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  • 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
  • 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
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Little La Lune: Over the Moon Little La Lune: Over the Moon

Little La Lune is located on an unpretty part of Pacific Coast Highway, in a strip mall with less than 10 parking spots—and they're all taken. But stay in your… More >>

Il Barone Bottega: Third Wave Italian

Il Barone, in that section of Newport Beach near John Wayne Airport that's basically a laid-back Irvine, is great old-school Italian, the kind of place you take the in-laws to… More >>

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

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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 >>