The Laughable 2009 Zagat Orange County Guide

On one hand, it's great that Zagat Survey thinks so highly enough of Orange County that it should publish a naranja-only version of its insanely popular guides. On the other hand, how serious can you take a dining book that recommends Rainforest Cafe as a place to go?!

Such is the double-edged sword of Zagat, the original Yelp! and Chowhound but one showing its years and readership in its O.C. guide. Whereas Yelpers care for the buzz and nepotism, while Chowhounds love the dives, Zagateers in Orange County obsess over the safe. Out of 434 restaurants listed, only a handful are hole-in-the-wall restaurants, where the county's true treasures sit. Zagat OC is the type of publication that recommends Inka Grill for Peruvian instead of Nory's, Brodard Chateau instead of the original Brodard, includes more fondue places (two) than true Middle Eastern spots (just Zankou's, and that's classified under "Mediterranean"), doesn't include a single taquería and even has a category for Asian. At least they didn't classify Mexican cuisine as "Spanish."

There are good choices in the booklet--Old Vine Cafe and Taleo and Gabbi's and quite a few others, but save the six bucks this book costs and just continue reading this publication, which costs you only a couple of cheap ads and gratuitous plugs.


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