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  • Article

    Poetic Toro - The tasting menu at Sushi Shibucho: A review in haiku

    Say "Omakase." Utter this and nothing else. Shibutani nods. No seats at the bar? Regular tables are fine. His wife serves us here. Her smile melts our hearts. Steaming-hot towels are brought out. It refreshes me. Cup of hot green...

    by Edwin Goei on November 10, 2005
  • Article

    Quan He Pho

    Quan He Pho belongs under the nhau classification of Little Saigon dives--a local pub for drinking, debauchery and chicken wings. But far from hardcore, there's something playful about the bright, boba-pop dcor. Quan He Pho has a comprehensive Viet...

    by TAYLUR THU HIEN NGO on November 3, 2005
  • Article

    Mahina Hawaiian BBQ

    Spam musubi--a bastardized form of sushi consisting of seaweed paper, a block of sour sushi rice and a juicy Spam slice doused with barbecue sauce--is probably the only appetizer in Orange County that can shatter a car window. At the sparse, clean M...

    on November 3, 2005
  • Article

    This Week in Lamb

    Jews and Muslims won't eat pork. Hindus stay away from cows. Americans don't dig horses as food; Mexicans think munching on dogs is disgusting despite their Aztec forefathers. No right-minded soul would eat chicken in these avian-flu days. And so we...

    on November 3, 2005
  • Article

    Calling All Billy Kids! - Fine dining arrives in Stanton thanks to Park Ave.

    Why would a Beverly Hills celebrity chef--named one of the country's Top 12 two years ago by the Fine Dining Awards--leave it all for Stanton? "That seems to be what everybody wants to know," David Slay says with a laugh. Formerly of Beverly Hil...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on November 3, 2005
  • Article

    This Week in Local Chains

    The people? They like the chains. Despite Marx and Engels' admonition to break them, the people say what the hell, let's eat Olive Garden. (Seriously: read it in the Register's Best of Orange County.) But good chain restaurants abound, some of them ...

    on October 27, 2005
  • Article

    'Wooooooooooow!' - The soggy/succulent Italian beef and Chicago hot dogs of Portillo's arrive in Buena Park

    Photo by Amy TheiligThe fat man was quiet, overtaken by the kind of hush that paralyzes humans when they step inside the Sistine Chapel or view the birth of their first-born. He was just one of the hundreds who had gathered in Buena Park for the unv...

    on October 27, 2005
  • Article

    My Neighborhood Bar

    Photo by Jonathan HoTo spend an autumn Sunday in Orange County anywhere but Rudy's Pub & Grill is to sin, for the Lord hath designated Rudy's football-watching heaven. In this Eden of ESPN, homesick transplants and natives peacefully co-exist for th...

    by MATT TUCKER on October 27, 2005
  • Article

    This Week in Ramadan and Rosh Hashana

    It's Ramadan time again, which means Auntie Fatima Rahman once again lords it over the iftar--the evening meal with which Muslims break their daily fast--at the Islamic Society of Orange County, the oldest mosque in these conservative-Christian badl...

    on October 13, 2005
  • Article

    La Cave

    Photo by John GilhooleyTo say La Cave is cool seems to cheapen it somehow. But after pillaging my mental thesaurus and several cocktails, there really is no other word that describes my watering hole in such a beautifully succinct, unpretentious and...

    by KRISTINA COFFEEN on October 13, 2005
  • Article

    Avanti Cafe

    Costa Mesa remains the Berkeley of the local dining scene. Standbys such as the Gypsy Den, Taco Mesa and Native Foods produce some of the county's best healthy fare, while Mother's Market sells virtually every organic item your pantry could desire--...

    on October 13, 2005
  • Article

    The Gabacho Blues - Mozambique in Laguna Beach is great once you pass the birds

    Photo by Tenaya HillsPoor parrots. They just sit there in big cages near the entrance of Mozambique, the new Laguna Beach restaurant that looks and sometimes feels like a conquistador fortress perched on the cliffs of a colonial stronghold. Guests i...

    on October 13, 2005
  • Article

    Captain Bombay's

    Photo by Erin SmithErnest Hemingway talks to me all the time here--really, him and not the poster of him behind the dilapidated bar. No one ever notices my conversations with Hemingway at Captain Bombay's, and if they did, all they would hear is Pap...

    by JOSEPH SCHIFFMAN on October 6, 2005
  • Article

    This Week in Great Restaurant Logos

    On a recent drive through Irvine, I stumbled upon a most inventive ad: jostling for space amongst lawn signs for various candidates in the upcoming 48th Congressional District primary was one for the city's Ray's Pizza that read "Ray's Pizza for Lun...

    on October 6, 2005
  • Article

    Caraz Dulzura

    In Peru, the city of Caraz Dulzura occupies a mountainous region so idyllic some call it the Switzerland of the Andes. In Anaheim, Caraz Dulzura resides in somewhat grittier environs--across the street from Anaheim High School, close to an auto repa...

    on October 6, 2005
  • Article

    Pauls Cocktails

    Photo by Tenaya HillsI started haunting Paul's Cocktails as soon as the law let me and can't exactly remember when I've ever left. Paul's is dive bar perfection, a place where souses of varying caliber can co-exist without judgment under the laissez...

    by ERIN SMITH on October 6, 2005
  • Article

    This Week in Cheese

    Cheese is in again, with many households stocking up on the fromage of various countries and animals (haven't had camel's cheese? Oh, you poor soul). But most restaurants still settle for the standards--Parmesan, Cheddar, Romano. These eateries, how...

    on October 6, 2005
  • Article

    Fast, Hot, Cheap, Delicious - A & J Restaurant brings northern Chinese food to Irvinelike salted soymilk!

    Photo by Matt OttoSalted soymilk isn't the most attractive breakfast. Neither solid nor liquid, it's a clumpy porridge of oatmeal and herbs. The orange hue comes from the dried shrimp, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and pork flakes that mingle and f...

    by BONNIE YUET-YEN HO on October 6, 2005
  • Article

    Swift Souffle Serenade - Non-hurried, elegant dining at Savoies Fare

    Photo by Tenaya HillsTime was running short. My dining partner had a concert to attend; a night of romance awaited me. We had finished our fabulous dinner at Savoie's Fare in Laguna Niguel and now eagerly awaited the Grand Marnier souffl our charmi...

    on October 6, 2005
  • Article

    JC Fandango

    Photo by Jack GouldI can spend just one week leaning against the marbled bar at JC Fandango and see the entirety of the human experience pass: metaleros with enough steel on their torn jackets to warp a compass; nervous gabachas overdressed for thei...

    on September 22, 2005
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From the Print Edition

Eureka! It's a Burger Discovery Eureka! It's a Burger Discovery

If I told you that you can have a burger and beer at Eureka! (their exclamation point, not mine), the new restaurant in Huntington Beach's Bella Terra, that'd be enough,… More >>

Sahuayo Primo Offers Pig By the Pound

They sit there at Sahuayo Primo in SanTana all the time: golden sheets or strips of chicharrones, fried morning, noon and night, slowly baking under hot lamps. The stacks of… More >>

Wei Shian: A Noodle By Any Other Name Wei Shian: A Noodle By Any Other Name

If you happen to find yourself slurping braised beef noodle soup in Irvine, you're likely in a Taiwanese restaurant. The big names in town—A & J, Lao Dong, Chef Hung—are… More >>

Burrito Madness at Paul's Famous Burgers

California is America's burrito empire, from the Mission cylindrical god of San Francisco to San Diego's California burrito to the Inland Empire's garbage burrito, which I described to a friend… More >>

Samurai Burrito: The Subway of Sushi Samurai Burrito: The Subway of Sushi

Do you turn up your nose at those sushi bar Know-Nothings who would make a thick, creamy sludge out of their soy sauce and wasabi? Do you know what brand… More >>

Ellie's Table At North Beach: A Line of Good

Don't mind the sign near the entrance of Ellie's Table At North Beach that says, "Line Starts Here." Actually, scratch that: If there is a line, follow it. But in… More >>

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