This Week in the Birds

Finally, a reason to listen to your AM dial besides Coast to Coast: KSRF-AM 540/1260, the greatest oldies station since the early-1990s heyday of KRLA-AM 1110. How tunefully bizarre is it? They played the Trashmen's wheezing, grunting “Surfin' Bird” the other day—no irony, no commercials, no “My Girl” follow up. So, in honor of hearing this song on this wonderful station, let's gnaw on birds this week.


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

$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10-$20

$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20-$40

$$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ¡Eres muy rico!


This is America at its most yummily raucous, as Asian, Latino and white families join Muslims in the clamor, united under the brotherhood of good Middle Eastern grub. The buffet is the most popular choice, but the chicken pita sandwich—wonderfully dry, with a smear of tahini sauce—also quiets growling stomachs. 9562 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 539-0656. $


You must try their paninis—fresh, crusty tubular rolls hold slim piles of turkey and salami, plus fresh red tomatoes and cheese melted into the bread. It's a pleasantly light, European-feeling sandwich. 31882 Del Obispo, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 443-0423. $


If it wasn't copyrighted, we would tell you they do chicken right. So we'll just say they do chicken correctly. They turn lowly poultry into buttery works of art. Forget chicken soup: this is what your soul is craving. 9017 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 963-0500. $


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 duck is nicely greasy but fat-free and is roasted until it's as soft as a marshmallow. Comes with garlicky dipping sauce, too! 9211 Bolsa Ave., Ste. 115, Westminster, (714) 897-2288. $


Their buffalo wings, considering the faux-everything atmosphere in Downtown Disney, are shockingly tasty. The 10-piece Pound of Buffalo Wings appetizer won't burn a hole in your stomach (sadly) and, at $9.99, is pricier than similar platters at other restaurants. Nevertheless, the steep cost is well worth it for the chicken's deliciously juicy (read: not formerly frozen or mass-produced) texture. Best of all, the accompanying ranch dip is wonderfully thick—a bonus for those weary of the runny ranch dressing other restaurants so frequently attempt to pass off as dip. 1545 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 300-ESPN. $$


Groups eager to party will dig the décor of blacklight scenes of Peru's landscape. A good introductory dish to Inka's menu is the casa—a rotisserie chicken, featuring one-quarter of the bird, white rice, brown beans and salad, plus an Inka soda to wash it all down. 400 S. Euclid St., Anaheim, (714) 772-2263. $


An industrious little Japanese fast-food kitchen full of huge rice cookers and meats sizzling on the grill. The sake-tinged teriyaki sauce is made on the premises and served over rice and chicken, beef or pork. The bowls are filling and cheap. 1008 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 772-8543; 221 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 835-8288. ¢


Pangea has operated a modest little shop in Santa Ana's Artists Village for two years now and just a few months ago started serving dinner Thursday through Saturday. But we love Pangea best because it delivers. Regardless of how you eat from there, indulge in their sandwiches: a hibachi-grilled Atlantic salmon filet served with a zesty ponzu glaze, a fresh Artist Village turkey wrap, or the Malaysian-curry chicken-breast sandwich—really, any of these fusion-style globalness that Pangea rocks out with its cocks out. 211 W. Second St., Santa Ana, (714) 834-0688; $$


El Pollo Norteño cooks whole chickens on a spit that spins and spins over a fire. Once in a while, they'll squirt lemon and chile powder. What more could you ask for? 1525 W. First St., Santa Ana, (714) 541-9097; 202 N. Grand, Santa Ana, (714) 542-0779. $


Matthew 20:16 taught us that the last shall be first, and that's the best way to describe Santora's Pizza, Subs N Wings, a dank tavern just down the street from the sterile opulence of the Shops at Mission Viejo. Santora's pizza is passable; the subs nothing a Togo's drone can't slap together in three minutes. But Santora's Buffalo wings are the gourmand Gospel manifest: the Good Word transubstantiated into fleshy appendages ready to burn through your alimentary canal like the fires of Gehenna. 28251 Marguerite Pkwy., Mission Viejo, (949) 364-3282. $


Super Pollo is a Costa Mesa institution, a bit of quirky comfort wedged between a Kragen Auto Parts and a Tower Records. OC Weekly's premiere issue sung its praises as “five bucks of heaven on a plate,” the same combo you can gnaw through for just 50 cents more nine years later. In addition to the wonderful chicken combos, they still fold one of the tastier non-Anaheim carne asada burritos in the county: beef mixed with creamy guacamole, lard-free refried beans and tangy pico de gallo. 1731 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-7574. $


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 a following at its Pasadena and West Hollywood locations. The taste of the their tea-smoked duck, specially prepared in a tea-burning oven, is exquisite, a true delicacy. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 662-1098. $$$


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. $$


An Armenian take on poultry. Although non-poultry products are available, eschewing chicken here is like going to Laguna Beach without going to the beach. The chicken itself is cooked piping-hot with a crisp golden skin that puts every other chicken skin we've eaten to shame. 2424 W. Ball Rd., stes. S-T, Anaheim, (714) 229-2060. $

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