Restaurant Reviews

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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 >>
Natural Selection
Survival of the fittest at the Natural Products Expo
, April 14, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsLike everybody else at the convention, I am the opposite of a hypochondriac: when I swallow something that's supposed to be... More >>
Rubens Bakery
, April 14, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsIn a day devoted to venerating the Divine, my favorite Sunday rite remains the morning drive to Ruben's Bakery, a ramshackle... More >>
Less Whining By More Wining
Appreciating the ways of the oenophile at Tannins
, April 07, 2005
Photo by Tenaya Hills"Mine's the Fat Bastard," my charming companion enthused. Then she thought about what she had just said. "Or maybe it's... More >>
Kokona Hut
, April 07, 2005
Photo by Amy TheligChopped into gulp-sized chunks, battered with sweet rice flour, marinated for 24 hours, then tossed into the fryer until each... More >>
Gone Lenten
Knifing whoopee-cushion beliefs at California Fish Grill
, March 31, 2005
Photo by Matt OttoDespite the boy buggering, despite the lies, despite the record-breaking $100 million sex-abuse settlement, I remain Catholic.... More >>
El Paraiso
, March 31, 2005
Photo by Matt OttoAmongst the well-manicured lawns of Lake Forest, in between rows of suburbia and the ceaseless traffic of El Toro Road, is El... More >>
Banh Mi, Dont Be a Hero
Trawling for the countys best Vietnamese sandwiches
, March 24, 2005
Photo by Amy TheligAmericanslikemeat:many-prongedracksof rib, porterhouses the size of Phoenix, sandwiches so turgid with multifold cold cuts... More >>
Tasteful Gentrification
Oranges District Lounge kicks out drunken Mexicans for good-ol-boy chow
, March 17, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsFordecades,LosVacitoswasOldTowne Orange's dirty brown secret: a dingy pool hall off the Circle frequented by Mexican men who... More >>
Tea and A
Enjoying the beautiful ambience, ass conversations at the Tea House on Los Rios
, March 10, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsItwasadampday,prettyandgraysotheflowers (so carefully cultivated to look wild and blowsy) overrunning the Los Rios Historic... More >>
Espresso Your Love
Remembering paninis and the Italian boy who got away at Kaffa
, February 24, 2005
Photo by Lara MontagneHey,recentuniversitygrads:Rememberyour backpack adventures across Europe? Those squeaky hostel bunk beds? That swarthy... More >>
Familia Feud
Mexican bigotry vs. Cuban class at Habana Cafe
, February 17, 2005
Photo by Amy TheligThe garlic. What's with the garlic? Two charming sisters and I huddled in the foyer of Habana Café, a year-old Huntington... More >>
Ramen Wars!
Slurping through Orange Countys steamiest Ramen bowls
, February 10, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsThis year marks the 20th anniversary of the Japanese film Tampopo, the movie that did to ramen what Spellbound did to the... More >>
Pleased to Meat You
You plug it, Brees Quality Meats turns it into chops, steaks and what-have-you
, February 03, 2005
Photo by Amy TheligWhen a buddy of mine recently returnedfrom bagging a feral hog in the rolling hills of Riverside County's Big Horn Canyon... More >>
High-Class Slumming
Low lights, small plates and big flavors at Motif
, January 27, 2005
Photo by Tenaya HillsMy charming companion andI had already spent a good half-hour running around the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach like Iowans.... More >>
A Dosa Heaven
Ripping through edible juggernauts at Dosa Place
, January 20, 2005
Photo by Amy TheligBefore Super Size, before the foot-long hoagie, there was the dosa: a South Indian crepe made of mixed rice and yellow bean... More >>
Meat Loaf Matinee
Chomping on Americas unknown heartland at Pofolks
, December 23, 2004
Photo by Tenaya HillsContrary to what readers may think, I can't cook—according to my office mates, melting the finest quesadillas this side of... More >>
Hominess With a Brownie
Wedding-cake artistry with the Cellas at Beverlys Best Bakery
, December 16, 2004
Photo by Amy TheligIn 1994, husband-and-wife catering team Carmen and Carmela Cella began renting the kitchen at Beverly's Best Bakery in... More >>
Tango De La Pizza
Traversing the countys Italian-South American trattorias
, December 09, 2004
Photo by Tenaya HillsAn Argentine, the joke goes, is anItalian who speaks Spanish and thinks he's British. And although I never got the "joke"... More >>
Hopelessly New Age-Y But Its Great!
Screw Native Foods milieu and enjoy their vegan bounty
, December 02, 2004
Photo by Tenaya HillsFor the past couple of years, the mosthappening structure in hipster housing has been the yurt, the lightweight circular... More >>
Pay More Attention to Falling Notes
Of Vine, wine and conspiratorial romance
, November 25, 2004
Photo by Amy TheligI don't have a computermonitor at work so much as a glowing cube where Post-It notes go to die. Canary-yellow squares clamor... More >>
Bin Bin Konjac
, November 25, 2004
Photo by Matt OttoModesty is unknown to Bin Bin Konjac, a sleek three-month-old Irvine smoothie shop where the owners list as many self-written... More >>
Super Pollo
, November 18, 2004
Photo by Nadia AfghaniMy mother visited Super Pollo in Costa Mesa for the first time a couple of weeks ago and immediately started mentioning... More >>
Allah Carte
Breaking the Ramadan fast with the Islamic Centers Auntie Fatima
, November 11, 2004
Photo by Tenaya HillsIt starts with a date: the fruit type of date, not the ask-someone-out-and-hope-to-get-lucky kind. That's how parishioners... More >>
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Front Porch Pops: Just Lick 'Em

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Tamarindo Truck: Maestro de Meats

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