Restaurant Reviews

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End of the Line At La Habra Heights Cafe
[Hole In the Wall] American food with Mexican flourishes in the birthplace of the Haas avocado
, November 08, 2012
The westernmost point in Orange County is the mouth of the San Gabriel River; the southernmost point is somewhere off San Clemente's beaches. But... More >>
South of Nick's: Cal-Mex Class South of Nick's: Cal-Mex Class
The San Clemente hotspot proves that rice-bean-chips-margaritas Mexican doesn't have to be derivative
, November 01, 2012
The first thing you should know about South of Nick's is that it's the kind of Mexican restaurant that inserts a decorative, hole-punched,... More >>
Chaba Thai: Second
[Hole In the Wall] This Stanton Thai joint will use any edge to lure you from Thai Nakorn
, November 01, 2012
Along with being the OC GOP's Latino-outreach coordinator or cleaning Huntington Beach after the Fourth of July, one of the most unenviable... More >>
Ennar Calasian Grill Puts Japan in Little Saigon Ennar Calasian Grill Puts Japan in Little Saigon
The new izakaya takes over Xanh Bistro's old space
, October 25, 2012
Ennar Calasian Grill has gigantic-yet-dainty shoes to fill—Haley Nguyen's, to be exact. Xanh Bistro, Nguyen's Vietnamese eatery, has been gone... More >>
Paninoteca Maggio: Paradise In Hell
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana sandwich shop makes some of the best espresso in Orange County
, October 25, 2012
A couple of years ago, Santa Ana officials proudly announced the opening of City Place, a bizarrely shaped development of live/work lofts ringing... More >>
Congregation Ale House: Eat, Pray, Glug Congregation Ale House: Eat, Pray, Glug
Drink beer and eat burgers with other blasphemes at this Long Beach brew house
, October 18, 2012
When ordering the rib-eye burger at Congregation Ale House, don't expect anything massively portioned or customizable. This isn't that kind of... More >>
The Eiffel Café Is the Greatest Mall Stall of Them All
[Hole In the Wall] This Little Saigon restaurant in Asian Garden Mall makes French-Vietnamese food
, October 18, 2012
The Asian Garden Mall in Little Saigon is wonderfully, stubbornly stuck in the 1980s, a clash of neon, tacky tile, songs bleeding into one... More >>
Anaïs Tangie, Gourmet Gal Anaïs Tangie, Gourmet Gal
[Best Of 2012] SoCo Farmers' Market empress on her other favorite things about Orange County
, October 11, 2012
Most people's first glimpse of Anaïs Tangie is a blur; she's running around the SoCo Farmers' Market at the OC Mart Mix on Saturday mornings,... More >>
Danny Godinez, Food Genius Danny Godinez, Food Genius
[Best Of 2012] The culinary genius at Anepalco’s shares his favorite things about Orange County
, October 11, 2012
Danny Godinez has always been working and learning. Born and raised in Acapulco, Mexico, he helped his mom to make pozole for her restaurant... More >>
Forrest Cokely, Liquor Expert Forrest Cokely, Liquor Expert
[Best Of 2012] The Hi-Times Wine Cellars master's favorite things about Orange County
, October 11, 2012
When a cocktail recipe calls for a bizarre flavor of bitters, an esoteric kind of Portuguese brandy or a brand of tequila unavailable outside... More >>
Shuck Oyster Bar: Shuck Yeah! Shuck Oyster Bar: Shuck Yeah!
Leonard Chan continues his conquest of Costa Mesa's OC Mart Mix with an oyster bar
, October 11, 2012
Leonard Chan might be Costa Mesa's youngest, most prolific restaurant mogul. Though I don't know exactly how old he is, I'm pretty sure Chan has... More >>
Pepz Pizza Is a North County Secret
[Hole In the Wall] This North County chain is ready to go countywide
, October 11, 2012
Just admit it, Orange County: We are plagued by segregation—pizza segregation. Not only do we have neighborhood spots frequented only by locals,... More >>
Dublin Down at Dublin 4 Dublin Down at Dublin 4
Darren and Jean Coyle unveil a Mission Viejo gastropub that's a stunner
, October 04, 2012
A tip for aspiring restaurateurs: When you open your restaurant, do it as though you mean it. Follow the example of Darren and Jean Coyle and... More >>
Al Tannour: OC Iraqi
[Hole In the Wall] Try the lamb and Iraqi bread at this Anaheim gem
, October 04, 2012
"Where did you find that dish?" the kind owner of Al Tannour asked when I went to the register to pay for my gargantuan meal of a lamb shank... More >>
Kale to the Chef at Healthy Junk Kale to the Chef at Healthy Junk
Root for the vegetarian food, even though it's so-so, at Anaheim's deserted-for-now Center Street Promenade
, September 27, 2012
If you're eating dinner at Healthy Junk, you aren't there by accident. You didn't happen to just stroll by and thought you'd try it on a whim.... More >>
Izalco Is Saving Salvadoran Food
[Hole In the Wall] Fernando Vallardes is making a go of it at his Santa Ana restaurant
, September 27, 2012
Next to 50-cent tacos, Salvadoran restaurants are the most endangered food genre in Orange County. We have enough of a Salvi population to keep... More >>
Battle DIY Pizzas! Battle DIY Pizzas!
We compare and contrast the pies and the service at Pieology, the Pizza Press and Blaze Pizza
, September 20, 2012
"I'd like pepperoni, sausage, meatba—" I started to say to the Pieology worker when she cut me off. "No, I only do sauces," she growled. "Pardon... More >>
Troy's Drive-In: Breakfast Burrito Beaut
[Hole In the Wall] This Orange hamburger stand doesn't make great burgers—but the breakfast burritos are magnificent!
, September 20, 2012
Imagine my surprise when Troy's Drive-In became a foodie must-visit a couple of years ago. Troy's? That rinky-dink place off Lincoln in Orange... More >>
Early Bird Is Egg-cellent Early Bird Is Egg-cellent
Eat a perfect omelet at Joseph Mahon's new breakfast spot in Fullerton
, September 13, 2012
It's said that before you can work in the kitchens of famed French chef Daniel Boulud, he'll ask you to make an omelet. He'll decide whether... More >>
Hooray for Stacks Pancake House!
[Hole In the Wall] This Dana Point breakfast spot inspires lines worthy of a club
, September 13, 2012
When you visit Stacks Pancake House, visit before 10 a.m., before Dana Point wakes up to tackle the day. It'll be busy, sure, but manageable—some... More >>
Peking Gourmet's Chachiang-Cha-Changes Peking Gourmet's Chachiang-Cha-Changes
The Garden Grove staple's Korean-style Chinese noodle dishes remain old-school Little Seoul
, September 06, 2012
The English spelling of the northern Chinese/Korean noodle called chachiang mein takes many forms. I've seen it as jajangmyun or even zha jiang... More >>
Cassidy's Bar and Grill Has the Best Dive-Bar Burger In OC
[Hole In the Wall] Heeding the call of cheeseburger paradise at this Newport Beach watering hole
, September 06, 2012
Cassidy's—fuuuuuck. My favorite Cassidy's story happened about seven years ago, when a girl I was courting and I somehow ended up there after a... More >>
Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Café Is the Bread Winner Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Café Is the Bread Winner
This Newport Beach bakery brings out obscure French pastries and tried-and-true favorites
, August 30, 2012
Have you ever heard of a Tropézienne? It's the missing link between sandwich and dessert. On first glance, it looks like a flat, unfrosted... More >>
Danger Dawgs: Bacon-Wrapped Bueno
[Hole In the Wall] Kathy Hernandez runs this Costa Mesa cart solo
, August 30, 2012
Kathy Hernandez is a slight woman, the kind of gal you figure sits behind a desk for a living and spends weekends getting pedicures. Yet she... More >>
The Mein Event: OC's Best Noodles The Mein Event: OC's Best Noodles
Noodles, noodles everywhere, from pho to pad Thai and everything else
, August 23, 2012
When doing a cover story about noodles, the first thing you need to do is get rid of all the bad headlines that quickly pop into your... More >>
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Eureka! It's a Burger Discovery Eureka! It's a Burger Discovery

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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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Samurai Burrito: The Subway of Sushi Samurai Burrito: The Subway of Sushi

Do you turn up your nose at those sushi bar Know-Nothings who would make a thick, creamy sludge out of their soy sauce and wasabi? Do you know what brand… More >>

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

Don't mind the sign near the entrance of Ellie's Table At North Beach that says, "Line Starts Here." Actually, scratch that: If there is a line, follow it. But in… More >>