Sorry, Restaurants

Photo by Keith MayIf you're wondering, no, we don't do it on purpose. When we review a restaurant, we mean for it to be a positive experience, which is why we only review restaurants we like. But somewhere along the way, things seemed to get all sideways, and though we're recommending the restaurant, we end up doing it by mentioning cow sex, alcohol poisoning or snot. Sorry.

Listen. We like the restaurants we review—we only review restaurants we like—and for a long time, we thought we were doing them a great favor until the day we noticed our positive review of Wahoos hung on its wall with scores of words whited-out because the piece was so laced with filthy verbiage—albeit positive filthy verbiage—that the owners could not hang the review unscathed and still allow minors in the place.

And I fear other restaurants we've reviewed have faced a similar quandary: to either edit the piece or just not hang it at all. Sorry. Like I said, we didn't do this on purpose, but looking back over a year of reviews, we've done it a lot. So, below, please consider some of the restaurants we've done less than right by. They're really terrific places and deserving of your patronage. Really. Even if they can't hang up the review, we offer the following snippets as proof that we recommend them so emphatically that it causes our genitals to recede into our body cavity. Sorry.

Baja Fresh, Costa Mesa Go for the . . . “Baja Fresh is a gathering spot for the gorgeous—a magical place where anyone at virtually any time could see astonishingly good-looking people.” Sorry about . . . “'The fuck you don't,' the boyfriend retorted. 'I don't like how you've been looking at my girlfriend. You need to apologize to her right now.'” New Orleans Square, Disneyland Go for the . . . “[Mint juleps] are cool and magnificently, well, minty.” Sorry about . . . “You'll find yourself refreshed and ready for long lines or a stroll through New Orleans Square, which is charming, though oddly devoid of any 'SHOW US YOUR TITS' posters.” The Blue Caf, Long Beach Go for the . . . “You get a giant serving of chips, which you can barely get to. The chips are lathered with guacamole and sour cream, jalapeos and black olives. ” Sorry about . . . “Oh—and the beef? They dump a cow on your chips! Moo-frickin'-oo!” Tangata, Santa Ana Go for the . . . “Tangata is the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art's restaurant, and it is exquisite and perfect in every way.” Sorry about . . . “I ate most of it because I'm a pig, but Cher got her licks in as well.”

Papa Joe's: Dreaming of a
sick-fantasy-free review
Photo by Jeanne Rice
Fisherman's Restaurant, San Clemente Go for the . . . “It's hard to make a bad mud pie, but Fisherman's makes one of the best, no doubt benefiting from its wonderful view of the ocean.” Sorry about . . . “Mud pie is the single greatest thing in the universe, and we're not just talking food. DVD players? Bah. Heart-lung machine? Does a heart-lung machine come with a delicious crumbly crust, luscious coffee ice cream and thick hot fudge? Well, does it, Oppenheimer?” Thai Rama, Fullerton Go for the . . . “It's lacy, golden, spot-on perfect with fresh vegetables, cooked to a slight snap, and coated in a batter so light it floats.” Sorry about . . . “Making tempura is a delicate process, but when it's cooked right, it's better than Jesus.”

Sabatino's: Maybe we shouldn't have
made that sausage joke.
Photo by Keith May
Taquera de Anda, Fullerton Go for the . . .“Made with a huge flour tortilla that can barely fold over the mound of rice, beans, salsa (green or red) and your choice of meat, these burritos dwarf their puny (though still delicious) taco cousin.” Sorry about . . . “Anda prepares its beef tongue so exquisitely you'll want to confess to your priest that you thought for a fleeting moment you were Frenching a cow and liking it.” Seaside Bakery, Newport Beach Go for the . . . “A nice warm croissant stuffed with ham and Cheddar cheese.” Sorry about . . . “It's 2 in the morning, and you're stumbling out of some bar at the Newport Pier. The alcohol you've been pouring into your stomach for the past five hours is rapidly leaking into your bloodstream. Nothing soaks up the booze like a nice warm croissant stuffed with ham and Cheddar cheese. A few bites of this, and you can kiss your fears of alcohol poisoning goodbye.” Catalina Fish Kitchen, Costa Mesa Go for the . . . “This chowder is so good you can have it as your main course.” Sorry about . . . “Clam-tastic! Chowder-iffic! Whaddaya want—it's soup. Or is it?” Wingnuts, Costa Mesa Go for the . . . “He found the ribs perfectly prepared but a tad spicy—wimp! It came with yummerific homemade potato chips and slaw.” Sorry about . . . “The chipotle was the most flavorful, its Southwest influences giving way to a spiciness that sneaked up like a shoe bomber. A pleasantly tongue-tingling shoe bomber.” And . . . “The wings come with bleu cheese cole slaw—just like your typical picnic staple only packed with bonus chunks of bleu cheese—which I shoveled in to tame the inferno, but pointing my head down only caused snot to run out of my nose and onto my fork.” And . . . “We may join the Pile High Club, where members get a $10 gift certificate for every 250 chicken wings they order. Of course, if they order 250 ouch wings, they'll never live to redeem it.”

Anthill Pub: Keeping an eye out
for food reviewers.
Photo by Steve Lowery
 Sabatino's, Newport Beach Go for the . . . “Sausagey goodness.” Sorry about . . . “Look, anyone could make some crude sausage joke here. You know, 'Grab one today!' or 'Sink your teeth into Sabatino's meat stick!' But that would be wrong. It would take away from the sausagey goodness that is a Sabatino's meat log. So go out and wrap your lips around one. Yeah, that's it. [Cue bass line.] Aw, yeeeaah.” Papa Joe's Pizza, Huntington Beach Go for the . . . “They start with real ice cream and then tip in any and all of the fruits, candies, vegetables and legumes your palpitating heart desires.” Sorry about . . . “Hedonists go for the hey-man-I-think-you've-had-enough boysenberry/Oreo/cherry/chocolate combo and thrill as they push dessert beyond the event horizon, realizing every twisted dairy-related fantasy they've ever had—except the one about the Swiss Miss girl, the sick bastards.” Marri's Pizza N Italian Restaurant, Long Beach Go for the . . .“This was the best freakin' garlic bread I've ever had in my life.” Sorry about . . . “The inside looks like your typical neighborhood pizzeria, circa Frampton Comes Alive. Rutabegorz, Tustin Go for the . . . “I went with the classic chicken-noodle cure. It was terrific, so chock-full of noodles, chicken and veggies that it seemed more of a stew.” Sorry about . . . “I turned to Linda and asked about her cockie leeky, which sounds like crude slang for a sexually transmitted disease.” Firehouse Char-Grill, Irvine Go for the . . .“And you bite into one, and it doesn't taste like any chip you've ever pulled from a sack . . . ” Sorry about . . . “. . . (mmmm, sack pull).” Anthill Pub, UC Irvine Go for the . . . “Anyway, it's a nice place, the Anthill Pub, and they've got six pool tables and video games and four TVs and one big-screen and live entertainment on Thursdays and just about every beer except stuff called Bud or Miller or Coors.” Sorry about . . . ” To be honest, I drank the beer like, two hours ago, and then, like, a dozen after it, so I'm not very . . . I'm still a bit . . . a bit . . . well, I can't think of the word, okay? Is that okay, Mr. Hitler?”

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