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  • Article

    Smash the Jock-ocracy! - Celebrating a Friends Firing at Evas Caribbean Kitchen

    If you're still not convinced that the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Trustees is the administrative equivalent of a million monkeys typing--except this time? No Hamlet!--then consider my friend. Let's call her Ana. Ana is as SanTana as ...

    on April 1, 2004
  • Article

    Piggie Porn - Fetishizing hog at Seoul Soondae

    Perhaps it's appropriate that Seoul Soondae operates next to a Korean adult-video store in Garden Grove's Little Seoul district. It's not just that the dcor seems lifted from the Boogie Nights set--bleak fluorescents highlighting beige Naugahyde bo...

    by TODD MATHEWS on March 25, 2004
  • Article

    Toobers Chips, Dips and Cheese Steak - This Hole-in-the-Wall Life

    California is the land that made fusion a phenomenon, the state that blessed this world with the pastrami burrito, orange-chicken pizza and teriyaki soda. Add to this illustrious list the nacho cheese steak at Toober's Chips, Dips and Cheese Steak, ...

    on March 25, 2004
  • Article

    Naan & Kabob

    Photo by Joy WeberNaan & Kabob should be renamed Rice & Kabob, since the Tustin eatery prepares the latter platter 36 different ways. Rice with lamb kabob. Rice with fish kabob. Rice with beef, chicken and shrimp kabob. Rice with a type of falafel k...

    on March 18, 2004
  • Article

    Lucille in the Sky with Ribs - The carnal carnival at Breas sole redeeming factor

    Photo by Tenaya HillsLet's make fun of Brea. A city with an antiseptic downtown ruled by packs of Von Dutch-garbed teenyboppers. The Paris of North Orange County. Dry. Home of an electorate that failed to re-elect council member Steve Vargas in 2002...

    on March 18, 2004
  • Article

    Turtle Tryst - Breaking international law via soup at Mariscos La Sirena

    Two years ago, I wrote an essay detailing my futile search for caldo de caguama--sea-turtle soup. The Mexican delicacy was impossible to find for good reason: killing the nearly extinct giants for consumption is illegal in the United States and Mexi...

    on March 11, 2004
  • Article

    Robot-Sex Fun

    Photo by Joy WeberTyping "Graffitea" on Google summons up the confessions of at least seven Orange County blogs raving about the Costa Mesa boba house. Read these online diaries (the most lurid are nessanguyen.blogspot.com, www.drowning-poo.org and ...

    on March 11, 2004
  • Article

    Merhaba Restaurant

    Photo by Lisa HartIt doesn't matter whether you're white, Latino, Asian or even black: when you enter Merhaba Restaurant in Anaheim, all conversations pause as every face in the room immediately tracks you like a periscope. "Yes?" someone eventually...

    on March 4, 2004
  • Article

    You Want Christ With That? - Chick-fil-A sticks God in the deep fryer

    Illustration by Bob AulA particular brand of cheery, glassy-eyed Christianity infiltrates everyone and everything at Chick-fil-A in Irvine, more overt than the Bible-verse references hidden on drink-cup bottoms and food wrappers you eventually disco...

    by Rich Kane on March 4, 2004
  • Article

    Sweet Jills

    Photo by Matt OttoSweet Jill's is a motherly Seal Beach bakery on the city's Main Street strip, a quality not wholly explained by its female workforce. Maybe it's the smell of freshly baked pastries that comforts pedestrians? Or the giant flowers an...

    on February 26, 2004
  • Article

    Parlez-Vous Dien Bien Phu? - A tour of Orange Countys French-Vietnamese restaurants

    Photo by Tenaya HillsHoly Stockholm Syndrome! Many Vietnamese-Americans seem to view the 100-year French rule of their mother country with fondness. Examples abound: a popular local Vietnamese musical production company called Paris by Night produce...

    by VUONGANH NGO on February 26, 2004
  • Article

    Sexing Up Their Zaggat - Chanteclair gets new facade, keep their great food

    Photo by Jessica Calkins There's something vaguely bovine or maybe equine about the stampede of humanity that begins around 10 every night at Irvine's estimable Chanteclair Restaurant. Sensibly suited gray-haired execs and their wives finish their d...

    by ANDREW ASCH on February 19, 2004
  • Article

    Bright Lights, Big Bigots - Happy Veggie Combats Boorish Clientele with Vegan Love

    Photo by Matt OttoA band of pseudo-epicures hungrily approaches the bright lights of Happy Veggie Vegetarian Restaurant, happy but for the notoriously Picky Brother. Squinting and retreating at the same time, he points at a laminated salad picture h...

    by SARAH CALLENDER on February 12, 2004
  • Article

    Londondale Fish and Chips

    Photo by Tenaya HillsIt's a mannerly Chinese family, not a crusty New England clan or surly brood of Brits, who runs this long-standing Anaheim fish 'n' chips joint. The father usually remains in the backroom, so the bulk of the workload falls to a ...

    on February 5, 2004
  • Article

    Its Their First Time - Introducing the inexperienced to the decadence of Le Diplomat

    Photo by Joy WeberAh, virgins. Four in one evening. Three of them sisters. The dream that runs in full color in every perv's head arose for me one recent Friday evening. I had just rescued a trio of stunning sisters from their tyrannical familial ...

    on February 5, 2004
  • Article

    Assal Pastry

    Photo by Jessica CalkinsIn a race toward cultural indifference, rice pudding and rhubarb pie are dead even, unless your rice pudding is sholeh zard, Iran's literally breathtaking version of the simple dessert. Its secret is saffron. But it's not muc...

    on January 29, 2004
  • Article

    Super Bowled-Over - A county buffalo wings primer

    Photo by OCW staffWhile attending college in snowy South Bend, Indiana, my friends and I had a standing Tuesday-night date at Buffalo Wild Wings (BW3's for short), a Midwestern chain specializing in Buffalo-style chicken wings. For just 30 cents per...

    by ELLEN GRILEY on January 29, 2004
  • Article

    Tikal Tienda y Restaurante

    Photo by Matt OttoAsk to dine in at Tikal Tienda in Santa Ana, and the matronly Mayan owner shepherds you past shelves of Guatemalan produce toward a claustrophobic back room. Your supper experience will take place in this tiny grocery's storage spa...

    on January 22, 2004
  • Article

    M & Mmmmmm - Go for the soul food, stay for the soul food

    Photo by Joy WeberHaving drained our usual 25 cups of coffee one recent chilly day, the wife and I needed protein to counterbalance the caffeine. This was a job for one of the area's best barbecue joints. M&M Soul Food in Long Beach is the place t...

    by THEO DOUGLAS on January 22, 2004
  • Article

    Nikos Cafe & Restaurant

    Photo by Jessica CalkinsThey don't make places like Niko's Caf & Restaurant anymore, and maybe that's a good thing. The Fullerton restaurant's once-plush carpet bears the skid marks of a thousand strollers. Hanging throughout the Googie-style build...

    on January 8, 2004
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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 >>