Milan's Grill in Anaheim is Orange County—Maybe Southern California's—Only Czech Restaurant

Check out those loaves.
Check out those loaves.
courtesy of Milan's Grill

Hidden on the outskirts of Little Arabia in Anaheim, in a strip mall on the corner of Euclid Street and Katella Avenue, is Milan’s Grill. It ain't an Italian joint named after the famous city of fashion, but rather the namesake of owner Milan Seidel, who runs the only Czech restaurant in Orange County, if not Southern California. On a normal night, you’ll most likely find a hockey game playing behind the bar with a bunch of local Czechs rooting on their favorite NHL team over frosty mugs of Staropramen (Czech beer) while others play darts in the back.

Milan manning the bar. Go Ducks!
Milan manning the bar. Go Ducks!
courtesy of Milan's Grill

Yes, they do offer Italian and Mexican, but that’s only because they took over the shuttered Demiceli’s in 2014 and wanted to keep the existing clientele while at the same time appeal to the local Latino community. Skip over those menu items and go straight for the Czech classics.

Here you will find a style of cuisine rooted in robust meats, rich sauces and hearty sides of boiled potatoes, steamed vegetables, homemade kraut, in-house baked bread (chleba) and Czech flour dumplings called knedlo. It’s the type of blue-collar food from the homeland that is meant to get you through a long, cold and snow-filled day.

Gulash - the classic dish of the Czech Republic.
Gulash - the classic dish of the Czech Republic.
courtesy of Milan's Grill

If you’re in the mood for meat, go for the gulash with dumplings - a mild dish of slow cooked beef in a reduced sauce which typically includes flour, butter, meat stock and onions. It's a dish so quintessentially Czech that every pub in the mother country serves it and every cook from the country has his or her own unique home-style variation.

Feeling less meaty? Opt for the vegetarian-friendly bar staple, smazeny  syr, a dish centered on fried slabs of breaded cheese accompanied by potatoes, fries or seasoned potato wedges which pairs perfectly with any of their imported Czech beers.

You can't go wrong with fried cheese!EXPAND
You can't go wrong with fried cheese!
Christopher Toland

Whatever you choose, pay attention to the complimentary bread basket that comes with each main dish. Often overlooked for good reason at most restaurants, you’d be remiss to skip on the chleba that Milan makes fresh in-house every day. The thick crusty loaves are peppered with caraway seed and warrant serious grubbing – they’re that good. His wife, Elizabeth, also makes a killer apple strudel if you’re in the mood for dessert. The best part is that you can purchase a whole loaf or giant-sized strudel to take home—just make sure to call in advance. Na zdraví!

Milan's Grill, 1721 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 254-1940; milansgrill.com


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