Restaurant Reviews

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O'Neill's Breakfast of Champagne O'Neill's Breakfast of Champagne
Taking on the epic, awesome Sunday brunch at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club resident bar & grill
, July 17, 2014
"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... More >>
Front Porch Pops: Just Lick 'Em
[Hole In the Wall] Erin Whitcomb masters paletas from her Old Towne Orange location
, July 17, 2014
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... More >>
Santa Ana Revival at the North Left Santa Ana Revival at the North Left
Chef Aron Habiger continues what he started at the Crosby
, July 10, 2014
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... More >>
Tamarindo Truck: Maestro de Meats
[Hole In the Wall] Pedro Resendiz and his wife master tortas, tacos and more at their luxe lonchera
, July 10, 2014
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... More >>
Mangia, Mangia Pirozzi's Meatballs Mangia, Mangia Pirozzi's Meatballs
Alessandro Pirozzi's latest restaurant in Corona del Mar is smaller but as good as the rest
, July 03, 2014
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... More >>
Fa-Sai's Dawn of Thai-Mex
[Hole In the Wall] This mini-chain offers Thai classics to a mostly Mexican clientele
, July 03, 2014
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... More >>
The Big Catch Seafood Is SoCal's Prawn Point The Big Catch Seafood Is SoCal's Prawn Point
, June 26, 2014
How can I convince you to try the Big Catch Seafood in downtown Long Beach, like, right now? Maybe I'll start by mentioning the ultra-convenient... More >>
Break of Dawn Is Back!
[Hole In the Wall] Dee Nguyen's Laguna Hills restaurant reopens after a three-month shutdown
, June 26, 2014
After "3 months and 15 long days," reads the top of Break of Dawn's menu, the restaurant has opened its doors anew. And Orange County's... More >>
The Southern Comforts of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations The Southern Comforts of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
Transcending the gastropub fad with down-home charms
, June 19, 2014
Is Bosscat Kitchen & Libations a bar that moonlights as a restaurant, or is it a restaurant that's actually a bar? There was a time when we'd... More >>
Little Saigon Night Market: Bazaar By Bolsa
[Hole In the Wall] This summer event outside the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster begins its second year
, June 19, 2014
Last year, the Asian Garden Mall off Bolsa Avenue in Westminster hit gold with its inaugural Little Saigon Night Market. The premise was... More >>
Where to Buy Ice Cream in OC this Summer Where to Buy Ice Cream in OC this Summer
Sprinkles, Frozen Cow Creamery and other ice cream places to explore and get headaches at this summer
, June 12, 2014
In my humble opinion, there's still no better deal than Rite Aid for scoops of its Thrifty's brand ice cream. It's $1.79 as of this writing, and... More >>
OC's Best Aguas Frescas OC's Best Aguas Frescas
[Hole In the Wall] Where to find the best horchata, agua de mamey and more this summer
, June 12, 2014
Bad news, ladies: As of this summer, I'm off the market. She's a real beaut, although one that doesn't accompany me in this column's escapades... More >>
Old Malaya Grill: OC's Second Malaysian Restaurant! Old Malaya Grill: OC's Second Malaysian Restaurant!
The opening of this Huntington Beach eatery is exciting news
, June 05, 2014
Have you had nasi lemak, the national dish of Malaysia? Unless you're from there or are familiar with the cuisine, chances are you haven't even... More >>
Into the Indo at ABC Indomart
[Hole In the Wall] This Fullerton grocery store stocks all the Indonesian food products you could ever desire
, June 05, 2014
When an immigrant community sets up an enclave, the first two businesses opened are for worship and to buy the homeland's foodstuffs, whether in... More >>
Village Mediterranean Rim: Game On! Village Mediterranean Rim: Game On!
This San Clemente Moroccan restaurant serves Moroccan fare and yummy animals
, May 29, 2014
There are too few restaurants in Orange County that do tagine. The Moroccan specialty is named after the earthenware pot that functions as both... More >>
Dining to the Oldies at Stewart's Busy Apron
[Hole In the Wall] This Anaheim restaurant stays stuck in the 1960s with classic diner food
, May 29, 2014
The blinds are always down at Stewart's Busy Apron in Anaheim, but not to keep out the sun. This is the diner version of that sign on The... More >>
Fireside Tavern Needs No Reservations Fireside Tavern Needs No Reservations
Costa Mesa Crowne Plaza's newest eatery is a hotel restaurant locals need to discover
, May 22, 2014
We'd made reservations for Fireside Tavern—tucked inside the Crowne Plaza across the freeway from South Coast Plaza—but we didn't actually need... More >>
Barcelona On the Go Has a Luxe Lonchera Legacy
[Hole In the Wall] This food truck continues to roll with its pan-Latino menu
, May 22, 2014
Here's stating the obvious: We are nearing the end of the luxe lonchera movement. Few folks are bothering to own new ones anymore; the days of... More >>
El Amerikano Offers Full-Mex El Amerikano Offers Full-Mex
The people who did Kentro Greek Kitchen open a Mexican-inspired restaurant in Fullerton
, May 15, 2014
It was Saturday night, and the parking at Fullerton's Transportation Center was a mess. There's no busier corner in downtown Fullerton than right... More >>
Eat Civic, Where Primo-Mex Lives
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana restaurant mashes up Mexican-American favorites to new levels
, May 15, 2014
The transformation of SanTana into one of the county's best cities for food is such that it's not just gabacho outsiders who are clamoring to... More >>
Provenance: Fresh, Fresh, Fresh! Provenance: Fresh, Fresh, Fresh!
LUCCA's Cathy Pavlos opens this new restaurant and its garden to Newport Beach
, May 08, 2014
The focal point of Provenance, Cathy Pavlos' second restaurant, is the garden. If its raised planters and wall of potted herbs function akin to... More >>
Ching Chinese Express Has Noodles Like Van Gogh Paintings
[Hole In the Wall] The Tustin food stall offers classic Korean Chinese dishes
, May 08, 2014
One of the most accursed pieces of real estate in Orange County is a building near the corner of Walnut and Red Hill avenues in Tustin. Every... More >>
Zoomak Asian Bistro: All That Is Corny and Cheesy Zoomak Asian Bistro: All That Is Corny and Cheesy
OC's newest Korean bar is where you can feast on corn cheese and get sloshed on soju
, May 01, 2014
Have you had corn cheese? Perhaps the most literal foodstuff on Earth, the dish consists of corn niblets straight out of a can mixed with grated... More >>
The Hood Kitchen Space and Market: Collaborative Cuisine
[Hole In the Wall] This Costa Mesa space lets people rent commercial kitchen space and has a small market at which the public can taste the results
, May 01, 2014
Now that the luxe lonchera craze is (thankfully) over, OC food is moving on to the next trend: socialism! Of sorts. Putting together... More >>
The Breakfast Bar's a Good Egg The Breakfast Bar's a Good Egg
This Long Beach restaurant is the city's latest morning haven, with a must-try, secret-recipe omelet casserole
, April 24, 2014
Long Beach needs to update its official seal to include a plate of bacon and eggs. Sure, the town already has a world-class aquarium, its own... More >>
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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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