Restaurant Reviews

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Thanh Ha's Crepe Expectations Thanh Ha's Crepe Expectations
The Vietnamese crepes at this Westminster restaurant are a worthy challenger to those at the venerable Van's Restaurant
, February 14, 2013
You're one of two kinds of bánh xèo eater. Are you the kind that takes a whole leaf of lettuce to wrap a shard or two of the crispy Vietnamese... More >>
Nubia Cafe Is the Jewel of Little Arabia
[Hole In the Wall] This Anaheim hookah lounge bests its competition with great food
, February 14, 2013
Anaheim's Little Arabia neighborhood has a slew of hookah lounges, each favored by a certain segment of the county's vast Middle Eastern/Muslim... More >>
Rebel Bite's Headquarters Rebel Bite's Headquarters
This Long Beach luxe lonchera settles down to become a great restaurant
, February 07, 2013
Did you know that Rebel Bite, a newly minted restaurant in Long Beach, used to be a food truck? I only realized this when I saw a mention of it... More >>
Buns N Rice: The Chosun Ones
[Hole In the Wall] This Costa Mesa deli is slowly introducing office drones to Korean cuisine
, February 07, 2013
If Cambodians run the doughnut-shop industry in Orange County and Cuernavacans the loncheras, then Koreans are surely the masters of the... More >>
The Globe's Beer Goggles The Globe's Beer Goggles
This Garden Grove tavern appears to be from a previous era, but its Belgian beers and food are wonderful
, January 31, 2013
You'd be mistaken if you assumed the Globe was just another newfangled, fashionably modern gastropub. It may bill itself as that, but when you... More >>
301 Cafe Is a Cal-Mex Shrine
[Hole In the Wall] This Placentia dive serves chimichangas, enchiladas, and the best wet burrito around
, January 31, 2013
If you haven't checked out our cover story this week, make sure to do it now: It's one big love letter to beer in OC, pegged to promote our... More >>
Scraps: The Real Asian Tapas Scraps: The Real Asian Tapas
This Huntington Beach restaurant serves small plates with promising, if as-yet unfulfilled, results
, January 24, 2013
The first topic of conversation that might come up when you go to Scraps will probably be the same one that came up for us: "Scraps" isn't the... More >>
Pho Song Hai's Drip In Time
[Hole In the Wall] This Westminster pho shop sells a unique type of the legendary chicken soup
, January 24, 2013
Make sure to take a book when you visit Pho Song Hai—may I suggest The Iliad or something similarly hefty? Because the wait will be long—like,... More >>
Earl of Sandwich Is Hardly Upper Crust Earl of Sandwich Is Hardly Upper Crust
Downtown Disney is the latest conquest by the growing chain
, January 17, 2013
The story behind the Earl of Sandwich chain sounds too surreal to be true. The men behind it are none other than the actual 11th Earl of Sandwich... More >>
Ararat Armenian's Second-Gen Success Story
[Hole In the Wall] This Anaheim restaurant manages to serve great Armenian and Middle Eastern cuisine from a hidden location
, January 17, 2013
Three restaurants in Anaheim have confounded me for most of my adult life for their ability to stay open. One is Tony's Deli off Anaheim... More >>
Soy Tofu: Tofu or Not Tofu Soy Tofu: Tofu or Not Tofu
This La Palma Korean dive serves soft tofu soup to warm your bones
, January 10, 2013
It's cold out. Rainy, in fact. The wind pricks at your face as though made of daggers of ice, and you can't remember the last time your toes... More >>
Bristol Food Court: Multi-Culti Mexi
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana collection sells Chinese, Vietnamese, Turkish—and, of course, Mexican food
, January 10, 2013
Perhaps no shopping plaza in Orange County is more Mexican than the one occupying the southwest corner of Bristol Street and McFadden Avenue in... More >>
Wild Goose Tavern's Sausage Party Wild Goose Tavern's Sausage Party
The new Costa Mesa eatery knows its wieners
, January 03, 2013
A lovely loaf cradles the sausage sandwiches at Wild Goose Tavern. It's big and pillowy, thicker than the average hot-dog bun, and when you bite... More >>
The Grilled Cheese Spot Is Spot-On
[Hole In the Wall] Aron Habiger's Santa Ana restaurant makes nothing but grilled-cheese sandwiches—brilliant!
, January 03, 2013
It's the restaurant launched by a simple $5 sandwich, this Grilled Cheese Spot, this cubby hole of a gem that's as close to an NYC state of... More >>
Read Stick a Fork In It! Read Stick a Fork In It!
If you're still not reading our food, then you're mean
, December 27, 2012
So you like our food section in this infernal rag? You don't know the half of it. Every day, our Stick a Fork In It blog brings you the best in... More >>
The Attic: Old Folks At Home The Attic: Old Folks At Home
The Long Beach gem serves great Southern fare in a creaky Craftsman house
, December 20, 2012
I'm seated next to an honest-to-goodness fireplace in a Craftsman house built in the 1920s. When a server walks past carrying a tray loaded with... More >>
Go to Nimroz for an Afghan Holiday
[Hole In the Wall] This Lake Forest restaurant is lonely, so go give it some love!
, December 20, 2012
The view outside Nimroz in Lake Forest right now is out of a New England township come fall. Deciduous trees are losing their leaves; their... More >>
Embarcadero: The San Francisco Treat Embarcadero: The San Francisco Treat
The bistro brings a little bit of the Bay Area to the boonies we call RSM
, December 13, 2012
You're on the 241, heading as far east as you can go before hitting the Cleveland National Forest. The LA radio station you're tuned to begins to... More >>
Koo's Catering Truck: Are You Hot for Hotteok?
[Hole In the Wall] This Garden Grove food truck makes awesome Korean pancakes—but they're not pancakes!
, December 13, 2012
Koo's Catering Truck is a misnomer in many ways. It's not, for instance, associated with the late, great Koo's Café of local DIY fame. It doesn't... More >>
Au NatuRaw: Cooks Who Don't Cook Au NatuRaw: Cooks Who Don't Cook
The Santa Ana eatery offers raw food to downtown Santa Ana
, December 06, 2012
I respect the dietary choices made by all vegans and vegetarians, but I'm particularly in awe of the commitment required by the raw-food... More >>
Rance's Chicago Pizza Serves Cheesy Bricks
[Hole In the Wall] This Costa Mesa spot makes legit Windy City-style deep-dish and stuffed pies
, December 06, 2012
Rance Ruiz is planning for something big—you can sense it upon entering his eponymous spot in Costa Mesa. IPAs and other craft beers flow from... More >>
The Ally Goes All In The Ally Goes All In
The Garden Grove restaurant has an overachieving, enthusiastically erratic menu that includes a killer spaghetti dish
, November 29, 2012
I nearly choked on my water when a tablemate called his dish of spaghetti with ground beef, bacon and a fried egg "trailer-park food." Since he... More >>
Phuong Restaurant's Viet Funk
[Hole In the Wall] This Garden Grove classic serves messy, wonderful bowls of soup and noodles
, November 29, 2012
Even in the messy world of Vietnamese dining—in which the gentlest noodle slurp unleashes a cascade of soup drippings; a bite into a bánh mì... More >>
Dana Point's the Point: Spot On Dana Point's the Point: Spot On
Check out this bar where kids are welcome
, November 21, 2012
Who says you can't take your kids to a bar? That's the point of the Point, a new bar and restaurant that pretty much encourages you to do so.... More >>
Franco's Pasta Cucina: Food Court Done Right
[Hole In the Wall] This Irvine stall serves Italian classics quickly and wonderfully
, November 21, 2012
When your plate is ready at Franco's Pasta Cucina, chef Gloria Mogollón doesn't call out your order number, even though her cashier issued you... 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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O'Neill's Breakfast of Champagne O'Neill's Breakfast of Champagne

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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 >>