Restaurant Reviews

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Nirvana, Corn Chip-style
Solving the origin myth of Laguna Beach’s Have’A Chips
, November 24, 2005
A bag of Have’A Corn Chips hasnothingto hide. The translucent bag lets you see the tantalizing, soy-stained product within. Its packaging states,... More >>
Fine Chicken
, November 24, 2005
There’s a reason Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle is so focused on redeveloping the region around Anaheim Stadium rather than the city’s historical... More >>
Good Food, No Hit: No Problem
Tim DeCinces redeems his baseball career at Beach Pit BBQ
, November 17, 2005
Tim DeCinces didn't amount to much as a baseball player. The Baltimore Orioles chose the son of former California Angels third baseman Doug... More >>
Salamat Market and Deli
, November 17, 2005
For more than a decade, Salamat Market and Deli in Orange offered sandwiches, stews and kebabs—but that's all about to change. Not that there's... More >>
Poetic Toro
The tasting menu at Sushi Shibucho: A review in haiku
, November 10, 2005
Say "Omakase." Utter this and nothing else. Shibutani nods. No seats at the bar? Regular tables are fine. His wife serves us here. Her smile... More >>
Calling All Billy Kids!
Fine dining arrives in Stanton thanks to Park Ave.
, November 03, 2005
Why would a Beverly Hills celebrity chef—named one of the country's Top 12 two years ago by the Fine Dining Awards—leave it all for Stanton?... More >>
Mahina Hawaiian BBQ
, November 03, 2005
Spam musubi—a bastardized form of sushi consisting of seaweed paper, a block of sour sushi rice and a juicy Spam slice doused with barbecue... More >>
The soggy/succulent Italian beef and Chicago hot dogs of Portillo's arrive in Buena Park
, October 27, 2005
Photo by Amy TheiligThe fat man was quiet, overtaken by the kind of hush that paralyzes humans when they step inside the Sistine Chapel or view... More >>
The Gabacho Blues
Mozambique in Laguna Beach is great once you pass the birds
, October 13, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsPoor parrots. They just sit there in big cages near the entrance of Mozambique, the new Laguna Beach restaurant that looks... More >>
Avanti Cafe
, October 13, 2005
Costa Mesa remains the Berkeley of the local dining scene. Standbys such as the Gypsy Den, Taco Mesa and Native Foods produce some of the... More >>
Fast, Hot, Cheap, Delicious
A & J Restaurant brings northern Chinese food to Irvinelike salted soymilk!
, October 06, 2005
Photo by Matt OttoSalted soymilk isn't the most attractive breakfast. Neither solid nor liquid, it's a clumpy porridge of oatmeal and herbs. The... More >>
Swift Souffle Serenade
Non-hurried, elegant dining at Savoies Fare
, October 06, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsTime was running short. My dining partner had a concert to attend; a night of romance awaited me. We had finished our... More >>
Caraz Dulzura
, October 06, 2005
In Peru, the city of Caraz Dulzura occupies a mountainous region so idyllic some call it the Switzerland of the Andes. In Anaheim, Caraz Dulzura... More >>
Great Food Moments in Weekly History
, September 22, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsThere are at least three kinds of culinary adventures: eating food that's bad—terrifyingly, esophageally wounding (in this... More >>
Franco's Italian Restaurant
, September 22, 2005
"This is the best cheesecake in the world," bragged the Argentine waiter at Franco's Italian Restaurant, and I had no reason to doubt him. I had... More >>
Like a Womans Chest
The Rupee Room and the righteousness of plate licking
, September 15, 2005
Photo by Heather XI've tasted many a flavorful sauce in my food critic days: nutty tahini over the finest falafel on the planet, relishy Bolivian... More >>
A New York Steak of Mind
The Corner Broilers great meats and extraordinary roasted bell pepper soup
, September 01, 2005
Photo by Amy TheiligMidway through dinner at the Corner Broiler in Lake Forest, two little girls walked in lugging bags of pork chops. Greeting... More >>
East Coast Hot dogs
, September 01, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsIf Huntington Beach is the last stronghold of Orange County's white working class, then the shopping plaza on the corner of... More >>
Plum Pickings
Two grand ways to eat at Kappo Suzumaru
, August 25, 2005
Photo by Heather XWhen you think of local Japanese culture, you might think of Costa Mesa's high-energy ramen shops and supermarkets, the spare... More >>
Kochee Kabob House
, August 25, 2005
Photo by Jonathan HoAfter a years-long drought, Orange County now hosts two Afghan restaurants: Orange's Amazing Kabob House and Kochee Kabob... More >>
Ricas Tortas Ahogadas
, August 18, 2005
Photo by Matt OttoThere's a couple of Orange County loncheras trained in the art of the torta ahogada—the tasty, salsa-soaked sandwich native to... More >>
Patty the Bunny
The Dutch army, a Thai named Bunny and the greatness of the Wild Rabbit
, August 11, 2005
Heather XDecades ago, my friend's father joined the Dutch army. As part of the training, each soldier had to raise a baby bunny and give it a... More >>
Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie
, August 11, 2005
Photo by Amy TheiligIt's easy to see why Vietnamese continue to romanticize the French more than 50 years after Dien Bien Phu. The answer is... More >>
Island Grill
, August 04, 2005
Photo by Shannon SibayanA couple sits next to the window at Island Grill, slowly spooning through a multicolored column of shaved ice. The column... More >>
Burger Safari
Ground beef well-done with a side of amnesia
, July 28, 2005
Photo by James BunoanIn 1999, Viliumas Malinauskas opened a Lithuanian theme park to honor the Baltic nation's Soviet past. Critics dubbed it... More >>
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From the Print Edition

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 >>

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 >>