Tell Me, OC

All right, I want to do a completely unscientific and thoroughly pointless poll.

What are your five favorite places to eat?

I want a Mexican, an American, an Italian, a “special occasion,” and the last two are freebies.

14 Comments so far

  1. Maria (unregistered) on April 23rd, 2007 @ 11:49 pm

    Our favorite Mexican joint is Los Cabos on Tustin, near Collins. No frills, inexpensive, and the food was always tasty.

    American? Uh … IHOP? I prefer the one in the Irvine Marketplace over the one in Orange.

    I guess homemade Italian doesn’t count. Buca di Beppo’s always good times and you come home with enough leftovers for at least a couple of days.

    For freebie #1 I have to go with Native Foods at The Camp in Costa Mesa. It’s vegetarian heaven, and no, it’s not just grains and sprouts. Even my meat-eating husband really likes their fake chicken.

    Freebie #2 is a Japanese restaurant somewhere in Irvine or Costa Mesa. Nobody can remember the name, but we went there a couple of years ago for my birthday. Fancy place where we reserved a classically decorated private room. If this sounds familiar to anyone, I’d love to know the name.

  2. DanGarion (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 8:00 am

    I will second Los Cabos on Tustin in Orange. For Mexican

    Mama D’s on Newport in Newport for Italian.

    I’d choose Red Robin for American.

    And then I’d have to select Taco Mesa in Orange and Costa Mesa, and Farolito’s in Placentia as my freebies.

    I got reviews for them all at

  3. Evan (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 8:25 am

    Don’t know too many OC places, but for American I have to say Shenandoah at the Arbor, in Los Al.

  4. Some Guy (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 8:45 am

    Mexican – SuperMex, American – Claim Jumper, Italian – Finbars Italian Kitchen at Metro Pointe, Special – Benihana, Sushi – Wasa in The Marketplace, Cheese Steak – Philly’s Best.

    Lots of chain restaurants in my list, hopefully I’ll learn about some new places from this post. I wonder if Maria might be thinking of Kitayama in Newport Beach. It’s not _that_ fancy but they do have the type of rooms she mentioned. Good ginger-teriyaki steak sauce, reasonable for lunch, but Wasa edges it out as my favorite Japanese.

  5. Dave Share (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 9:11 am

    Well its Cuban, not Mexican, but Felix’s in the Orange Circle is wonderful.

    For Italian, I like Aldo’s, which also happens to be located in the Circle at Glassel and Almond.

    About 2 months ago I finally tried what has become one of my favorite American food venues, Johnny Reb’s, on Chapman just east of the 55 fwy. It’s GREAT southern home cooking.

    For special occasions I have many choices I go with, (Melting Pot, The Clubhouse, PF Chang’s) but I think Chimayo in Huntington Beach is the best experience for me. Plus their mango martini was voted beast martini in Orange County!

    Freebie #1 is Arthur’s on Tustin in Orange. They say “Best Breakfast in Town” and I agree 100%! Freebie #2 would have to be Chomp in Fullerton. Great Sushi and Teppan Yaki Grill.

  6. DanGarion (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 9:52 am

    I got to agree about Johnny Reb’s it’s some great BBQ.

    My wife and I have been meaning to try Arthur’s for breakfast, but we always end up at the Filling Station. And Aldo’s is on our list, but we haven’t made it there yet.

  7. Travis (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 10:14 am

    Angelo’s & Vinci’s – Italian, Fullerton

    Wahoos, Fullerton (or anywhere)

    Felix Continental Cafe – Cuban, Orange

    Islands (anywhere)

    Renaissance Bistro – Italian, Brea

    The Hat – Pastrami (deal with it)

  8. Jon (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

    Mexican – The Mexi-Casa (near Lincoln & Euclid) It’s so cheap you can’t afford not to eat there.

    Italian – Mamma Coza’s (near Ball & Brookhurst) The best Italian hands down!

    American – The LaPalma Chicken Pie Shop (near Euclid & LaPalma) Tasty, inexpensive comfort food.

    Freebie #1 – Mari’s Pizza & Italian (Walnut & Katella) It’s a pretty close second to Momma Coza’s. Cast Members get 20% off but the service usually lacks.

    Freebie #2 – The Fitness Grill (Downtown Brea) Healthy awesome food.

    We don’t eat at chain restaurants too much, as you can tell.

    What are your five faves Gina?

  9. Dave Share (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

    Forgot Momma Coza’s. Great stuff!!

  10. Maria (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 12:37 am

    Kitayama? Maybe? I’m still thinking that it was more Costa Mesa though…

  11. Gina (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 9:19 am

    Mexican- I will third Los Cabos

    Italian- Angelos and Vinci’s although it used to be better.

    American- The Daily Grill (Newport)

    Special occasion- The Ritz (Newport)

    Freebie- Tulsa BBQ in Orange

  12. Gina (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 9:20 am

    Oh, and can you tell I am really bad at math? I asked for five, yet I specify four types and two freebies…

  13. Michael Doss (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

    Mexican – does Wahoo’s count? It’s very American Mexican, but their blackened mushroom burrito is unlike anything anywhere else.

    Italian – I think the food is equally good at Macaroni Grill and Maggiano’s (not surprising, as they’re the same company), but Maggiano’s is great for their all-you-could-ever-eat-oh-my-god family style dinners.

    American – Tustin Brewing Company has some amazing Nachos and beer, and my meat eating friends enjoy most everything there. Cute waitresses, too.

    Special – We do Maggiano’s for big events, but honestly, we don’t go out anywhere special for “special occasions” – we try to hit unpopular places for holidays (sports bars for valentine’s day, non-family friendly places for mother’s day, etc).

    Other – The Gypsy Den has all sorts of tasty Vegetarian options. It’s like a little slice of Santa Cruz, ripped out and plunked down in Santa Ana (or Costa Mesa).

    Other #2 – Thai Chili in Orange. Awesome food, great people, lots and lots of vegetarian options.

    I’ve noticed this list is heavily North/East OC (Anaheim/Tustin/Orange). Where’s all the South and Central County readers?

  14. Jane (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 5:49 am

    Mexican – I have to go with Mexi Casa in Anaheim. I have tried lots of other Mexican places in the OC and none were as good for the value.

    American – maybe I don’t like American food? I am drawing a blank here. If I am in the mood for a sandwich/soup or a piece of pie, Hof’s Hut is good.

    Italian – this is a tie… Mari’s has *great* caesar salad (non-traditional, but great). The best one is the one on Walnut & Katella in Anaheim. In my opinion their other locations lack. Mama Cozza’s has affordable multi-course meals: antipasto, soup, salad, entree and a shot of liqour at the end for free whee!

    Special Occasion – I like Market Broiler at the Block at Orange. The atmosphere is kind of chain restaurant-y, but the food is really good and too expensive for me except for special occasions. They have good lobster.

    Freebee #1 – Cafe Lucca at the Orange Circle. Great paninis, Excellent soup, fabulous gellato, also affordable!

    Freebee #2 – Yogurtland in Fullerton. I *LOVE* the plain frozen yogurt and fresh fruit toppings. I can’t wait until the Irvine location is open!

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