Five Great International Sodas

Obvious observation of the year: it's hot. Go to these place we haven't discussed in years, all fine eateries, and cool down with their native sodas:

PUPUSERIA SAN SIVAR: The hole-in-the-strip-mall takes special care with their pupusas, which have a crispy yet malleable crust encasing thick, sticky cheese. Meanwhile, an oily, impossibly sugary plantain laying alongside refried beans is like a battle between the lush tropics and the Spartan plains of El Salvador on the tongue; a side of sweet sour cream negotiates a tasteful truce. DRINK OF CHOICE: Kolashampan, a creamy orange drink halfway between Minute Maid soda and milk. 1940 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-2952

Five Great International Sodas

triumphant zenith: raw garlic bulbs transformed into a frosting-like paste thatFs buttery at first but quickly rampages across your sinuses with its smelly wrath. Slather it on SassoonFs chicken--golden skin crispy but retaining juices, meat moist with the savor of smoke, so tender you can easily pick it off the bones with your fingers. DRINK OF CHOICE: Vimto, a British-brewed refreshment that tastes like a sharper Dr. Pepper. 3440 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 516-9600.

Five Great International Sodas

AMAZON CHURRASCARIA: This Brazilian beef barn ignores the multicultural influences predominant in most Brazilian dishes for the straightforward flesh diet of the country's cowboy lands. Impeccably dressed waiters serve 20 types of meat, everything from the Homer Simpson fantasy of bacon-wrapped turkey to well-charred chicken hearts to a great alligator sirloin. DRINK OF CHOICE: Antarctica Guaraná, made from the apple-tasting guaraná fruit. 1445 S. Lemon St., Fullerton, (714) 447-1200.

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