Grub Guide

“Ask and ye shall receive” said the Nazarene, and so do I. A reader e-mailed me earlier this week wanting to know when I would devote Grub Guide to duck. How about . . . now? If you want your yen covered, e-mail me and I'll probably do it!


¢ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10!

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It's bright and manly, with paintings that scream Fatherland. The menu includes duck, elk, wild boar—and the sauerbraten kicks ass. Sauerbraten rules! Parents: ask to be seated in “The Pit,” where your demon spawn won't bug diners noshing on Bambi's mom. 2525 E. Ball Rd., Anaheim, (714) 520-9500; $$BISTRO LE CRILLON
A quaint, Provençal-themed restaurant named after the village in Provence from which chef Chantal Berton's family hails. The cassoulet c'est magnifique, a hearty mixture of flageolets blancs (white French beans), confit of duck and three types of sausage. Simmered and baked for days on end, the result is a mildly tangy bouquet of flavors. 2523 Eastbluff Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 640-8181; $$$CHAT NOIR
There is something downright satanic about Chat Noir, part of David Wilhelm's Culinary Adventures family of restaurants. It's in the had-to-sign-a-pact-with-Mephistopheles execution of his French fare: basil-fed escargot, three-way duck served in an orange-caramel dressing with Mandarin Napoleon cognac, and a dessert of profiteroles stuffed with espresso ice cream. If they serve these in Hell, just where do we sign, Mr. Wilhelm? 655 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 557-6647. $$$DUONG SON BBQ
Chicken, duck and pork—these are the sole listings on the Vietnamese/Chinese/English menu at Duong Son BBQ, a smokehouse between a jewelry store and skin-care center in Little Saigon's anarchic Cultural Court district. The pork features a ruddy, crisp skin; is nearly fat-free; and is roasted until it's as soft as a marshmallow. Duong Son's pork is a meat for eternity, one of the best arguments yet against PETA. 9211 Bolsa Ave., Ste. 115, Westminster, (714) 897-2288. $GEMMELL'S
The appetizers are memorable: a feuillette, puff pastry with shrimp in the middle, placed in an herb-butter sauce with shallots and parsley; and a mousse of duck liver surrounded by minced aspic and sprinkled with cognac. But even better are the main courses—buttery Dover sole, New York steak bathed in a creamy sauce of brandy and peppercorns, and French onion soup. Salivating yet? 34471 Golden Lantern St., Dana Point, (949) 234-0063. $$$KAPIT BAHAY
Here are just some of Kapit Bahay's game pieces: about four or five different fish deep-fried until the bones become jelly; pork and chicken adobo marinated long into the day in a murky broth of soy sauce, ginger, vinegar and garlic; sweet-and-sour viscous soups bumpy with rice, cucumbers or baby squids; beef minced with vegetables and covered in raw onion hoops or stabbed by a skewer; purple eggs called balut that contain a two-week-old duck embryo you're supposed to slurp whole. 615 N. Euclid, Anaheim, (714) 635-4400. $MR. STOX
Last year, the Nation's Restaurant News enshrined Mr. Stox into its Fine Dining Hall of Fame. But the venerable spot—one of the county's first serious haute cuisine emporiums—is so much more than scintillating steaks; poached salmon; and a duck sauced with a sweet, luring glaze. Where else can you spend a couple of hundred for Mom's birthday dinner and get a complimentary photo? Awww . . . 1105 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 634-2994; $$$NAPA ROSE
There's a soup called Seven Sins of the Sea, with all these different seafoods, and with champagne, it makes you forget that Napa Rose is located in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel instead of some seaside French bistro. Duck and venison is fine, but the sautéed scallops with lobster sauce rules. The wine list is fine, too. 1600 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 300-7170. $$$YEN CHING
A one-day advance order is required for the roast Peking duck, but the planning is worth it. The bird is presented whole for purposes of admiration, then returned to the kitchen and diced with green onions and soy sauce. The duck's bones wind up boiled into a soup more wondrous than Yao Ming. 574 S. Glassell, Orange, (714) 997-3300. $$YUJEAN KANG'S
A chichi, black-and-red-themed establishment with bamboo shades, a profusion of candles, and stylish, framed reproductions of '30s-era Chinese adverts, Yujean Kang's is an oasis of elegance. The cuisine is nouvelle Chinoise, with imaginative touches that've won Yujean Kang's a following at its Pasadena and West Hollywood locations. The taste of the tea-smoked duck, specially prepared in a tea-burning oven, is exquisite, a true delicacy. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 662-1098. $$$Visit Orange County's best damn dining guide at If there are any bugs in it, e-mail Gustavo at ga*******@oc******.com with your complaints!

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