Restaurant Reviews

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Habanero Xanadu
Red Rock Chilis Scorched Throat Policy
, December 25, 2003
Photo by Matt OttoChuck wagon cooks accompanying cowboys on long cattle drives invented chili. Or maybe it was prisoners trying to disguise the... More >>
This Hole-in-the-Wall Life
Banh Mi Cho Cu
, December 25, 2003
Photo by Joy WeberThe Bánh Mì Cho Cu experience—from entering to ordering to banging out the door—lasts about three minutes even during the most... More >>
The Bemusement Stops Here
Scallops, Meatloaf and More at the Green Parrot Cafe
, December 18, 2003
Photo by Tenaya HillsA friend took me to dinner last week. It was a fancy dinner at one of the county's fancier restaurants, but I was early and... More >>
This Hole-in-the-Wall Life
Rasthal Vegetarian Cuisine
, December 18, 2003
Photo by Jessica CalkinsBetween an Indian produce store and seedy liquor mart in Anaheim now stands Rasthal Vegetarian Cuisine, the only county... More >>
Wild Artichoke Hearts Cant Be Broken
Rustic Elegance in the Yorba Linda Badlands
, December 11, 2003
Photo by Joy WeberTakes a special kind of kook to appreciate the artichoke. Sure, gourmands of yore celebrated the thistly plant for its... More >>
This Hole-In-The-Wall Life
Globe European Delicatessen
, December 11, 2003
Photo by Tenaya HillsThe meat counter at Globe European Delicatessen is a long-as-a-Cadillac cornucopia of sausages of every grind, animal and... More >>
Paris Hilton, Pinot Noir & Moi
Devouring Lamburgers and Juicy Gossip at Plums
, December 04, 2003
Photo by John PickelleThough I'm one of her most insatiable admirers, I have to admit I'm terribly disappointed in Paris Hilton's recent... More >>
This Hole-In-The-Wall Life
GEgg Rolls, Etc.
, December 04, 2003
Photo by Matt OttoNaming a restaurant Egg Rolls, Etc., implies that the eatery specializes in various versions of Asia's preferred fried snack.... More >>
Tax Shelters, Riding Crops and Grand Marnier
Dining With the Swells at Gemmells in Dana Point
, November 27, 2003
Photo by Tenaya Hills "Not another French restaurant in Dana Point!" exclaimed my sable-haired puss-in-boots, the illustrious Madame X, when I... More >>
This Hole-In-The-Wall Life
El Carbonero #1 & #2
, November 27, 2003
Photo by Rain LaneCall it Guanaco Row: two restaurants, a café, a courier service, a travel agency and a beauty salon/record store side by side... More >>
Some Ziing New
Our salacious savant seeks vintage erotica and miso-seared ahi in historic Fullerton
, November 20, 2003
Photo by Tenaya HillsThis week's fine-dining experience takes us to the exotic burg of Fullerton and its restaurant row on Harbor Boulevard,... More >>
This Hole-In-The-Wall Life
, November 20, 2003
Photo by Joy WeberSunset falls, and the until-then-empty Al Waha B.B.Q. Family Restaurant quickly crowds with Muslim families breaking their... More >>
This Hole-In-The-Wall Life
, November 20, 2003
Photo by Tenaya HillsMeet nikuman, the world's cutest sandwich. Puffier than a cumulus cloud and the approximate size of a small baby, nikuman is... More >>
Bad Kitty!
If this is hell, where do I sign, Mr. Wilhelm?
, November 13, 2003
Photo by Jeanne RiceLegend holds that a black cat could be the devil himself in disguise or at least a necromancer's familiar. And though I... More >>
This Hole-In-The-Wall Life
, November 13, 2003
Photo by John PickelleIn Orange County's hole-in-the-wall galaxy, Jamaican Cuisine Experience is the holiest-in-the-wall. A flimsy plastic banner... More >>
Eating Republican
Stephen Lemons downs dunkel at San Juan Capistranos Cafe Mozart
, November 06, 2003
I've always been what Southerners refer to as a "yellow dog Democrat," meaning I'd have voted for a yellow dog as long as the critter was a Dem.... More >>
This Hole-In-The-Wall Life
, November 06, 2003
Photo by Matt OttoPriorities are priorities for Argentine immigrants, so when Carlos Patti, Abel García and Antonio Ferrari opened El Gaucho Meat... More >>
Bodhisattvas of Vegetarianism
The Pham family re-emerges with Bodhi Tree Vegetarian Cafe
, October 23, 2003
Photo by Tenaya HillsNot so very long ago, there was a vegetarian restaurant by the name of Vien Huong in the heart of Little Saigon. The Pham... More >>
Dog Day Cafe
Stephen Lemons Lies Down with Dogs and Gets Pleased
, October 23, 2003
Photo by Joy WeberIt takes an unusual amount of chutzpah to name your restaurant the Lazy Dog Café. To do so risks identifying your establishment... More >>
Justin Rudd: Gay superman at your service
, October 16, 2003
Photo by Jack GouldJustin Rudd is hot. And, like, perfect. It's kinda Stepford Wife-ish. Except that unlike the animatronic Katherine Ross, he... More >>
Mona Lisa Lard-Ass
Fat man relives The Shining at Disneys Napa Rose
, October 16, 2003
Photo by John PickeleAh, mes amis, this past weekend left me as ecstatic as Eddie Izzard with a new pair of Manolos! And all because of some... More >>
Paradise by the Soy-Sparked Light
Aloha Chickens Spartan surprises
, October 09, 2003
Photo by Matt OttoThe soy sauce-fueled sizzle of meat slapped upon a grill is a constant at Aloha Chicken—that and a powerful punch-in-the-palate... More >>
Suds for Studs
Devouring beers, babes and board at Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurant
, October 09, 2003
Photo by Joy WeberOnce in a very long while, this embonpoint epicure likes to hoist a few with the common man, woman and/or sexual hybrid and... More >>
Gourmet Gone Wild!
Pork chops Doggy-style at Iva Lees
, October 02, 2003
Photo by Jeanne RiceBless my dimpled fanny, but none other than rap superstar and pimp-daddy extraordinaire Snoop Dogg prompted my recent journey... More >>
Hindustani Soul Bread
Ashokas elegant take on Indian bread and other bites
, October 02, 2003
Photo by Tenaya HillsConsider naan, the Indian leavened bread that's the edible spork of the subcontinent, spongy with a bitter aftertaste. Most... More >>
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From the Print Edition

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

Little La Lune is located on an unpretty part of Pacific Coast Highway, in a strip mall with less than 10 parking spots—and they're all taken. But stay in your… More >>

Il Barone Bottega: Third Wave Italian

Il Barone, in that section of Newport Beach near John Wayne Airport that's basically a laid-back Irvine, is great old-school Italian, the kind of place you take the in-laws to… More >>

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 >>