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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Little La Lune: Over the Moon Little La Lune: Over the Moon

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Il Barone Bottega: Third Wave Italian

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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

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