Restaurant Reviews

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Finding Heaven at B & C Burgers
[Hole In the Wall] Placentia burger dive mashes Mexican with American
, April 15, 2010
Little, forgotten Placentia is one of the stranger cities in Orange County’s immigration wars: a place where the descendants of orange pickers... More >>
Park Avenue: Still a Reason to Go to Stanton Park Avenue: Still a Reason to Go to Stanton
Despite some recent inconsistency, the New American fare here still satisfies
, April 08, 2010
It used to be kind of a rule: Whenever you reviewed Park Avenue, you needed to talk about the seedy-looking motel across the street. And all the... More >>
Chago Ahogadas: Drown Your Taste Buds
The saucy tortas ahogadas from Guadalajara have landed in Santa Ana
, April 08, 2010
Is this column prophetic? Just a couple of weeks ago, in a dispatch praising a Mexico City-style restaurant, I closed the review with a swipe at... More >>
Tranquil's Bodacious Tea Tranquil's Bodacious Tea
The proprietors of Tranquil Tea Lounge in Fullerton do it all for the love of the leaf
, April 01, 2010
I drink lots of tea. I’ve sipped countless cups at Hong Kong-style dim sum houses, stuck my pinky finger aloft at Ritz Carlton’s exorbitant... More >>
Hen House Grill's Chicken, Persian-Style
[Hole-in-the-Wall] This spot is no longer a Charo Chicken, but they've kept the love of the bird
, April 01, 2010
It’s a bold move to open an Iranian restaurant in Irvine next to Wholesome Choice, the garden of grocery delights whose buffet beats most of the... More >>
Double Dosa Double Dosa
At the second Dosa Place location in Tustin, bigger is bigger and, in some ways, better
, March 25, 2010
No hyperbole I can muster will ever quite capture how large Dosa Place’s paper dosa is. But I’ll try. It is the size and shape of a telescope... More >>
Choose Chilango!
[Hole In the Wall] Los Chilangos in Anaheim is anything but 'defectivo'
, March 25, 2010
Something amazing happened in Mexico over the past decade: Its capital became cool. Long-derided as a Dickensian nightmare, its citizens... More >>
Deep-Fried Fellowship at Lenten Fish Fries Deep-Fried Fellowship at Lenten Fish Fries
Smiles and piles of food at OC's meatless meet-and-greets
, March 18, 2010
Since we are about four weeks into Lent, I’m sure that many Catholics reading this have already consumed their fair share of Filet-O-Fish as... More >>
Tasty Teriyaki at Teriyami
[Hole in the Wall] The Tustin eatery offers some south-of-the-border touches with its basic bowls
, March 18, 2010
The “Grand Opening” banner outside Teriyami is beginning to decay, which is what happens when plastic is left to face the elements for more than... More >>
SideDoor Is Gastro-Sensational SideDoor Is Gastro-Sensational
May all of OC's many, many gastropubs-to-be follow this Corona del Mar highlight's lead
, March 11, 2010
Here’s an easy prediction: OC will see more gastropubs. The Crow Bar and Kitchen got the ball rolling a little more than two years ago in Corona... More >>
Pasta Connection Reconnects
[Hole In the Wall] The return of the native pasta-native to Argentina, that is
, March 11, 2010
If you’ve spent any time in Costa Mesa during the past three decades, you know Pasta Connection—the hilarious logo of a young boy screaming, head... More >>
At Sophy's Thai and Cambodian, Choose the Latter At Sophy's Thai and Cambodian, Choose the Latter
Sure, you could order the pad Thai, but why would you?
, March 04, 2010
Long Beach’s Anaheim Street is to Cambodians what OC’s Bolsa Avenue is to Vietnamese. And for close to eight years, one of the most successful... More >>
Go Laotian at Vientiane Thai Laos Restaurant
[Hole In the Wall] The country's only culinary representative in OC lives up to bloggers' hype
, March 04, 2010
First, a plug: Join me as I welcome food blogger and Fullerton native Eddie Lin to Orange County this Saturday. The writer behind Deep End... More >>
Hebaragi's Cheeky Barbecue Hebaragi's Cheeky Barbecue
From pig jowls to beef stomach to plain old steak, it all tastes amazing at this Korean eatery
, February 25, 2010
Did you know pigs have jowls? And that you can eat them? Well, they do, and you can. The Italians cure them into a bacon-like product called... More >>
Chelo's Bakery Is Bullish on Bread
[Hole in the Wall] The Santa Ana panadería has all your favorites, plus a big ol' bull's head
, February 25, 2010
This Santa Ana panadería has easily the best adornment of any Orange County restaurant: a massive bull’s head, complete with neck, mounted on a... More >>
OltreMare's Triumphs and Tribulations OltreMare's Triumphs and Tribulations
Many of the dishes at this San Clemente Italian eatery are indeed winners, but others come up short
, February 18, 2010
A pasta pot pie. That’s the most accurate description I can offer for what OltreMare calls Trionfo de OltreMare, or “The Triumph,” a dish that,... More >>
George's Hamburgers' Breakfast Burrito Connection
[Hole in the Wall] The Fullerton eatery deepens the mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a flour tortilla
, February 18, 2010
Like Cambodians owning doughnut shops and Cubans starting Mexican-produce empires, one of Southern California’s great anthropological culinary... More >>
Sex and Romance at Six OC Restaurants Sex and Romance at Six OC Restaurants
[Sex Issue] Take Your Lover to One of These Dining Hot Spots, Then Have Each Other for Dessert
, February 11, 2010
There are restaurants designed to be overtly sexy, and there are those geared toward romance. Depending on who you are and whom you are with, one... More >>
Savoring the Orange Coast College Swap Meet's Food Vendors
[Hole In the Wall] Discover anew la naranja at its best
, February 11, 2010
Sorry to break the flow of this issue, folks: There’s nothing particularly sexy about the Orange Coast College Swap Meet, unless you enjoy the... More >>
Haley Nguyen's X Factor Haley Nguyen's X Factor
Thanks to the chef's personal touch, you can believe the hype about Xanh Bistro
, February 04, 2010
When H.L. Mencken coined that oft-quoted aphorism “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach,” he obviously hadn’t met chef Haley Nguyen. The... More >>
Al Amir Bakery Rises Again
[Hole in the Wall] The return of an institution to Anaheim's Little Arabia
, February 04, 2010
Isn’t it time already that Anaheim’s Little Arabia district was officially designated? The area around Brookhurst Street stretching from La Palma... More >>
Valhalla Table's Sausage House Concept Comes From LA, but the Most Inspired Items Hail From Indonesia Valhalla Table's Sausage House Concept Comes From LA, but the Most Inspired Items Hail From Indonesia
, January 28, 2010
A Special CasingValhalla Table’s sausage house concept largely comes from LA, but the most-inspired items hail from IndonesiaJust in case you’re... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] On Rooster Cafe's Breakfast Burritos and the Passing of Glen Bell
, January 28, 2010
Thinking Outside the Taco Bell-BashingWe interrupt this regularly scheduled review to wax a bit on the passing of Taco Bell founder Glen Bell.... More >>
Il Dolce Has Mastered the Sweet Art and Science of Pizza Making Il Dolce Has Mastered the Sweet Art and Science of Pizza Making
, January 21, 2010
How Sweet It IsIf you know pizza, you’ll know that Il Dolce offers some of the tastiest and most authentic pies aroundWho doesn’t love pizza?... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] Genghis Khan Is Like Most Other Mongolian Barbecues, Only More So
, January 21, 2010
The Same, Only More SoOut of all the cuisines cooked in Orange County restaurants, the easiest to review is also, paradoxically, the hardest:... More >>
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From the Print Edition

Wei Shian: A Noodle By Any Other Name Wei Shian: A Noodle By Any Other Name

If you happen to find yourself slurping braised beef noodle soup in Irvine, you're likely in a Taiwanese restaurant. The big names in town—A & J, Lao Dong, Chef Hung—are… More >>

Burrito Madness at Paul's Famous Burgers

California is America's burrito empire, from the Mission cylindrical god of San Francisco to San Diego's California burrito to the Inland Empire's garbage burrito, which I described to a friend… More >>

Samurai Burrito: The Subway of Sushi Samurai Burrito: The Subway of Sushi

Do you turn up your nose at those sushi bar Know-Nothings who would make a thick, creamy sludge out of their soy sauce and wasabi? Do you know what brand… More >>

Ellie's Table At North Beach: A Line of Good

Don't mind the sign near the entrance of Ellie's Table At North Beach that says, "Line Starts Here." Actually, scratch that: If there is a line, follow it. But in… More >>

Go Dutch to the Dutch Club AVIO Go Dutch to the Dutch Club AVIO

We were just a block from Disneyland, about to enter a squat-looking building on Katella Avenue out of a Van de Kamp's bakery ad campaign. This was the Dutch Club… More >>

Ramen Zetton: Japanese Quesadillas!

Let me start this review with something unprecedented: a correction and an apology. In our March 14 OC People issue, we misidentified the author of the cover piece on La… More >>