Grub Guide

Some restaurants name themselves after owners; others use food references. Here are those that use numbers.



¢ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10!

$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10-$20

$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20-$40

$$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ¡Eres muy rico!

The creations of chef Yves Fournier at 6ix Park are fresh and memorable, a studied California approach to standards such as salmon, steak and pastas. Even more impressive, though, Fournier veers from the protocol of most county hoteliers and offers a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Any day that proceeds from a luscious frittata to a perfect porterhouse and concludes with an apple-hazelnut cobbler with a ginger sorbet will be one of the better 24-hour cycles of your year. 17900 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, (949) 225-6666. $$$

50 Forks, the student-run restaurant of the Art Institute of California's Orange County campus, is the final test for the school's culinary arts students before they can graduate with a bachelor's degree, the classroom where years of theory and strategies get flambéed and presented to salivating, discriminating eaters who grade by pats to the gut and big tips. It's also one hell of a restaurant, with great, inventive platters, and it's more than affordable—probably the only place in the county where you can dine like Newport Beach at Santa Ana prices. 3601 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 429-0918. $$


As dish-and-dine places go, this place is what a Caltech graduate degree is to science: the top of the line. The barbecue pork, with its sweet-and-sour Claim Jumper-sized portions, is enchanting. 15333 Culver Dr., Irvine, (949) 651-8899; also at 651 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, (714) 776-8899; 5402 Walnut Ave., Irvine, (949) 651-8888.$230 FOREST AVENUE
The starter plates at 230 Forest Avenue (it's both the address and the name of the restaurant) give you plenty to decide among, including wild-mushroom strudel wrapped in phyllo with dark garlic sauce; roasted-artichoke crab dip with warm herb-pita crisps; and salmon and mussel stew with white beans and applewood-smoked bacon, slow simmered in a vegetable fish broth. 230 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-2545. $$$369 SHANGHAI
This one excels by alternating between the familiar and the esoteric. The culinary cowards in your dining circle can seek comfort in delicious versions of orange chicken, egg rolls and shrimp fried rice; everyone else can savor entrées usually available only in the Middle Kingdom—or maybe the San Gabriel Valley—like the fish head casserole, a single head sticking out amongst a Sargasso Sea of noodles, with a flavor as sharp and pungent as its smell. 613 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, (714) 635-8369. $419 VERONESE CAFE
In South Korea, the tabang (tea room) is a combination pub/coffeehouse where young adults roam until late, drinking super-sweet teas and engaging in fevered conversation or karaoke. Orange County's best is 419 Cafe Veronese, where you can sip tart Korean teas and sit in private nooks and lose yourself in Life of Pi or argue about whether "pinche" qualifies as a word in Scrabble. 419 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 578-8265. $CLUB 33
Only card-carrying Club 33 members and their guests can enter this exclusive club, located in the bowels of Disneyland. The all-you-can-eat buffet is by far the best in all the land of Disney, which, in itself, isn't saying much. But you can be legally shit-faced here instead of telling park security your soda fermented as they throw you into Disneyland's drunk tank. 33 Rue Royale, New Orleans Square, Disneyland. Only worshipers of Walt can enter.FIVE CROWNS
With ferociously delicious food that destroys the stereotype of British cuisine, you can't go wrong with the beefsteak Neptune (filet mignon topped with crab legs, asparagus and béarnaise sauce) or the Jamaican "jerked" pork chop. One warning: prom-goers love this place—be afraid. 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 760-0331. $$$FRENCH 75 BISTRO AND CHAMPAGNE BAR
The most beautiful bar in Orange County—with prices to match. The resonant thunk of champagne corks popping will be the only competition for the jazz piano as you savor the basil-fed escargot and langoustines with Black Forest ham swimming in herb-garlic butter. 1464 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8444. $$$

PHO 79
Pho is old-school, one of the first Vietnamese chain restaurants in the United States. They have a vast selection of foods from different regions of Vietnam. Try the egg rolls: the deep-fried rice paper filled with lettuce, mint, thinly sliced carrots, crab, pork and mushrooms has an intensely delightful flavor. All of the soups are also excellent. 9941 Hazard Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 531-2490; also at 9200 Bolsa Ave., Ste. 117, Westminster, (714) 893-1883; 881 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (310) 599-5305; $


Do not be put off by the terrifying nominal collision of fats. The doughnuts are good, but it's the sloppy double-cheese burgers that really shame the chains. 24501 Marguerite Pkwy., Ste. 5, Mission Viejo, (949) 837-3909. $

Table Ten is a place where you can eat tacos filled with glossy maple-tinged corned beef in a sleek strip-mall boîte. The delectable caesar salad features hand-torn greens jacketed with a caesar vinaigrette. 124 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton, (714) 526-3210. $

This restaurant specializes in seafood, so skip less exciting dishes like the ordinary tangerine chicken. If it's your first time, order the honey-walnut shrimp, which comes with a large portion of above-average fried rice. Delicious! 669 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, (714) 991-9272. $

Visit Orange County's best damn dining guide at If there are any bugs, e-mail Gustavo at with your complaints!


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