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looking for eats near Fullerton, Brea, Anaheim

Sending DD and friends on a short trip and they will be staying in Fullerton. Appreciate any recs you might have.

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  1. Taps in Brea is pretty good. Also, there's a lot of restaurants in Downtown Disney.

    1 Reply
    1. re: derekp17

      What's good at Taps? I heard about their $25 all you can eat Sunday brunch (unlimited mimosas and oysters on the half shell are the draw) but havn't been in ages.

    2. Can you be more specific; cheap eats, Italian, fine dining, ethnic...?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Funwithfood

        Hi Funwithfood:
        Cheap eats would be good since they are college kids on relatively tight budgets. Thanks.

        1. re: dimsumgirl

          Kim Loan on Orangethorpe at Brookhurst has really good BBQ beef (#69) for only $4. I like to buy the pho (brisket w/egg noodles) at the place in front of the Ranch 99 on Euclid, and tear Kim Loan's BBQ beef into their pho--deeelish, and so cheap!

          Roman Cucina on Harbor has killer good beef milanese--big serving only $7 (order it with their pasta for $12/incl soup or salad--make sure to ask for their marinara--don't serve it with the pasta dinner for some reason). Their Italian Wedding Soup is wonderful. They have big martinis, well-priced too.

          Heroe's Pub is expensive (for what you get), except their nachos--a huge portion. I get extra cheese, with the beans (delish on their own) on the side, so they don't get soggy. They have lots of beers.

          The Rail has a very good burger.

          BJs in Brea has great housemade beers and pizza.

          Park Ave in Stanton is fabulous--not too far from Fullerton.

          1. re: Funwithfood

            I second Kim Loan and Park Avenue. Great Vietnamese at a low, low price at the former. Classy American fare at Park Avenue, also at a cost that's not going to bust your wallet.

            Park Avenue: http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2005/...

            Kim Loan: http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2004/...

            1. re: elmomonster

              I love your blog and your reports and pictures make me so hungry!! Thanks for the recs. I will call my daughter and send her to both places.

              Thanks for the comprehensive list. There is enough there to last them the whole five days that they are down there for the anime expo!

      2. Favorite place in OC remains Taco Mesa, sorry hounders. If they opened up a branch anywhere in LA there would be lines out the door. Went yeserday and the blackened shrimp tacos are still as orgasmic as ever. There is a location in Orange on Chapman Ave. about 10 mins away from Fullerton on the freeway.

        1. There's also a Zankou chicken branch on Ball in Anaheim.

          1. Jagerhaus on Ball Rd in Anaheim for excellent German food.

            Tulsa Rib on Tustin St in Orange for excellent BBQ.

            Arthur's Restaurant also on Tustin St in Orange for excellent breakfast and lunch foods.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Wonginator

              I second Jagerhaus--haven't been for dinner in years, but love their spaetzle omelette and apple pancake for breakfast. Their plum "jelly" served with the bread is excellent.

            2. I had a pleasant meal at G Bilotta's Restaurant near the Brea Mall...


              1 Reply
              1. re: Dommy

                Would that be Italian food? What did you eat that was so pleasant?

              2. It is Italian. We had several pasta dishes including one that was billed as their version of "mac n cheese" (Which more alfredo like, but good cheese flavor) and one with a meat sauce that was very flavorful and meaty.

                It's where I take my parents when they want a nice meal out that is nearby (They live in Diamond Bar).


                1 Reply
                1. re: Dommy

                  Thanks for the heads up- I've driven by quite a few times and could never be too sure, with that bright sign and all...
                  Are they in the vein of Luigi's on State College or Roma D' Italia in Tustin?

                2. Let me add a few "Fullerton-centric" recommendations.

                  1. Anita's New Mexican - on Harbor in Fullerton. Authentic New Mexican food.

                  2. There is a very authentic Oaxacan restaurant on Commonwealth in Fullerton between Raymond and Lemon. I forget the name but you won't miss it.

                  3. El Farolito. What wonderful Mexican food. In Placentia, just 2 miles from the Fullerton border.

                  4. Another great Mexican place is El Camino Real. A storefront place on Euclid near Malvern/Chapman. People line up for this place.

                  5. Pizza and Italian food at Angelo's & Vinci's. Go here for a drink and the festive atmosphere. On Harbor just north of Chapman in downtown. A classic. There are famous parties here every Thanksgiving Eve.

                  6. In downtown Fullerton, the old Italian classic is Mulberry Street. A bit more expensive than the others.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: khoiberg

                    The Oaxacan restaurant is El Fortin. Search the LA Board for a recent (comprehensive) review, posted just a couple of days ago.

                    Just went to El Farolito in Placentia last week, after not having been in years. We enjoyed it; simple, good.

                    1. re: khoiberg

                      Nice list, Khoiberg. I have jotted these down as places that I have to go check out when I am down in the area on business next time! Thank you.

                    2. Fullerton + college students = De Anda Taqueria
                      Open 24-7 on Valencia just a few blocks off of Harbor.

                      Angelo's and Vinci's - get a slice to go.

                      Burrell's BBQ - soul food to warm your soul. Third and Hesperian in Santa Ana. Grab a picnic table in the back yard and enjoy the weather.

                      Hollingshead for a brat and beer. Best beer selection in OC and brats and dogs from noon to three on Saturday. Main Street in Orange, a block from the Main Place mall.

                      China Islamic is on Orangethorpe. Great food in Fullerton, albeit a touch higher priced than the last recs.

                      PK's Burgers on Imperial in Brea. Good burgers, great onion rings and run by a nice guy. I highly recommend the jalepeno burger.

                      Ye Olde Shippe on Harbor. Bangers and mash or try their fish and chips. Nothing says love like a blood sausage and a John Courage ale.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: oc climber

                        OC Climber:
                        Thanks for the great list. If they were more into food than anime and manga, they would be in heaven! Have you been by the convention center to see the outlandish outfits? Since there isn't much good chow over there, your list and those of the other posters will be most helpful. Thank you!

                      2. Glad it was of help. The only outlandish outfits I'll be reviewing will be at my house over the weekend. Throwing a cajon party with freshly flown in shrimps and crawdads!

                        Table for 30?

                        1. Just a few thoughts on some places that have been mentioned already:

                          I love Anita's! Their portions are huge, but I always manage to lick my plate clean. And then regardless of whether I have room left or not, I'll still manage to cram their delicious spongy deep fried bread (sopaipilla?) down my throat with some table honey to end my meal. I don't know why, but every time I come to this place, I gorge myself with utter abandonment. Their food can be a little on the salty side, but it's just so good to me, like really good comfort food.

                          Kim Loan serves pretty average Vietnamese food, but they serve them almost instantaneously. I always marvel at how fast they can get our order on the table. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. But if you're in a hurry, Kim Loan is just the ticket.

                          I don't know what it is about Park Ave. I can't quite put my finger on it. If you sit down and rationalize it, this place really is perfect: the food is good and well presented, the prices are very budget-friendly, the service is great, and the space is quiet and cozy. It's perfect. But I don't know why, overall I think this place is just ok. I guess everything is done well, but nothing really blows my mind.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Tkn

                            I know what you mean about Park Ave. After reading the reviews, I couldn't wait to try it. Now that I have, I'm not dying to go back. The steak was just ok, the veggies and mashed potatoes were blah, and my son's CFS was limp and bland. Great service and atmosphere though. I'll probably give it another try, just in case it was an off night.

                            1. re: Grubber

                              Not everything is "great". It has to be kept in context--this is OC (almost) and although there are many ethnic restaurants, there are very few "American" restaurants. The pickins are few out here for this type of cuisine--esp in NOC.

                              The chicken fried steak is great though, for my buds. I also love the grilled steak salad and their spinach salad (served tableside $5.95 serves 2!). The homemade chips are great--esp with a sidecar martini (huge, $7). Decor is retro (very well done), and the prices are incredibly reasonable. That's all--nothing more, nothing less.

                          2. Mongolian BBQ on the corner of State College and Chapman. It's been around for more than 20 years. Cheap and healthy. Lunch starts around $4 (for a choice of meat, pick your own veggies, a small egg roll and rice) and they do all you can eat for dinner.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bram

                              There is also a Mongolian BBQ at the corner of Imperial Highway and Harbor, Great Wall, I believe that is cheap $5 or so for lunch and $9 for all you can eat dinner. Fellow CHers told me about it and I stop in when I'm in the area.

                              1. re: reality check

                                -I can't believe nobody had Flame Broiler. It on Commonwealth and Euclid and Chapman and Raymond. Best chicken or beef bowl I've ever had for under $6.
                                -Lunch special at Da Vinci's. Slice of pizza and salad for $2.50

                            2. This is totally the post that I was looking for. My cousin from Australia is coming in for a couple of weeks, and I'm planning an all cousin get together. While, I'm comfortably compensated because I have a real job, all of my little cousins are still in college and can't afford to eat the way I like to eat.
                              I'm just wondering if some of the recs on list post are still in business and if the quality is still good. Thinking of Park Avenue, Roman Cucina, G Billota's, and Angelo & Vinci's. Thanks!

                              Roman Cucina
                              16595 N Pacific Ave, Sunset Beach, CA

                              Park Avenue Cafe
                              501 Park Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92662

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: attran99

                                Park Avenue is fine; skip the rest.

                                Park Avenue Cafe
                                501 Park Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92662

                                1. re: attran99

                                  I've not been to Park Avene or G Billota's. I'd skip A&V, but if you're in the mood for Italian, RC hits the spot (over others in the area IMO).

                                  1. re: attran99

                                    I should also add that for affordable Mexican in the area, El Farolito in Placentia is very good (I affectionately call it home cooked glop). For Americanised Mexican (they've had affordable street taco tuesdays in the past) we go to Cantina Lounge (57 & Nutwood).

                                    In downtown Fullerton, Rutabegorz has great salads & sandwiches. Up the street a bit on Harbor, The Olde Ship has pretty good English fare. Down the street there's banh mi @ Lee's (in the Costco strip mall).

                                    Cheap eats in Brea include the Indian place next to Big 5 on Birch & Raymond. While not as good as the many places on Artesia, they have a okay lunch buffet that's like $6 or so. Oh, there's cheap steak for the college crowd @ Hungry Bear. You can get away w/a complete meal (salad, potato, bread & steak) for about $10. They're on Harbor & Bastanchury (n/w corner).

                                    There are two Farmer's Markets you might want to check out. The one in Brea is Tuesday evenings in the Birch Street Promenade are. When we go, we usually hit the $1 Taco Tuesday @ Fresca's. We used to *love* them, but now it's just okay. I think Baskin Robbins has $1 cones on Tuesdays. The one in Fullerton is on Thursday evenings. There's a beer garden, hot food vendors & live music. Love the hummus, pita & other dips they sell @ one stand.

                                    Hope that helps. =)

                                    Hungry Bear Restaurant
                                    2219 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92835

                                    Rutabegorz Restaurant
                                    211 N Pomona Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832

                                    The Olde Ship
                                    709 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832

                                    El Farolito
                                    201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                                    Cantina Lounge Inc.
                                    2736 East Nutwood, Fullerton, CA 92832

                                    1. re: OCAnn

                                      Thanks very much, DU and OCAnn...just sent an e-mail to the cousins to let them decide between your recs. Will let you know where we end up going and how it goes.

                                    2. re: attran99

                                      Park Ave is good. Roman Cucina is delish, can't go wrong there.

                                      P.S. Odd that the auto CH rest. info goes to the Sunset Beach location?

                                      Roman Cucina
                                      16595 N Pacific Ave, Sunset Beach, CA

                                      1. re: attran99

                                        A couple more thoughts came to me on good cheap eats for the college set. Mr OCAnn & I really enjoy the Happy Hour @ the Yardhouse in Brea (Brea Blvd north of Imp Hwy); great prices & good food. While Yardhouse is a national chain, the Slidebar is a local spot with a neighbourhood feel in downtown Fullerton. It's in the Knowlwood (going bk) & Spaghetti Factory area adjacent to the train station. I believe it was started by the guys who were in the band LIT. It's been a while, but they have a pretty good Happy Hour too....

                                        1. re: OCAnn

                                          Thanks, OCAnn...it's a shame that while my little cousins are in college, they're not old enough to drink, yet. Our plans have changed, and the cousins have decided to impede upon my other cousin (who recently had a baby) and do a take-out lunch. The house is in Placentia...and I know El Farolito is right by. Don't know if everyone's in the mood for Mexican, but in case they aren't...how's the food at Lomeli's in Fullerton? I was thinking of ordering a couple of trays of food...its on my way to Placentia.

                                          2223 W Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                                          El Farolito
                                          201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                                          1. re: attran99

                                            Regarding Happy Hour, I rarely drink...so my comments were mostly regarding the food specials (1/2 price apps @ Yardhouse). =)

                                            Hmmm...I really don't care for Lomeli's and actually prefer Lascari's (SW corner of Imp Hwy & State College) & Buca di Beppo (57 & Imp Hwy) to them. Mammlucco's on Imp Hwy closer to Kraemer (adjacent to the Trader Joe's complex) has gotten favourable reviews here (they have great garlic bites). For pizza, we go to Jojo's Pizza Kitchen (next to the Improv on Birch Street, north of Imp Hwy).

                                            If you plan to do take-out, I'm sure you're familiar with lots of options along Kraemer/Imp Hwy. But feel free to ask if you have more Qs. =)

                                            1. re: attran99

                                              I've never had anything but a great meal at El Farolito. I would pass on Lomeli's. It's not terrible, but you'll do much better at Mammalucco's. They have a decent NY style pizza, and their pasta dishes are really good.

                                              El Farolito
                                              201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                                              2500 E Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821