Restaurant Reviews

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[Hole in the Wall] Argentinian Delights at Puerto Madero Market in Santa Ana
, October 29, 2009
Any Puerto In a StormI don’t like to review the same location twice—that is, a place that has hosted different restaurants over the years. But... More >>
Kula Offers Sushi Not As Art, But As a (Still Tasty) Commodity Kula Offers Sushi Not As Art, But As a (Still Tasty) Commodity
, October 22, 2009
Masters of (Almost) All They ConveyKula offers sushi not as art, but as an assembly-line commodity—a good commodity, thoughKula isn’t the first... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] Throw Pho Quang Trung's Chicken Pho Before Swine (Flu)
, October 22, 2009
Chicken Pho Before Swine (Flu) If the Obama administration were truly smart, it would tell Big Pharma to slag off. Go cure AIDS or cancer; don’t... More >>
Fora is a Hidden Gem on Naples' Restaurant Row Fora is a Hidden Gem on Naples' Restaurant Row
, October 15, 2009
Fora Good TimeThe imaginative, delicious tasting menus star at this hidden gem of Naples’ restaurant rowIn a city as vast as Long Beach, the best... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] Saved By Cemitas at Anaya's Catering in Santa Ana
, October 15, 2009
Saved By CemitasEvery week, ustedes ask me about wonderful restaurants that no longer exist. Santa Ana’s Nancy Puebla? Is now in Perris. Irie... More >>
[BEST OF OC] El Francés (the Frenchman): Pascal Olhats [BEST OF OC] El Francés (the Frenchman): Pascal Olhats
, October 08, 2009
Ask any OC restaurateur or foodie to name the county’s most iconic French chef, and they’ll likely say, “Pascal Olhats.” Olhats is the closest... More >>
[BEST OF OC] El Mesero (the Waiter): Rick Jones [BEST OF OC] El Mesero (the Waiter): Rick Jones
, October 08, 2009
Standing 6 feet, 9 inches tall, waiter Rick Jones cuts quite a figure at the old warhorse of oceanfront Orange County fine-dining establishments,... More >>
The Secret Menu at May Garden Opens Up a Whole New World of Taiwanese Tastes The Secret Menu at May Garden Opens Up a Whole New World of Taiwanese Tastes
, October 08, 2009
The Secret GardenIf you don’t have a friend who reads Chinese, get one, and a whole new world of Taiwanese tastes will unfold for you at May... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] Beautiful Burgers at Lake Forest's Burger Town USA
, October 08, 2009
Beautiful Burgers In the ’BurbsThis joint would be a natural in Anaheim or Costa Mesa—but Lake Forest? Yet it has stood on Muirlands for years,... More >>
An Encyclopedic Beer Selection, Killer Burger Redeem the Uneven Debut of Haven Gastropub An Encyclopedic Beer Selection, Killer Burger Redeem the Uneven Debut of Haven Gastropub
, October 01, 2009
We’ll Always Have GuinnessAttentive service, an encyclopedic beer selection and a killer burger redeem the uneven debut of Haven Gastropub in... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] Salvi Supper at Anita's
, October 01, 2009
Salvi SupperIf the pupusa is king in El Salvador, then the country’s tamales fall somewhere between viscount and baron in its culinary peerage: a... More >>
Vietnamese Cajun Crawfish With Funnel Cake for Dessert: Thank You, Q Restaurant Vietnamese Cajun Crawfish With Funnel Cake for Dessert: Thank You, Q Restaurant
, September 24, 2009
For the Funnel of ItVietnamese Cajun crawfish with funnel cake for dessert? Today, Q Restaurant. Tomorrow, the worldHave you caught on to the... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] Do the Jerky at Celestino's Meats
, September 24, 2009
Do the JerkyMan, is it packed in here! More than 30 types of sausages stacked so tightly in standup freezers you fear opening the door lest your... More >>
The Stepson Also Rises the Sushi-Bar Stardom at Nana San The Stepson Also Rises the Sushi-Bar Stardom at Nana San
, September 17, 2009
The Stepson Also RisesAt Nana San, sushi chef Goro Sakurai carries on the family tradition with style, taste and precisionMore than any other... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] Cochinita Pibil and Beyond at Anepalco's Cafe in Orange
, September 17, 2009
Cochinita Pibil and BeyondAfter years of hiding in dives across Southern California, the Yucatan pork specialty known as cochinita pibil is now... More >>
Laguna Beach's French 75 Rises Above Its Confusing Corporate Past Laguna Beach's French 75 Rises Above Its Confusing Corporate Past
, September 10, 2009
The Last MusketeerThe remaining French 75 rises above its confusing corporate pastIt’s still a world of uncertainty out there, especially in the... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] In Praise of Hot Taco's Goat On Wheels
, September 10, 2009
Let Us Now Praise Goat on WheelsBefore I rave about my latest find, a special announcement of my first food-related appearance: I will hang out... More >>
The Which Wich-ing Hour Has Arrived in OC for Those Other Sandwich Chains The Which Wich-ing Hour Has Arrived in OC for Those Other Sandwich Chains
, September 03, 2009
The Wiching HourOC’s only outpost of the Which Wich chain should have Subway and Quiznos quaking in their toastersMy first summer job as a teen... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] Calzones Away at Buccaneer Pizza in Santa Ana
, September 03, 2009
Calzones Away! “Does the world need another pizza brand? No. Does the world need a better pizza brand? Absolutely,” reads the “About Us” page on... More >>
Batter Up at England Fish & Chips Batter Up at England Fish & Chips
, August 27, 2009
Batter Up!The deep-fried billy clubs of cod at England Fish & Chips will knock your taste buds (and your cholesterol level) for a loopIt was... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] Mondo Mediterranean Meals at Garden Grove's Kerostena Grill
, August 27, 2009
Mondo Mediterranean MealsYou can enter a self-identified Mediterranean restaurant for the first time, not even look at the menu, and rattle off... More >>
The Crosby Crosses Over Into Culinary Excellence The Crosby Crosses Over Into Culinary Excellence
, August 20, 2009
The Crosby Crosses OverThe food at the Santa Ana hipster hangout is now worthy of its owners’ lofty aspirations“It’s time for the Crosby’s... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] Bring an Andean Appetite to Rollie's Bakery in Tustin
, August 20, 2009
Bring an Andean AppetiteWhat is it with Bolivians and bread? Each of the three local outlets for the Andean country’s cuisine also sells pan... More >>
25 Degrees Delivers on the Burgers, Overpromises on the Bordello 25 Degrees Delivers on the Burgers, Overpromises on the Bordello
, August 13, 2009
I CAN HAS HAWT WAITRSEZZ?In which our critic finds that 25 Degrees delivers on the ‘cheezburger’ part of its mission but overpromises on the... More >>
[Hole in the Wall] The Soup and Cubism Special at Cafe Picasso
, August 13, 2009
The Soup & Cubism SpecialBò kho tends to hide among its peers in the pantheon of Vietnamese soups—no restaurants in Little Saigon named after it... More >>
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The Breakfast Bar's a Good Egg The Breakfast Bar's a Good Egg

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 Grand Prix and the… More >>

Grill Cafe Should Rename That Koobideh!

Forgive me for being stereotypical, but why is it that Middle Eastern restaurants pick some of the worst names in the industry? I've encountered far too many of these gems… More >>

Eureka! It's a Burger Discovery Eureka! It's a Burger Discovery

If I told you that you can have a burger and beer at Eureka! (their exclamation point, not mine), the new restaurant in Huntington Beach's Bella Terra, that'd be enough,… More >>

Sahuayo Primo Offers Pig By the Pound

They sit there at Sahuayo Primo in SanTana all the time: golden sheets or strips of chicharrones, fried morning, noon and night, slowly baking under hot lamps. The stacks of… More >>

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 >>

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