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Aug 24, 2006 03:51 PM

costa mesa area

I just took a job in L.A., so I only have a few more months here in our apartment right next to South Coast plaza. There are tons of places to eat around here, but unfortunately we haven't tried all of them. I could walk to Mastro's, Turner, Chat Noir... I definetly want to try Mastro's and Chat Noir. What else is recommended for around here? Have eaten at Memphis, Oki Doki, Mentatsu, Santouka, Anjin tons of times. Preferbly non-Japanese since my wife cooks it everynight for me and we'll probably be moving to Torrance...


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  1. You should try Antonello's; excellent food and service. I would highly recommend their veal chop.

    1. Drive north about 3 miles on Bristol and hit El Gallo Giro. It's on the NW corner of Edinger, kitty corner from Mater Dei High School.

      Things I like: torta cubanas (on house baked bolillo rolls), the killer salsa verde, their housemade tortillas, the champurrado, any of the licuados / aguas, and the variety of fillings for tacos.

      Things I don't like: tamales, anything deep fried (too greasy, not well executed), anything that looks like it's sat in the steam table too long.

        1. re: MEalcentric

          Wow, Mealcentric, you butchered the spelling in a new way. :-) Onotria is the correct spelling for the restaurant, occupying the former Arnie's Manhattan Deli location, with some top-notch Italian fusion on its menu.

          Golden Truffle is down near Triangle Square that has a nice cafe atmosphere and excellent seafood. Nearby is Sushi Shibucho, considered among the best sushi in OC.

          Zipangu OC is in the Anti-Mall next to Memphis Cafe, and it has some nice Japanese fusion and sushi dishes. Wild Rabbit no longer offers lunch, but has switch to dinner-only hours, offering top-notch dishes like Beef Wellington, Steak Diane, Filet Mignon, and Australian Rack of Lamb.

          Not as high on the quality rankings, but a nice new restaurant that opened up recently across from the South Coast Mall is Lani Grille Cafe, offering an Asian fusion menu of Chinese, Hawaiian, and Thai dishes. If you get one of their boba drinks, you'll get at least 100 boba at the bottom of your drink.

          1. re: Wonginator

            My bad on spelling, but I would skip Lani Grill. I've tried it twice now with various co-workers and all have been disapointed. The staff tries so hard but the food is bad. I had a "chicken salad" that came swimming in grease and chicken skin (gross). Another time I had a cold limp fried tofu "salad". Their papaya salad is more onion that papaya and will leave your breath harsh for days. Too bad, I really wanted to like this place too.

            1. re: MEalcentric

              Good call on Lani Grill. Had lunch there yesterday. How you do mess up mashed potatoes and why do they come with a side of rice?. My wife ordered the teriyaki chicken and I ordered the ribs and Hawaiian chicken. I could tell the difference in the chicken except mine had sesame seeds.

              I hope they refine the food a bit and then I willl give it a another try.

              1. re: cdmedici

                I meant to say that I could hardly tell the difference in the chicken.

              2. re: MEalcentric

                regarding my earlier post on Lani Grill, I meant to say "more onion THAN papaya"

                1. re: MEalcentric

                  I had great experience in Lani Grill. The servers were great and the food was excellent. In matter of fact, I just had their chicken salad and it was not greasy nor it has chicken skin on it. It was grilled to perfection was wonderful dressing. I have had their papaya salad as well, there was hardly any onion... maybe you had visited another Lani Grill! The one I visited in Santa Ana, Lani Grille Asian Tropical Cafe was wonderful. And yes, they have wonderful boba drinks. I already recommended many of my friends and co-workers to eat there. They all came back with great review!!!

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              1. I'll get beat up, but I still stand by the ahi mini tacos & kobe burger at Aire!

                2 Replies
                1. re: torta basilica

                  I tasted his ahi mini tacos ans well as his rock shrimp ceviche mini tacos at a food and wine charity event at Balboa Bay Club. There were delicious.

                  The Moon Over Bologna sandwich and West Coast Wrapper that I ate at the restaurant were pretty dismal though.

                  1. re: torta basilica

                    I wont beat you up, but I will say it is overpriced and service needs a lesson or two in how to SERVE. It's been a while though since I went so maybe they got their act together.