On a recent drive through Irvine, I stumbled upon a most inventive ad: jostling for space amongst lawn signs for various candidates in the upcoming 48th Congressional District primary was one for the city's Ray's Pizza that read "Ray's Pizza for Lunch." Brilliant marketing—simple, catchy and made up like a political slogan. In honor of Ray's advertising genius—and they toss great pizzas, to boot—we present three of our favorite restaurant logos.
If you haven't dined at this Italian-Argentine chain, you're at least familiar with its logo—a picture of a howling toddler with a bowl full of spaghetti turned over his head, an Orange County advertising icon as beloved as Mickey Mouse or the Spanky's guy. As the name suggests, Pasta Connection likes to prepare pasta—silky fettuccines, blockish raviolis and lasagnas that look like a Bicycle pinochle deck. 1902 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 646-3484; 2145 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 541-0053; www.pastaconnection.net.
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EL RINCÓN DEL OSO
Take a hint from El Rincón's logo—a bear with a malevolent grin boiling a terrified goat inside a cauldron—and order their birria, a primordial goat stew flavored with little more than onions and cilantro. The gorditas bubble with steamy, creamy cheese; contain a sliver of melted butter that squirts out after every nibble; and feature a toasted crust. Mercado Miguel Hidalgo Internacional No. 47, Zona Rio, Tijuana, Baja California, 011-52-664-684-24-91.
ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE
The massive mascot looming over Lincoln Avenue at Original Pancake House—a grinning two-dimensional cook in poofy hat flipping flapjacks—is a city landmark as reassuring to Anaheimers as the Big A. And so are the pancakes—wheels of flour soaked with any number of syrups and gobs of butter. Chase them down with coffee. Good morning! 1418 E. Lincoln, Anaheim, (714) 535-9815; also at 18453 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, (714) 693-1390; and 26951 Moulton Pkwy., Aliso Viejo, (949) 643-8591; www.originalpancakehouse.com.