Restaurant Reviews

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Cooling Off At Mariscos Mocorito
[Hole In the Wall] Orange's new Sinaloan dive helps you attain an aguachile summer
, July 22, 2010
What is it with great Mexican seafood restaurants picking horrible locations in Orange? The second location of Ostionería Bahía continues to live... More >>
Panvimarn's Exploding Crabs Panvimarn's Exploding Crabs
Misadventures at Long Beach's Saturday-night-destination restaurant
, July 15, 2010
From the outside, Panvimarn doesn’t look like much. You’d guess it’s a mom-and-pop hole in the wall with sticky menus and chafing trays from... More >>
Piaggio Gourmet Goes Mobile
[Hole In the Wall] Jose Piaggio takes his Argentine restaurant wherever he roams
, July 15, 2010
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve devoted a post every Tuesday on our Stick a Fork In It food blogto reviewing a gourmet food truck. The... More >>
Meatballs for the Masses at Rustica Meatballs for the Masses at Rustica
Nothing wrong with the familiar and comfortable, if you do them right
, July 08, 2010
For all the worldly sophistication chef Grant MacPherson is supposed to bring to Rustica, the new Italian restaurant that replaced Francoli at... More >>
Little Arabia Grows Up
[Hole In the Wall] Andaluz Restaurant and Bakery spins a sublime shawarma
, July 08, 2010
One of the first food reviews I wrote for this rag was an overview of the Arab restaurants on Anaheim’s stretch of Brookhurst Street, between La... More >>
Well Seasoned at Four Seasons Hot Pot Well Seasoned at Four Seasons Hot Pot
So what if it's summer? Making your own soup is fun!
, July 01, 2010
Don’t be surprised when you find yourself the only soul dining at Four Seasons Hot Pot. With summer just beginning, Four Seasons will be as... More >>
Breakfast By the Boulevard at Pop's Cafe
[Hole In the Wall] Old-time-diner comfort fare in heart of downtown Santa Ana
, July 01, 2010
For a city that’s nearly all Mexican, Santa Ana sure takes its American breakfasts seriously, and its long section of Main Street serves as a... More >>
Chicken Maison Won't Be Cooped Up Chicken Maison Won't Be Cooped Up
The menu at this Middle Eastern rotisserie spot goes way beyond the titular bird
, June 24, 2010
Two things are required any time someone reviews a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant that offers rotisserie chicken. First, there must be a... More >>
Twirly Birds at Don Pollo
[Hole in the Wall] Rotisserie chicken, Mexican-style
, June 24, 2010
I must be honest: As a Mexican, I think we do chicken best al carbón—slathered in citrus juices and patted down with spices, then left to the... More >>
Higher Ground at Canyon Higher Ground at Canyon
Rich Mead's new 'creative Californian' restaurant doesn't fix what's not broken
, June 17, 2010
We were finishing up our meal at Canyon when an older gentleman at the next table said to his server, “Get me the manager.”When Rich Mead, chef... More >>
The California Challenge at Pepe's
[Hole in the Wall] In which you will face a burrito of mythic proportions
, June 17, 2010
Of all the beats of journalism, food writers are probably the most notoriously flowery with their prose, their love of metaphors, similes and... More >>
Buy Me Some Sushi and Cracker Jack Buy Me Some Sushi and Cracker Jack
[Summer Guide] A rundown of the best non-chain eats at the Big A
, June 10, 2010
Summer goes with baseball; baseball goes with beer, hot dogs and . . . sushi? Yes, as you might have already heard, these days, there is more... More >>
Butter Up, Angels Fans! Butter Up, Angels Fans!
[Hole In the Wall] Four places to eat before a Halos game (and one to visit afterward)
, June 10, 2010
While Edwin found the places inside Angel Stadium where you should eat (I still get a kick from buying ice cream in little helmets, even if the... More >>
Soju Think You Can Drink? Soju Think You Can Drink?
The menu at JuJu Pocha exists to absorb the sneaky fuck-you-up-ness of the yogurt soju
, June 03, 2010
I blame the innocent-looking little metal teapot in which JuJu Pocha serves its yogurt soju. It obscures the amount you’ve had to drink and the... More >>
Burrito Korner
[Hole in the Wall] Liquor, breakfast burritos and sandwiches: What more could you want from Qwik Korner?
, June 03, 2010
As Main Street in Santa Ana turns into Main Street in Irvine—just before it shoots underneath the 55 freeway—you enter a geographical time warp.... More >>
Harry's Deli: A Cult Above Harry's Deli: A Cult Above
Quality and Internet savvy have turned Harrison Kho's sandwich shop into a phenomenon
, May 27, 2010
Remember the name Harrison Kho. Right now, you might not know who the guy is, but then, two years ago, you didn’t know about Roy Choi or his... More >>
Binh Dan's Got Your Goat
[Hole In the Wall] The Little Saigon eatery knows what to do with this underappreciated ungulate
, May 27, 2010
Little Saigon is a place of little consensus, and arguments about food have created a dining scene of almost-Balkan divisions. Everyone has a... More >>
Get Fired Up at Inka Grill Get Fired Up at Inka Grill
The Costa Mesa location boasts a drool-worthy wood-fire roasted chicken along with other Peruvian dishes
, May 20, 2010
You notice the wood-fire aroma the moment you walk into the new Inka Grill in Costa Mesa. It’s a campfire kind of smell, the sweet scent of... More >>
The Goat That Stares at Men
[Hole in the Wall] The La Cascada truck in Santa Ana offers birria at its best
, May 20, 2010
The Santa Ana lonchera La Cascada surely has one of the stranger ads in Orange County’s dining scene. A vinyl banner hanging from its side... More >>
Drive-In to Distraction at Ruby's Drive-In to Distraction at Ruby's
Why eating in your car should be an act of desperation, not a conscious choice
, May 13, 2010
If there’s such a thing as a nostalgia factory, it would be Ruby’s. OC can be proud that the chain started here 30 years ago when owner Doug... More >>
Zen Sushi Gives Life to Triangle Square
[Hole in the Wall] At long last, your moment of Zen
, May 13, 2010
Years ago, the Weekly’s then-calendar editor consistently relayed messages to me from Sushi Zen in Costa Mesa. They left e-mails and voice... More >>
House of Great Views and Values House of Great Views and Values
The House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer left out those two crucial facts from its name
, May 06, 2010
First, hats off to whoever came up with the name House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer. As the cliché goes, it is what it is.The brainchild of Chris... More >>
Gyro Kabob Is No Ordinary Beach Shack
[Hole In the Wall] Sunset Beach eatery serves up refreshing Greek treats
, May 06, 2010
The food scene of our stretch of Pacific Coast Highway unfolds like the colors on a roulette wheel: delis and gabacho-fied taco stands. Bars and... More >>
The Dog House Rules The Dog House Rules
From kielbasa to hot links to Habanero Tequila Chicken, this Long Beach sausage shack puts the hot in hot dog
, April 29, 2010
I liked the Dog House before I even bit into a single sausage there. It’s the location. I can’t picture a more apt spot for this eatery than at... More >>
Long Live Nick's Pizza
[Hole in the Wall] Costa Mesa's little slice of Southern Italy
, April 29, 2010
Nick’s occupies the middle echelon of Orange County’s Italian restaurants: not the magisterial dining experiences offered by Pizzeria Ortica or... 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

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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 >>