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  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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
  • Article

    Great Food Moments in Weekly History

    Photo by Tenaya HillsThere are at least three kinds of culinary adventures: eating food that's bad--terrifyingly, esophageally wounding (in this paper's very first issue, my predecessor Tom Vasich was legitimately offended by the poor taste of most ...

    on September 22, 2005
  • Article

    Franco's Italian Restaurant

    "This is the best cheesecake in the world," bragged the Argentine waiter at Franco's Italian Restaurant, and I had no reason to doubt him. I had just spent my lunch charmed by the homey yet elegant meals at this tiny Cypress restaurant, where the ta...

    on September 22, 2005
  • Article

    Like a Womans Chest - The Rupee Room and the righteousness of plate licking

    Photo by Heather XI've tasted many a flavorful sauce in my food critic days: nutty tahini over the finest falafel on the planet, relishy Bolivian salsa with murmurs of mint and cheese, Vietnamese lemongrass butter so electric I order an extra mound ...

    on September 15, 2005
  • Article

    This Week in Southern Comfort

    Here's a list of Orange County soul food and Cajun restaurants, in remembrance of the calamity in New Orleans. Grace them with your business and company. Ask them to donate any extra food or profits to America's Second Harvest (www.secondharvest.org...

    on September 15, 2005
  • Article

    East Coast Hot dogs

    Photo by Tenaya HillsIf Huntington Beach is the last stronghold of Orange County's white working class, then the shopping plaza on the corner of Beach Boulevard and Garfield Avenue is its culinary Little Bighorn, the place where you find grand, epon...

    on September 1, 2005
  • Article

    This Week in Pork

    Sorry, Jews and Muslims: we eat pig this week. Yes, there are other delicious non-pork items at the following restaurants, but the rest of us goyim and kaffirs should concentrate on the sweet, infidel hog at each location. DINNER FOR TWO: ...

    on September 1, 2005
  • Article

    A New York Steak of Mind - The Corner Broilers great meats and extraordinary roasted bell pepper soup

    Photo by Amy TheiligMidway through dinner at the Corner Broiler in Lake Forest, two little girls walked in lugging bags of pork chops. Greeting them warmly was owner Chris Siedenburg, a short, buzz-cut man with the trim physique of a Whiting Ranch h...

    on September 1, 2005
  • Article

    Kochee Kabob House

    Photo by Jonathan HoAfter a years-long drought, Orange County now hosts two Afghan restaurants: Orange's Amazing Kabob House and Kochee Kabob House, across the street from UC Irvine. It's a claustrophobic place despite the Irvine address; noisy with...

    on August 25, 2005
  • Article

    Plum Pickings - Two grand ways to eat at Kappo Suzumaru

    Photo by Heather XWhen you think of local Japanese culture, you might think of Costa Mesa's high-energy ramen shops and supermarkets, the spare serenity of the Noguchi Sculpture Garden across from South Coast Plaza, Anaheim's Zen Buddhist temples, o...

    on August 25, 2005
  • Article

    This Week in Ice Cream and Other Frozen Delights

    Every couple of Saturdays or so, I'm a guest on KCRW-FM 88.9's excellent program Good Food, where I rap with host Evan Kleiman about the best Orange County eats. One of the eateries we'll soon discuss is Garden Grove's Delicias de Mxico, the wondro...

    on August 18, 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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