Restaurant Reviews

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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 >>
Al Amir Bakery
, July 28, 2005
Photo by Shannon SibayanAl Amir Bakery in Anaheim's Little Arabia enclave attracts all sorts of eaters, but it works best as an old-style... More >>
Fleeting Scallops
Riding the delicious waves of White Horses churning menu
, July 21, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsWhen I was young, San Clemente meant salvation: the halfway point home after my family's daylong trips to the back-alley... More >>
El Portal de Veracruz
, July 21, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsThe reconquista continues: El Portal de Veracruz is Orange County's first Mexican restaurant to specialize in the cuisine of... More >>
The Asian Persuasion
Great Asian restaurants, and the Asians (and Chuck Devore) who love them
, July 14, 2005
Photo by Heather XBy Nadia Afghani, Gustavo Arellano, Matt Coker, Theo Douglas, Steve Lowery, R. Scott Moxley, Rebecca Schoenkopf, Will Swaim and... More >>
Editors Picks
, July 14, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsWhenever I frequent either HONDA YA, I'm reminded of the scene in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 when Oren Ishi's Crazy 88s gang harass a... More >>
Evenings of Wine and Coke
Sipping gourmet vintages with a classy dame at La Maison Gourmet
, July 07, 2005
Photo by Amy TheiligI sure have a way with the ladies. When I asked Sali Heráldez, the grand dame of Santa Ana's wonderful Sol Art Gallery, if... More >>
Kosher Bite
, July 07, 2005
Photo by Shannon SibayanOrange County seems just too spic-n-span Christian to host a real New York-style Jewish deli, but try telling that to the... More >>
A Portrait of the Food Critic as a Young Man
You dont have to be English to appreciate Brussels Bistro, but it helps
, June 30, 2005
Photo by Heather SwaimA friend in London found an ingenious solution to the problem of lousy English food: he spends his weekends in Brussels. ... More >>
Boutique Samoa
, June 30, 2005
Photo by Shannon SibayanEver wondered why Samoan football players are so freaking big? Visit Boutique Samoa, a Polynesian gift shop in Anaheim... More >>
Ah So-So Sushi
Zipangu excels when youre important, pleases when youre not
, June 23, 2005
Photo by Amy TheiligZipangu is empty. There are two people at the sushi bar, two tables with customers in the restaurant, and not a soul in the... More >>
Beach Cities Pizza
, June 23, 2005
Photo by Shannon SibayanWhen she was a high school senior nearly a decade ago, my charming companion once ate at Beach Cities Pizza, a ramshackle... More >>
The Real Afghani
Dealing with Afghan realities at Amazing Kabob House
, June 16, 2005
Photo by Amy TheiligDespite having the last name "Afghani" and being related to a guy (my dad) who was related to a guy (his dad) who lived in... More >>
Delicias de Mexico
, June 16, 2005
Photo by Shannon SibayanAt some point this June, Fate will force you onto the 22 freeway. You will sludge through its blocked-off lanes, closed... More >>
Better Than Health Insurance
Staying alive with Blue Nile Cafe
, June 09, 2005
Photo by Amy Theilig"Location, location, location," say the real-estate people, which is why they'd think the guys who run Long Beach's new Blue... More >>
La Galette Creperie
, June 09, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsIt was an overcast day—it didn't matter. I was in San Clemente, Orange County's own Spanish Village by the Sea, about to eat... More >>
A Brave New (Yummy!) World
Chakra Cuisine: Irvines present, Orange Countys future
, June 02, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsFor decades, Irvine was the epitome of everything wrong and evil with Orange County: master-planned, sterile and white,... More >>
Weve Got the Hook-ahps
Smoking through the hookah lounges of Anaheims Little Gaza
, May 26, 2005
Photo by Matt OttoBack in high school, I was called "the chick whose parents own tons of bongs." See, one time some buddies came over to my house... More >>
Grilling It Old School
Dine like Newport Beach at Santa Ana prices at the student-run 50 Forks
, May 12, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsThe maitre d' couldn't have been more than 23. His black suit was wrinkled and about two sizes too big. His hair could've... More >>
Hwang Hae Do BBQ
, May 12, 2005
Photo by Matt OttoThe pupils of the waitress expanded even as her eyebrows furrowed. Her neck cocked at a 45-degree angle. Her lips pursed. She... More >>
Rome, Sweet, Rome
Roman Cucina challenges Fullertons Italian restaurant establishment
, May 05, 2005
Photo by Matt OttoYou have to question the business acumen of anyone who opens an Italian restaurant within a meatball's throw of three north... More >>
To Dine the Impossible Dinner
The quixotic quest for great gourmet Mexican cuisine
, April 28, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsI admit it—I'm spoiled. I've spent nearly every Saturday afternoon of my life hopping from wedding to quinceañera to baptism... More >>
Goko Cafe
, April 28, 2005
Photo by Amy TheiligRecent Sunday morning, around 10 a.m. Walked into Goko Café in Laguna Beach with an old love who wanted to "talk." Dreaded... More >>
Garden of Eating
Calling the dim sum races at Irvine China Garden
, April 21, 2005
Photo by Amy TheligThe Cantonese social custom of a late-morning weekend brunch with tea and savory snacks is less a peaceful dining experience... More >>
Moonlight Pizza and Chicken
, April 21, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsThere's a Lebanese pizzeria in Orange County (Al-Sanabel in Anaheim), as well as pizzerias with a Pakistani (Ali Baba's... 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 >>