Restaurant Reviews

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Diego's Downtown: The Missing Link Diego's Downtown: The Missing Link
This Mexican restaurant tries to straddle the culinary worlds of Santa Ana and SanTana
, August 01, 2013
Diego's Downtown seemed to have materialized from nowhere. Apart from the location at the former Cafe Azteca across from the Yost Theater, the... More >>
Vishnu Restaurant: The Return of the Dosa
[Hole In the Wall] Ram Kadiyala's Irvine restaurant sells South Indian specialties from a tiny space—but with big flavors
, August 01, 2013
Last month, in our Eat This Now column, I wrote about my nearly decade-long tradition of patronizing Dosa Place and its second location (formerly... More >>
Tavern On the Coast: Act of the Apostle Tavern On the Coast: Act of the Apostle
Bryan Podgorski flaunts his Thomas Keller cred and proves it at the Dana Point bistro
, July 25, 2013
To any chef who has cooked for a Thomas Keller restaurant, here's a piece of advice: Wherever you go and whatever you do, always flaunt your... More >>
Donde Adela: Colombian Chowdown
[Hole In the Wall] This Orange restaurant is the second Colombian eatery to grace OC
, July 25, 2013
Want proof that God exists? He has not only answered my prayers, but also blessed me with twice what I asked for! Faithful readers know I prayed... More >>
Raise a Toast to Cortina's Raise a Toast to Cortina's
Eat a sandwich or five at this Orange deli while the original Anaheim location rebuilds from a fire
, July 18, 2013
Before I went to Cortina's, I'd never seen anyone clink sandwiches as though they were flutes of champagne. I was waiting for my meal, sitting... More >>
Antojitos Don Juan: The Tastiest Insult
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana restaurant offers iconoclastic Mexican food
, July 18, 2013
Santa Ana has so many Mexican dining options—from tamales sold out of car trunks to banquet halls, from loncheras to carnicerías, from fusion... More >>
Pagolac Is a Big Fish in a Smaller Pond Pagolac Is a Big Fish in a Smaller Pond
The venerable restaurant moves its famous seven courses of beef to a smaller, though not necessarily better, location
, July 11, 2013
There have been a lot of changes in Little Saigon recently, and I don't like them at all. Call me sentimental, but when I heard that Pho Thanh... More >>
Food Factory Grill: A Karahi By Any Other Name
[Hole In the Wall] This Lake Forest eatery has great grub, a bad name
, July 11, 2013
Oh, what an unfortunate name and logo Food Factory Grill in Lake Forest has! It sounds like a warehouse in Vernon, failing to tell commuters who... More >>
No Shrimp On the Barbie At Pie-Not No Shrimp On the Barbie At Pie-Not
Have a meat pie and lamingtons at this Costa Mesa joint, the true ambassador of Australian food to our county!
, July 04, 2013
Contrary to what the Outback Steakhouse chain might have you believe, Australians don't eat Bloomin' Onions or shrimps on the barbie; but they do... More >>
San Giovanni: A Halal Lot of Slices
[Hole In the Wall] This Anaheim pizzeria is one of the few in the county that makes halal pizzas
, July 04, 2013
If you want to know how much Anaheim—in the news much of this year for police violence, corrupt officials and an ACLU lawsuit alleging Latino... More >>
James Republic Counts Down the Days James Republic Counts Down the Days
This Courtyard By Marriott restaurant is not a clothing brand, but rather one of Long Beach's best new eateries
, June 27, 2013
James Republic, the new hotel restaurant at the Courtyard By Marriott in Long Beach, seems to like its jars. Virtually all of the desserts I... More >>
Ikram Bakery Has Your Daily Turkish Bread
[Hole In the Wall] This Fountain Valley establishment offers Turkish pastries found nowhere else in Southern California
, June 27, 2013
Maybe one or two labels exist to mark the goodies at Ikram Bakery in Fountain Valley, OC's only Turkish bakery, but there's no need for them.... More >>
Gyutan Tsukasa's Tongue-on-Tongue Action Gyutan Tsukasa's Tongue-on-Tongue Action
What's that sizzling on the smoky grill in Mitsuwa Marketplace? Why, it's beef tongue!
, June 20, 2013
You won't see any English signage to indicate you've found Gyutan Tsukasa or any warning that what you're about to eat is beef tongue. If you're... More >>
La Flor de Michoacán and Its Amazing Paletas
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana ice cream shop is the best in OC thanks to its rare flavors
, June 20, 2013
As you leave downtown SanTana south on Main Street, the scenery turns into a time machine hijacked by Detroit. Santa Ana officials deem this area... More >>
Is Eleven46 Kitchen the Chipotle of Vietnamese Cuisine? Is Eleven46 Kitchen the Chipotle of Vietnamese Cuisine?
This Foothill Ranch restaurant cooks great food, but it may need to readjust its operational model
, June 13, 2013
We all seem to think we know how to run a restaurant regardless of whether we've ever owned or operated one. So when you find yourself in a... More >>
Lindo Michoacán #2: Fond of the Fonda
[Hole In the Wall] This Anaheim restaurant is where Mexicans eat when they want to eat 'regular' Mexican food
, June 13, 2013
Here's the dirty secret about Mexicans in Orange County and Mexican food: most of us nos vale madre that so many regional treasures exist in... More >>
Carne Asada In OC Carne Asada In OC
[Hole In the Wall] Northgate Gonzalez Market, Rubalcava's and all the other places to buy our favorite Mexican meat
, June 06, 2013
Get with the Reconquista, people: This is carne asada country, so stop trying to slow-roast 'cue in some overpriced contraption, only to get... More >>
Peking Dragon's Sweet-and-Sour Splendor Peking Dragon's Sweet-and-Sour Splendor
This Dana Point restaurant is a good, old-school Chinese restaurant in a city with very few Chinese restaurants or Chinese people
, May 30, 2013
It was Sunday night at Peking Dragon Restaurant in Dana Point, one of only three Chinese eateries in the seaside city, and every Naugahyde booth... More >>
Papa's Fish & Soul Food Is Super!
[Hole In the Wall] This Anaheim restaurant is home to the soulrito, one of the best burritos you'll ever eat
, May 30, 2013
"That sauce bit you in the end, right?" the owner of Papa's Fish & Soul Food in Anaheim cracked from across the dining room, and I had to nod... More >>
Bistrot Massilia: Butter Up! Bistrot Massilia: Butter Up!
Yorba Linda's hidden gem is good any day of the week you want French, but better on weekends
, May 23, 2013
You realize the futility of having a reservation for Bistrot Massilia on the Thursday night before Mother's Day weekend when you get there.... More >>
Little Sparrow: An Auspicious Egg
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana spot is already great
, May 23, 2013
Some food critics are of the opinion that you can't judge a restaurant in its opening weeks, that you need to give them time to work out any... More >>
At Inka Mama's, Mami Knows Best At Inka Mama's, Mami Knows Best
The South County chain's fourth restaurant proves there's more to Peruvian than saltado
, May 16, 2013
There used to be a different Peruvian restaurant at the very spot Inka Mama's has recently claimed as its fourth Orange County location. By all... More >>
Pho Quyen: Absolutely Sweet Little Saigon
[Hole In the Wall] This Westminster spot makes good pho, but go for the to-go specials
, May 16, 2013
We're now reaching a point in Little Saigon's history where the old-school places are slowly but surely changing. Some are closing shop; others... More >>
For a Hot Time In Old Huntington, Go to the Black Trumpet Bistro For a Hot Time In Old Huntington, Go to the Black Trumpet Bistro
Dino Ferraro's French/Italian/Spanish/Moroccan menu would be oddball anywhere but Beach Boulevard
, May 09, 2013
The eateries you'll see on the 5-mile stretch of Beach Boulevard as it extends from the 405 down to Pacific Coast Highway can have the randomness... More >>
Chixy Natural: Twirl-a-Bird
[Hole In the Wall] This Costa Mesa spot makes awesome rotisserie chicken
, May 09, 2013
"Hey, man, you still going to use that?" the surfer-ish type guy asked as I scarfed down my meal at Chixy Natural. Oh, my lack of manners! This... More >>
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Wei Shian: A Noodle By Any Other Name Wei Shian: A Noodle By Any Other Name

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Burrito Madness at Paul's Famous Burgers

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Ellie's Table At North Beach: A Line of Good

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