine Mongolian BBQ2394 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-1421
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Sporting an easy-to-find Costa Mesa location and a friendly, family-style atmosphere, Madeleine Mongolian BBQ offers meat-lovers some of the tastiest Mongolian- and Chinese-style barbecue dishes around, along with excellent chicken and shrimp meals, and even great options for vegetarians. Whatever you do, though, try the marvelous, exotic Pho noodle soup—you won't regret it!
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-7 p.m.Mahe1400 Pacific Coast Hwy., Seal Beach, (562) 431-3022
Seal Beach might not boast too many actual seals, but it does harbor Mahe, a tropically themed steak, seafood and sushi joint. Lounging somewhere along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, Mahe is the next best thing to the island getaway us cubicle dwellers all crave—and it has valet parking, too. Reservations are unnecessary, and a full bar is available.
Services: takeout available. Full bar. Valet parking. Hours: Mon.-Sun., 5-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Mama's Bakery & Lebanese Caf540 S. Coast Hwy., Ste. 108, Laguna Beach, (949) 376-9904Where is Lebanon? It's in Laguna Beach at Mama's Bakery & Lebanese Caf. Not only is the food delicious and healthy, it's a great breakfast, lunch and dinner destination. With made-to-order favorites like the falafel (fat, juicy garbanzo bean patties served either in a sandwich or pita) and the beef shawarma, with its tender sliced beef marinated in seven spices and served with vegetables in house bread. For a more unique meal, try one of their pies, served with spinach, jack and feta cheese or sliced lean ground beef. Services: catering and takeout available. No liquor. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Most major credit cards accepted.Mark's Restaurant858 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-6711Nestled in Laguna Beach's art community, Mark's Restaurant has established itself as one of the premier dining experiences in Orange County. With his culinary talents, executive chef Martin Gonzales has created a moderately priced menu that offers a wide array of California cuisine with featured daily specials. The restaurant serves dinner in a beachy, naturally lit setting featuring palm trees, crispy-linened tables and an ocean-breezed outdoor patio. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 5-10:30 p.m.; Sat., 5-11 p.m.; Sun., 5-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.Mitae Ramen750 St. Clair, Costa Mesa, (714) 545-3331Ramen is practically a food group unto itself—just ask any college student—t Mitae turns it into an art form. This cozy, quaint Japanese restaurant makes those versatile little noodles sit up and bark; they're true adepts in the art of ramen transmogrification. The house special? "Everything's special," they report. And they've got the steaming-hot bowls of noodles to back it up. Services: takeout available. Beer and wine. Hours: daily, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5-9 p.m. Moonshine Broiler522 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 374-4478When was the last time you were sitting around your drab, boring house, thinking to yourself how it was time you finally went out and ate at a really great restaurant, preferably one with a funky, eclectic Vegas theme? Your long search is over now that Moonshine Broiler is open, where all plates are decorated for a great four-star presentation. The Broiler has great steaks, chicken and seafood, plus great wine at great prices. Services: catering and takeout available. Beer and wine. Hours: Tues.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.Mother's Market & Kitchen225 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 631-4741; 19770 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 963-6667; 2963 Michelson Dr., Irvine, (949) 752-6669; 24165 Paseo De Valencia, Laguna Woods, (949) 768-6667Mother Nature is more like it. Rated one of Orange County's Best Buys by no less an authority than Zagat, this restaurant/Trader Joe's hybrid boasts a vitamin department, a body-care department, a deli and juice bar, and enough tasty preservative-free dishes to bring out the vegetarian in you. Try the tofu lemon picata, the grilled-eggplant sandwich, or the ever-popular energy salad—a stimulating blend of sprouts, mixed greens, avocado slices and sunflower seeds. It's all fresh, it's all organic, and it's all got enough of that good ol' "home-cooking" feel to avoid the blandness usually associated with words like "fresh" and "organic." Services: takeout available. Hours: daily, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.Napa Valley Pizza & Pasta474 E.17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 574-7522; 16711 Pacific Coast Hwy., Sunset Beach, (562) 592-4459Napa Valley Pizza & Pasta's sumptuous homemade lasagna, with its ooey-gooey cheese and zesty tomato sauce, is not to be missed. In fact, the only thing better is the penne chicken alfredo, its plump, tender pasta and juicy chicken bathed in creamy alfredo sauce. Of course, to focus only on the pasta dishes would be a great injustice to the excellent pizza served up hot, fresh and ready to sink your teeth into. The experience is made complete by a sampling from the dessert menu. Try the deliciously decadent tiramisu or a wedge of refreshingly cool lemon cheesecake. On weekends, stop by the Costa Mesa location for brunch between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to create your own omelet—or grab a few extra hours of sleep and cruise in for the lunch buffet. Services: takeout and catering available. Reservations accepted. Hours: daily, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5-9 p.m. American Express, Diner's Club, MasterCard and Visa accepted.Newport Beach Brewing Co.2920 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 675-8449Sure, they serve food, but you came for the beer, right? The monthly beer-tasting seminars? The special homebrew, fermented on the premises? No? Well, the Newport Beach Brewing Co. offers plenty of options for those after anything from a fine night on the town to something to take the edge off all that sweet, sweet beer. They've got a whole passel of gourmet pastas, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, steaks and seafood waiting in reserve—after all, downing all that fine assortment of beer can drum up a real appetite. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Reservations recommended for large parties. Hours: daily, 11:30 a.m.-closing. All major credit cards accepted.Newport Rib Co.and Naples Rib Co. 2196 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 631-2110; 5800 E. 2nd St., Long Beach, (562) 439-RIBSThe Newport Naples Rib Co.—and its sister location, the Naples Rib Co. in Long Beach—isn't just about ribs: diners can look forward to Hawaiian-style barbecued chicken breasts dripping with a tangy lemon glaze or such mouth-watering appetizers as steaming-hot, deep-fried mozzarella sticks, fresh-grilled artichokes, tangy baked beans with just a hint of brown sugar tempering the taste, or the near-legendary onion brick, a monolithic concoction of crispy and crunchy onions good for hands-on snacking before the entre is served. But as good as everything here is, it's the ribs that make the restaurant—and this place has serious grinds. Service: delivery, takeout and catering available. Full bar. Hours: daily, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.Original Roadhouse Grille7391 Carson Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 377-5952Gather up the kinfolk and blaze a path to the Original Roadhouse Grill in Long Beach for a lively, fun, family-oriented dining experience. And don't mind the crunching underfoot as you sidle up to the jukebox—it's only peanut shells, pardner. Try the tender and tangy baby back ribs with some hearty, home-cooked Texas Egg rolls. Or how 'bout the melt-in-your-mouth mesquite grilled T-bone steak? At 18 ounces, it's sure to satisfy even the hungriest of scalawags after a hard day at the ranch. Kick back and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. The trail ends here. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.Pappou's Greek Island Grille8780 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley, (714) 842-8481Do you believe in light, healthy Greek food? Pappou's Greek Island Grille does! Crowd-pleasers include grape leaves stuffed with tender rice and herbs and mouth-watering flame-broiled kabobs offered with a variety of different meats and seafood—all served up fresh in a fun atmosphere of Greek Island style. With its expansive vegetarian menu, Pappou's more than manages to delight the carnivorously disinclined as well. From falafel and fasolada soup to warm, soft pita breads brimming with such health-friendly delectables as spinach, feta and hummus—not to mention three different kinds of baklava for dessert—vegetarians can sample freely from the menu and still attend their local PETA chapter meetings with a clear conscious. Services: takeout and catering available. Hours: Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun., noon-8:30 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted.Rail Side Caf295 E. Caroline St., San Bernardino, (520) 529-1169Hidden stealthily away inside Gotham Night Club in San Bernardino, the Rail Side Caf offers its visitors a variety of Mexican and American dishes in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Among the more popular menu items is the tasty carne asada dinner, served with rice, beans, and warm, soft tortillas. The caf also offers a taco buffet bar, allowing diners to heap on their choice of various fresh veggies and toppings. If something a little more American strikes your fancy, the Rail Side Caf will not disappoint. Try the hearty Philly cheese steak or the hefty quarter-pound hot dog. Equally yummy are the zippy hot wings—or "bat wings," to which they are appropriately referred—and juicy, satisfying burgers served with a side order of fries. Services: Full bar. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 9 p.m.-2 a.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted.Rock Bottom Brewery71 Fortune Dr., Ste 920, Irvine, (949) 453-0777Rock Bottom is "the place to be," or so they say—and why not? With hopping late-night dance clubs Wednesday through Saturday and a globe-girdling selection of dinners on the menu, why even worry about moving on up? Besides, it's lonely at the top. At the Rock Bottom, you can chow down on Texas fire steak, Mrs. Chow's sizzling shrimp salad or tuna chop, and chase it with homebrewed ale. So give in and hit bottom—everyone's waiting for you! Services: takeout and catering available. Reservations suggested. Full bar. Valet parking. Hours: daily, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Major credit cards accepted.Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n' Waffles730 Broadway St., Long Beach, (562) 437-8355The name may sound offbeat, but we assure you that this down-home combination really works, with sweet cinnamon-flavored waffles complementing crispy fried chicken. Try the onion-stewed greens or piping-hot mashed potatoes on the side. If you want to stick to breakfast, try a freshly prepared chicken omelet with grits and homemade buttermilk biscuits. Guaranteed to satisfy the most stubborn taste buds. And don't be surprised to turn your head and see the members of 'NSync or Chris Tucker; Roscoe's is known to Hollywood's A-list. Services: beer and wine. Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sun., 8 a.m.-midnight. American Express, MasterCard and Visa accepted.Sammy's Woodfired Pizza18315 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 593-5800Sammy's Woodfired Pizza's recipe for success is a simple one: they provide gourmet-quality cuisine that won't burst your bank account in a family-friendly environment. Another plus is that there are dozens of menu options that will satisfy both a vegetarian and carnivore alike. Sammy's menu deliciously warns you of their: refreshing salads, as in the Thai chicken salad; gourmet woodfired pizzas, like the grilled zucchini-and-eggplant pizza; innovative pasta dishes, take the chicken tequila pasta; and lastly, enticing entrees, like the Idaho rainbow trout. And don't you dare skip dessert; the tiramisu is exquisite and would make even Richard Simmons cave in and say, "Just this once." Services: takeout available. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover accepted.Santa Monica Seafood154 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 574-8862Not only does this clean, well-lit fish market offer an incredible array of seafood, but it also offers a great opportunity for casual dining. Offering grilled seafood, fish and chips, fish tacos, chowder, and sushi, Santa Monica Seafood offers only the freshest, tastiest subaquatic fare, piping-hot and perfect for a quick, light lunch—all at a reasonable price. Best of all, the staff knows their seafood better than nearly anyone else in Orange County. Services: takeout available. Beer and wine. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.seven-degrees891 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, (949) 376-1555In a city full of hot spots, seven-degrees is amongst the hottest. seven-degrees is a new, fully equipped multimedia event space and exhibition gallery that has opened its doors to host a Summer Sundays Jazz Brunch. Indulge in a fabulous gourmet brunch catered by Orange County's best caterer for more than a decade, Crme de la Crme. The Jazz Gallery is visited by internationally acclaimed jazz artists, from the legendary to the contemporary. (Hurry in; the experience ends Sept. 2.) Experience this innovative event facility, interact with exhibiting art and treat yourself to a seven-degrees experience sure to guarantee a Sunday to remember. Services: full bar. Reservations required. Valet parking. All major credit cards accepted. Shark Club841 Baker St., Costa Mesa, (714) 751-6428This is the Shark Club, or as many people know it, the club with the shark. Everyone knows about the big shark tank, the big dance floor, the hip yet elegant atmosphere, the acres of pool tables, and the bar lined with beautiful people. But does everyone know about the kitchen's delicious California cuisine? Or how about the free pool with dinner offered every Tuesday and Wednesday nights? Or the free pool with lunch offered Tuesday through Friday? It's all true. And don't miss their Happy Hour drink specials during one of the longest happy hours we've ever heard of: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.! Services: catering and takeout available. Full bar. Valet parking. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-midnight; Sat., 8 p.m.-1 a.m. All major credit cards accepted.Studio Caf100 Main St. on Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach, (949) 675-7760How do you make OC's premier "California Casual" restaurant even better? For a start, Studio Caf has just started brand-new Happy Hour specials every Monday through Friday from 7 p.m.: you can $1 off their Beer of the Month, with complementary Studio Bar Burgers served from 5 to 6 p.m. What, you want more? Okay, they're still serving their famous "Adios" blue drinks, some of the tastiest spirits around, and their liquor selection is now augmented by a new Martini Bar. Still not enough? How about the return of renowned chef Steve Palmer, who's reworking the entire menu. Throw in entertainment seven days a week—and starting in July, on a brand-new stage—and Studio Caf is poised to maintain its place as Balboa's most happening night spot. Services: full bar. Reservations accepted. Hours: Sat.-Sun., 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. & 5-11 p.m.; Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. & 5-11 p.m. American Express, MasterCard and Visa accepted.Sushi Island Japanese Cuisine2574 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 631-8382Do restaurants read minds? Finally a place that'll serve sushi exactly the way you want it! The chefs at Sushi Island specialize in classically fresh sushi and authentic Japanese cuisine. Relax in a Hawaiian Island atmosphere and enjoy special dishes like the spicy garlic Chilean sea bass or the seared ahi with special mushroom sauce, and of course, a fresh selection of sushi. Their traditional Japanese cuisine attracts not only die-hard sushi-goers, but also locals in search of the true taste of Japan. Services: takeout available. Beer and wine. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5:30-10 p.m.; Sat., 5:30-10 p.m. American Express, MasterCard and Visa accepted. Sushi of Naples5470 E. 2nd St., Long Beach, (562) 434-1122Do you like sushi? Sushi of Naples boasts the largest sushi bar in Southern California. Although they're always trying new dishes, they offer such classics as tempura vegetables and shrimp, plus a large sushi assortment. Their fresh sashimi and maki and nigiri sushi are hard to beat. And Sushi of Naples has a fun, hip crowd and is a great place to hang out with friends. Services: takeout available. Reservations suggested. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-10:45 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.Sushi on El Camino658 El Camino, Tustin, (714) 832-8110Sushi may well be Orange County's food of choice, and Sushi on El Camino offers a modern, high-energy place to enjoy it at a reasonable price! Not only do they offer a wide variety of sushi and other Japanese dishes prepared by skilled sushi chefs, but they also serve a number of unique rolls prepared at the sushi bar, where you can see your dinner being sliced and diced. Services: takeout available. Beer, sake and wine. Parking available behind restaurant. Hours: Mon., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5-10:30 p.m.; Wed.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5-10:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 5-10:30 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.Sushi Wok Restaurant & Express24371 El Toro Rd., Laguna Woods, (949) 595-0808Owner Kam Yee set out to create OC's premier home for fine Chinese and Japanese dining. He may well have succeeded. Specializing in aromatic shrimp and "floating sushi," this elegant, comfortable restaurant presents excellent contemporary Asian dishes that look as good as they taste, served in a beautiful setting. Services: takeout, delivery and catering are available. Beer and wine. Reservations suggested. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted. Swallows Inn31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 493-3188If it's the best steak in San Juan Capistrano, it must be Monday night at Swallows Inn. Enjoy the deliciously famous 8-ounce top sirloin complemented by a fluffy, buttery baked potato with fresh salad and a hunk of warm, soft bread—all for only $10! Drop in Tuesdays for a night of karaoke beginning at 8 p.m. The rest of the week, it's all the live entertainment you can handle beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 8:30 p.m. on Fridays. On Saturday, the first of two bands takes the stage at 2:30 p.m.; the second comes on later, at 8:30 p.m. Sleep in Sunday but make sure you roll in by 3:30 p.m. to catch another live performance and end your weekend on the right note. Services: takeout available. Full bar. Hours: Mon.-Wed., 8 a.m.-midnight; Thurs.-Fri., 8 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sat., 7 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 7 a.m.-11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.Taco Factory6620 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 341-0561Economy got you down but you're hankerin' for great Mexican food? Stop by the Taco Factory, where they crank out authenticity you can taste at factory-direct prices you can afford. In the current climate of high-tech dot-com disaster, the Taco Factory, with its kick-back music and casual atmosphere, is just the place to drown your Wall Street woes with an ice-cold cerveza and a satisfyingly low-tech taco jammed with succulent grilled mahi mahi. If that's not enough to lift your economically-induced gloom, try the low-risk, high-return, Grade A carne asada, or check out the fresh salsa bar. The kicker? With prices this low, you can come back for breakfast and still have a few bucks left over from that generous tax refund courtesy of the great protector of the working class. Tell 'em Dubya sent you. Services: takeout and catering available. Nine locations throughout Orange County. Hours: daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. MasterCard and Visa accepted.Taste of China5864 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714)846-5986Tucked away in the Marina Shopping Center, proprietor Eilene Shue has brought to you the tastes of China with this gourmet Chinese restaurant specializing in Mandarin cuisine. She offers more than 200 dishes on the menu. Among the house specials that you simply must try is the honey-glazed walnut shrimp, an amazing combination of fresh jumbo prawns, walnuts and honey. The slippery chicken's white-meat breast is stir-fried with tomatoes, garlic, ginger and lemon zest. And the orange beef is flank steak sauted with fresh orange peel. Come and experience a dining sensation. Services: delivery, takeout and catering available. All major credit cards accepted. Hours: Mon.-Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.Tecate Grill516 State College, Fullerton, (714) 525-0011Where better to fiesta than in Fullerton's favorite California-style Mexican restaurant? The Tecate Grill offers some of the best Latin-flavored fare this side of the border, including their delectable pasilla burrito, shrimp burritos and tacos, and the especially yummy Achiote Chicken Salad—all served in a quick, timely manner. This is dinner-house-quality food in a laid-back, resort-style setting. So don't make a run for the border—make a run for Tecate Grill. Services: takeout and catering available. No liquor. Hours: daily, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.Vegetarian Dining ClubCall (800) 484-2587, ext. 3222, for informationLook great and feel terrific! Lose weight easily, permanently and inexpensively while eating all you want. At the same time, improve your health tremendously and avoid all major diseases. These amazing benefits come from following a vegetarian eating plan. Learn how at our monthly dinner events at local restaurants and meet new friends for support and social contacts. Watson Drugs and Soda Fountain116 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 633-1050In a world of ever-encroaching strip mall expansion and bland, urban-sprawl-spawned housing developments, Watson Drugs and Soda Fountain in Orange offers the perfect escape from the pressures and hassle of modern living. Established in 1899 and situated in the center of historic Old Towne, Watson's is a virtual trip back to the 1950s: its professional soda jerks serve up old-fashioned malts in steel cans in a charmingly quaint atmosphere. Specialties include plump and tasty chicken and dumplings, hearty beef stroganoff, and prime rib, not to mention the best burgers and fries around. To work up an appetite for dessert, take a stroll around the Circle, with its myriad antique stores and historic architecture before coming back for a thick, creamy malt. Services: takeout and catering available. Hours: dinner served daily, 4-9 p.m.; breakfast and lunch served all day. All major credit cards accepted.The White House340 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8088Where to go, where to go? If you're stuck for a hot night spot in Laguna Beach, you're probably not looking hard enough. The obvious choice, however, is to go where all the people are: the White House. Every night here seems to be Mardi Gras, with billowing music and joyous folks dancing, dining and living it up. The music is hot, and the food can't be beat: steaks, seafood, pasta, lamb, salads and homemade desserts will give you plenty of energy to boogie until dark. Services: takeout and catering available. Full bar. Reservations suggested. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-10 p.m.Wolfgang Puck CafIrvine Spectrum, 71 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 453-9343; the Block at Orange, 20 The City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 634-9653; South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 546- 9653; Fashion Island, 841 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 720- 9653Welcome to the only place in Southern California where you can treat your taste buds to sushi, pizza and innovative salads all in the same great place. With its lively, modern atmosphere, Wolfgang Puck offers diners an array of delicious foods from which to choose. Wolfgang's favorites include pan-seared salmon on garlic mashed potatoes with sauted spinach and fresh herbs and Cajun catfish with jambalaya veggies over basmati rice and tomato puree. Sushi-lovers can choose from California rolls made with real snow crab and the popular spicy tuna roll, as well as a variety of sushi and sashimi combination platters sure to please. As far as pizza goes, there's none finer. Dig into the famous wood-fired pizzas topped with an impressive selection of exotic meats, veggies and seafood. Live, love, eat. Services: delivery, takeout and catering available. Full bar. Hours: daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.Woody's at the Beach1305 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 376-8809The atmosphere at Woody's at the Beach is as breathtaking as its food. Such starters as wild mushroom flan and pan-roasted black mussels give way to alder-smoked pork tenderloin, roasted duck meatloaf and pan-seared New Zealand sea bass. After feasting on scrumptious French-Californian cuisine at an oceanfront table, you can cuddle over coffee and delectable desserts by the fireplace or relax on the patio. And then you can work off the meal with an evening stroll on the beach. What could be more romantic? Hours: Tues.-Sat., 6-10:30 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (brunch) & 6-10 p.m. Bar hours: Sun.-Thurs., 4 p.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 4 p.m.-2 a.m. American Express, Diner's Club, MasterCard and Visa accepted. Zen Bistro1870 Harbor Blvd., Ste. A100, Costa Mesa, (949) 722-2520Located in Triangle Square in Costa Mesa, Zen Bistro offers a full sushi bar and contemporary Japanese cuisine. Those not knowing what "contemporary Japanese cuisine" is should try the Zen roll, a tasty blend of smoky eel, avocado, cream cheese and rice served for $13. The sushi bar is also quite tantalizing, with plenty beautiful, meticulously prepared cuts of fresh seafood. Services: beer and wine. Hours: Tues.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5:30-10 p.m.; Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5-11 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 5-11 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.