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  • Article

    Grub Guide - This Week in Belated Happy Lunar New Year!

    The lunar New Year came and passed last weekend, but Asian food rocks all year long. Here's some of the places we've obsessed over for the past couple of months. Also, congrats to Sandra Sutphen of Yorba Linda for correctly figuring out that I d...

    on February 2, 2006
  • The Return of the Native - Scampi maestro Massimo Navarretta returns with Onotria

    Article

    The Return of the Native - Scampi maestro Massimo Navarretta returns with Onotria

    Restaurateurs are a notoriously fickle bunch, and 2005 saw some of Orange County's most celebrated--the Goodells, Takashi Abe, Brad Toles of Savoury's fame--leave their popular establishments. But no disappearance was more perplexing than that of ...

    on February 2, 2006
  • This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - Paxtrami Americana

    Article

    This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - Paxtrami Americana

    The jumbo Reuben at TOMMY PASTRAMI represents everything glorious and terrifying about America. This is a mighty tower of flesh: fold upon fold of soft, lightly crisped pastrami or corned beef held together by an industrial-strength toothpick, squ...

    on February 2, 2006
  • !Ay, Mi Estomago! - Orange Countys 61 best Latino restaurantes

    Article

    !Ay, Mi Estomago! - Orange Countys 61 best Latino restaurantes

    1. If you're a regular of Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, there's a chance you've driven by Taquera el Granjenal. Primary, of course, are the tacos: hefty with the grilled meat of your choice, wrapped with two full-sized corn tortillas and sluiced wit...

    on January 26, 2006
  • Latinos We Like - And the Food They Love

    Article

    Latinos We Like - And the Food They Love

    NICK GARFIAS, SENIOR DESIGNER, MERCEDES-BENZ Nick Garfias is a senior designer at Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design lab in Irvine and half-Mexican--his mom is Japanese; his dad, legendary UCI ethnomusicologist Robert Garfias, is puro mexicano--bu...

    on January 26, 2006
  • This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - 
369 SHANGHAI:

1, 2, 3 Eat

    Article

    This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - 369 SHANGHAI: 1, 2, 3 Eat

    Don't eat alone at 369 SHANGHAI, where takeout cartons easily yield three lunches and a breakfast, and the dine-in meals are clearly for sharing. The semiotics of the place say it all: there are just two tables for solitary diners; the rest--some ...

    on January 19, 2006
  • Article

    Grub Guide - This Week in Cities A to L

    More one-sentence reviews, this week with an entry per city from Aliso Viejo to Laguna Niguel. The first person to figure out which city is missing gets a free Weekly T-shirt! DINNER FOR TWO: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

    on January 19, 2006
  • In Vino Veritastic - 
Don Katz serves the goods at Symposium Wine Bar

    Article

    In Vino Veritastic - Don Katz serves the goods at Symposium Wine Bar

    On Sept. 9, 2001, Don Katz fell into a spinal-meningitis-induced coma. Months later, he woke to find himself paralyzed and blind, his dream of running a restaurant gone, his years of culinary studies apparently wasted. The uncomfortable parallel...

    by ALEX BRANT-ZAWADZKI on January 19, 2006
  • The Food Is Always Greener - 
Good Mood Foods  raw power

    Article

    The Food Is Always Greener - Good Mood Foods raw power

    We're supposed to be vegans--it's right there in the Bible. In Genesis 1:29, Yahweh told Adam and Eve, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree ...

    by ERIN SMITH on January 12, 2006
  • This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - Kebab Crimes

    Article

    This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - Kebab Crimes

    Behold the following scene, a day after Christmas, in Laguna Niguel: a muscular white male arguing with a Latina cook over a muffed order of Persian food. The tiff occurred at GRILL HUT, a clean, well-lit room consisting of a counter, a kitchen, a...

    on January 12, 2006
  • Article

    Grub Guide - This week in the county, S-Z

    We continue where we left off last week with our one-sentence reviews. DINNER FOR TWO: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10! $ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

    on January 12, 2006
  • Steaming Art - Tea, Korea-style, at  419 Cafe Veronese

    Article

    Steaming Art - Tea, Korea-style, at 419 Cafe Veronese

    In the United States, teahouses are the domain of the doilies. But in South Korea, the tabang (tea room) is a combination pub/coffeehouse where young adults roam until late, drinking super-sweet teas and engaging in fevered conversation or karao...

    by Gustavo Arellano on January 5, 2006
  • Article

    Grub Guide - This week in the county, A-R

    We get your feedback, folks, and thusly apologize: the geniuses who redesigned our website have yet to put up our fantabulous online Dining Guide. Rather than explain to ustedeswhy this fiasco occurred, I'll just print the names, addresses and o...

    on January 5, 2006
  • This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - Burger Beach

    Article

    This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - Burger Beach

    Even if you've never eaten at Husky Boy, you know this restaurant. It's the burger stand on the north side of Laguna Beach--the one on the inland side as you speed (slowly: mind the local constabulary) toward Crystal Cove, the dive with the chroni...

    by Gustavo Arellano on January 5, 2006
  • This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - Porky Brazil

    Article

    This Hole-in-the-Wall Life - Porky Brazil

    Orange County doesn't lack for stews--we can choose from fierce Korean soon tofus, Mexican birrias, Pakistani haleem, gumbos and numerous others. But none is as intense in flavor as the feijoada served at the just-opened BRAZILIAN GRILL in A...

    on December 22, 2005
  • Article

    Grub Guide - This Week in the Year

    The year's best new restaurants. Spend your holidays here. As for me, I'm off to make tamales! DINNER FOR TWO: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10! $ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...

    on December 22, 2005
  • Oh, Capricious Gut! - The Ritz-Carltons new Restaurant 162

    Article

    Oh, Capricious Gut! - The Ritz-Carltons new Restaurant 162

    The best meal I ever ate was at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel's late, great Dining Room: a seven-course extravaganza with a classy broad, wine that tasted like sunshine, a tuxedoed Russian named Nicolai and a final tab equal to the price of ...

    by Gustavo Arellano on December 22, 2005
  • Article

    Grub Guide - This week in small restaurants

    Exactly what the title says. Buen provecho! DINNER FOR TWO: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10! $ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10-$20 $$ . . . . . . . . . ...

    on December 15, 2005
  • Article

    Multiculti Hawaii - The Loft Hawaiian Grill

    The Loft Hawaiian Grill, a bright-yellow jewel in the midst of Cypress' international-business corridor, is the only local Hawaiian restaurant that features cuisines from each of the Aloha State's immigrant cultures. To wit: JAPANESE: Japanese gri...

    on December 15, 2005
  • Article

    Steak Out! - Meating the masses at Orange County's outsider steak chains

    Though the last remaining herd of cows in Orange County may have stampeded toward the greener pastures of Scottsdale, we remain steak country. Our appetite for gloriously grilled hunks of red meat has produced excellent homegrown steak houses like F...

    on December 15, 2005
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From the Print Edition

O'Neill's Breakfast of Champagne O'Neill's Breakfast of Champagne

"Would you like a mimosa or champagne?" the server asks as you're seated at O'Neill's Bar & Grill inside the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo. "A mimosa, please," you… More >>

Front Porch Pops: Just Lick 'Em

So . . . I'm getting married soon. I've picked some of my favorite businesses to help out with the catering—Taco Maria's Carlos Salgado and Roland Rubalcava to do aguachile… More >>

Santa Ana Revival at the North Left Santa Ana Revival at the North Left

The North Left is what replaced the Crosby, which closed abruptly earlier this year in the wake of a tragic beating death that occurred outside its doors. But for all… More >>

Tamarindo Truck: Maestro de Meats

Tamarindo Truck doesn't need this review. It's already a popular luxe lonchera, finding a loyal following with its twists on Mexican food using organic produce and meats. I've delayed reviewing… More >>

Mangia, Mangia Pirozzi's Meatballs Mangia, Mangia Pirozzi's Meatballs

I'm pretty sure I've not had a meatball as scrumptious or as soft as the ones Alessandro Pirozzi is serving at Pirozzi, his new restaurant in Corona del Mar. And… More >>

Fa-Sai's Dawn of Thai-Mex

Location, location, location! Restaurants live and die by where they set up shop. I wish someone had told that to the folks behind Fa-Sai Thai when they decided to open… More >>

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