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  • Article

    Ice Dreams - Chilling away the summer, Mexico-style

    Photo by Amy TheiligIf The Orange County Register wanted to court the attention of young Latinos, they got it. Their six-part investigation last month into allegations that Mexican candy makers knowingly coat their fiery confections with toxic lead ...

    on May 20, 2004
  • Article

    To Eat or Not to Eat - Deciding between bouillabaisse and the Bard at Bayou St. John

    Photo by Tenaya HillsWere it not for the sweet, spiced aromas seeping from the doorway of Bayou St. John, beckoning every passing stomach like fiendish, culinary Sirens, it's possible the quaint Cajun-style restaurant would remain entirely forgotten...

    by ELLEN GRILEY on May 13, 2004
  • Article

    Spin this Wheel and Win! - Karmic cuisine with the Lims at the Wheel of Life

    Photo by Amy TheiligWhether it's your first visit to Irvine's Wheel of Life Restaurant or your 30th, the welcome remains the same: a smile, a pat on the back, and a vigorous handshake offered by owners Victor and Kim Lim. It's impressive, not only b...

    by ANGIE DRISKELL on May 6, 2004
  • Article

    Mexican Restaurant Stereotypes - A Pictorial Essay

    The following images are racist, demeaning to Mexicans, and found at virtually every Mexican restaurant from Santa Ana to San Clemente. Enjoy! Gilberto's, Santa Ana Alberto's, Anaheim Tacos Serrano, Santa Ana La Casa Del Sombrero, Sa...

    on April 29, 2004
  • Article

    Nuoc Mia Vien Tay

    Photo by Tenaya HillsThe best drink in Orange County is also the least advertised. Nuoc Ma Vien Ty in Garden Grove sells an ambrosial sugar cane juice so renowned throughout the Vietnamese diaspora it garnered mentions in The New York Times' profi...

    on April 22, 2004
  • Article

    Just Choose Something - You cant go wrong at Roys

    Photo by Matt OttoThere's something that happens in restaurants--I'm not ready to say it's gender--something that produces in my wife, Mrs. Mathews, the fast-frozen, illuminated-deer phenomenon. It may be the avalanche of offerings that stalls her l...

    by TODD MATHEWS on April 22, 2004
  • Article

    Where Good Cuisine Goes to Pasture - Commemorating the ancien regime at La Brasserie

    Photo by Tenaya HillsLa Brasserie in Orange serves more than mere pricey, divine dishes: it's also a living museum. The 27-year-old eatery specializes in French cuisine that fell out of favor with Americans long ago, food that is quickly becoming a ...

    on April 15, 2004
  • Article

    Solomon Duenas Never Sleeps - And lovers of Jewish pastries are for the better

    Photo by Joy WebberAt 3 a.m., when most Orange Countians are halfway through their slumber, Solomon Dueas leaves Aliso Viejo and begins the 15-minute commute he's made nearly every morning since 1988. The 54-year-old arrives at Solomon's Bakery and...

    on April 8, 2004
  • 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
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From the Print Edition

The Breakfast Bar's a Good Egg The Breakfast Bar's a Good Egg

Long Beach needs to update its official seal to include a plate of bacon and eggs. Sure, the town already has a world-class aquarium, its own Grand Prix and the… More >>

Grill Cafe Should Rename That Koobideh!

Forgive me for being stereotypical, but why is it that Middle Eastern restaurants pick some of the worst names in the industry? I've encountered far too many of these gems… More >>

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 >>