'Looking at it from the outside, I never would have guessed this place to be so charming," says The Redhead, glancing around at the crystal chandeliers that blend so effortlessly with the industrial wall lamps inside Juliette.Â Every time I've taken anyone here, I've gotten the same reaction. Â Juliette doesn't look like much from
Everyone's talking about Sidecar Doughnuts.The owners developed a cult-like following with their vintage doughnut truck. They've parlayed that fervor into a new brick-and-mortar that has been mobbed from the day it opened three weeks ago.Here's what you need to know:1. Expect to wait in line. And expect some of the be
Before I stumbled upon Sushi Murasaki, I had been making my rounds among the county's top-rated sushi restaurants for months, hoping to find a truly memorable omakase. Omakase is that tradition of putting yourself in the hands of the sushi chef, letting him prepare whatever he desires. Omakase is a simple word with a rather profound meaning that
Long live the combination plate. And yellow cheese.
El Farolito opened in Placentia in 1974, but I didn't get around to discovering it until last month. I love this place. I love that I can build my own combination plate, Junior-style, Mama-style or Papa-style. I love the old-school ground meat tacos with their almost-crisp corn tortilla
"Let's go out for prime rib," suggests a friend."Where?" I ask."I dunno," he says. "Five Crowns?"I'd driven past Five Crowns in Corona del Mar a million times but never actually eaten there. "OK," I say, "prime rib it is."And when the prime rib arrives, it is handsome – a bloody red slab of beef almost 2 inches
I don't know how to say "minimalist gastropub" in Spanish, but the new CorazÃ³n y Miel could be translated exactly as such. It reminds me of the hipster bar scene in Guadalajara. And although it feels like it would be a better fit for downtown Santa Ana, or the Camp in Costa Mesa, CorazÃ³n y Miel recently opened in Bell.Tending bar is Chr
While everyone else rushes to embrace the thin-crust, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza trend, there's one newcomer going in the opposite direction. Rance's Chicago Pizza serves some of the biggest, deepest, fattest, heaviest, most defiant pizzas in the county. Chicago-style pizza is a sport unlike any other. One slice is practically a meal. Two slice
It's seven o'clock on Wednesday night. The air is warm, and Birch Street teems with life. The movie theaters sparkle like neon birthday cakes, casting their vintage glow upon the 7-month-old Bruno's Trattoria, which enjoys a front-row seat to downtown Brea's renaissance.Â I'm running a few minutes late for dinner, and my guests are alread
Urban Seoul didn't invent the Korean taco, but they have perfected it. Whereas elsewhere (ahem, Kogi), the East-West fusion taco is an obnoxious conflict of flavors that has absolutely no business in a tortilla, the gogi tacos at Urban Seoul are surprisingly harmonious and irresistibly delicious.
The menu effortlessly spins together a fu
The air is thick with the scent of brown butter and duck fat and smoldering embers. The musk of charred meat seduces the room like a flirtatious ghost. First it's here, then it's not. Sparks flutter up from the grill like a swarm of fireflies. And if you look into the mouth of the kitchen's fiery brick hearth, you can see its throat pulsing with
As the name suggests, the new Linx in downtown Orange is about hot dogs. And while the hot dogs are core to this restaurant's identity, I'm starting to think of this place first and foremost as a French fry specialist. Big, fat, fresh-cut and twice-fried, this is what a French fry is supposed to taste like. The fries are absolute perfection dust
The women at my table are talking excitedly about going line dancing after dinner. The men at my table are rolling their eyes, and I can see the relief on their faces when the conversation about country dancing is interrupted by the arrival of our entrees. Everyone falls silent midsentence as our jaws gape in response to a couple of cowboy rib-e
After being open for not even two years, the wildly popular Hue Oi outgrew its original Garden Grove locale. The restaurant closed at the end of last year and reopened last month in spiffy new digs in Fountain Valley.
As the name suggests, the menu celebrates the regional cuisine of Hue in central Vietnam. One of the best things to try h
'How long do you think the wait will be for a party of four on Friday night?"
The Cellar in San Clemente doesn't take reservations, so I call to ask about the wait. "If you get here after 7, the wait can get pretty long," says the voice on the other end of the phone. "People often camp out for the music, which starts at 7. And if you sho
Schooner at Sunset opened in January in Sunset Beach. The all-day cafe is an offshoot of Schooner or Later in Long Beach. From the outside, the building looks like a shipwrecked pirate's shack – with a wooden, peg-legged pirate greeting guests at the front door. Inside, the place is utterly charming, done up in surprisingly elegant
Playground's printed manifesto says, among other things, "Please take the wording on our menu very seriously."
OK, fair enough. So I'm reading the menu, wondering how seriously I should interpret a dish called "You Wanna Be A Baller, Shot Caller, 20 Inch Rims on the Impalla!!!" At $40, it's the most expensive item on the brunch menu. "Wh
The Wine Gallery is a charming new wine bar in Laguna Beach. It's a petite offshoot of a great wine shop of the same name in Corona del Mar. They don't actually operate a retail wine boutique here, as they do at the original. But they have something even better: a wood-burning oven in which they bake handmade pizzas. They're also making t
I'm recommending The Wine Bistro with a caveat. I've had two meals here that were very good, and a third that was shockingly bad. First the good: My initial visit to this wine-centric pub, which opened several months ago, was for brunch. The Belgian-style waffles with chipotle butter, peach-maple syrup and fried chicken was so good, I imm
The wood pile at the front door pretty much says it all: oak, hickory, cherry, apple.
Smoqued, in the heart of Old Towne Orange, is an authentic barbecue joint.
I've barely scratched the surface of the menu here, but I can already attest that the brisket is slow-smoked and fork-tender, the kind that inspires weekend road trips.
Quick, while the weather in Southern California still feels vaguely like winter. Go to Santa Monica Seafood in Costa Mesa and order a big steaming bowl of San Francisco-style cioppino. Classic Italian fisherman's stew doesn't get much better than this, an oversized bowl generously filled with lobster tail, prawns, mussels and clams in a hearty,
The Spam sandwiches grab my attention. But I mean, seriously, how good can this place be? This is what's going through my head late last year as I'm studying the menu online before actually dining at DivBar in Newport Beach.
The menu doesn't stop at Spam. DivBar (pronounced "dive bar") bills itself as a barbecue joint. Plus it serves piz
Waiiha Sushi & Japanese Dining at SoCo reopened in early January after a quick interior nip/tuck. The formerly ultra-stark dining room has been softened with gauzy screens that hang from the ceiling, creating more intimate nooks and a sense of privacy.
The fish is incredibly fresh, and I've had great luck by simply asking the sushi c
It's dark and foggy the first time I visit Broadway in downtown Laguna Beach. The restaurant's vertical neon sign cuts through murky haze, letting me know I'm in the right place. A small crowd is huddled on the sidewalk beneath the blue neon glow. My party is already seated, so I slip past the hostess and wiggle my way toward the back of the din
I hadn't intended to eat here. I simply need a bottle of water, so I duck into Buena Vista Market for a quick transaction. But the moment I step through the grocery store doors, I smell something unexpected. Tacos! But where is it coming from? Ah, yes, there it is. I spot a dozen people standing in line near the meat department. I grab a Mexican