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Good Eats for College Students in Irvine?

a
abaraff Nov 29, 2006 11:13 PM

I just recently moved to Irvine California from Los Angeles and am looking for good healthy food that is resonably priced since college is enough money on its own! I do have a car so I can drive out of town if the restaurant is too spectacular to pass up. Let me know, thank you!

  1. b
    bahamafoodfiend Dec 16, 2006 03:12 PM

    On the corner of MacArthur and Bison (right off the 73) at the Bluffs shopping center, you have a couple good choices.

    Pei Wei - opened by PF Changs son, basically the same food but cheaper and a more casual environment

    Panera - good sandwiches and salads, a little pricey for what you get, but overall it's ok

    Wasa Sushi - Haven't been, but heard it's good

    Baja Fresh - good, cheap, healthy Cal-Mex fast food

    There is also and Islands, Carls Jr., Pasta Bravo, Daphne's and Quiznos

    Just beware going during the lunch rush, practically impossible to get a parking spot.

    Also my favorite pizza, Round Table, is right there on Jamboree.

    If you go south on MacArthur, turn left (south) onto PCH and right on the corner (facing the gas station) is Bamboo Terrace, very good!!!

    1. c
      cls Dec 3, 2006 02:05 PM

      Pacific Whey Cafe. Great breakfast and bakery in Irvine. www.pacificwhey.com
      I used to eat at Mothers Market in the back patio for breakfast or lunch in Costa Mesa on 17th.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cls
        c
        Chubbypanda Dec 13, 2006 07:47 AM

        There's a new Pacific Whey opening up in South Coast Plaza's Crystal Cove annex. Can't wait to try it out.

        - Chubbypanda

        http://www.chubbypanda.com

      2. p
        patz Dec 3, 2006 12:07 PM

        Try The Stand in Laguna Beach -- it's just off PCH, next to the Laguna Cyclery on Thalia -- it's vegetarian and has great sandwiches, burritos, soups. Try the guacamole and hummos sandwich and the tortilla soup.

        1. wowimadog Dec 3, 2006 02:49 AM

          some healthy places to try in irvine, so you can save some petrol!
          the veggie grill
          -"classic american with an exotic twist"
          http://www.veggiegrill.com/

          the wheel of life
          - veggie thai
          http://www.wheelofliferestaurant.com/

          organic to go
          -organic, natural foods
          http://www.organictogo.com/

          a short hop away:
          native foods, costa mesa
          -vegan fast food
          http://www.nativefoods.com/

          naked apples, laguna beach
          -organic, raw
          http://www.nakedapples.com/home.html

          au lac
          -asian vegetarian, vegan and raw options
          http://www.aulac.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: wowimadog
            c
            Chubbypanda Dec 13, 2006 07:47 AM

            Wheel of Life has great stuff. IMO, the original Irvine location is better than the Huntington Beach one.

            - Chubbypanda

            http://www.chubbypanda.com

          2. p
            patz Dec 1, 2006 11:07 PM

            check out Gypsy Den and Native Foods in Costa Mesa -- they're on Baker, just off Bristol, about 10 min from UCI off the 73 or the 55. Gypsy Den is also a good place to read and meet other UCIers. For a sushi splurge, try Sushi Shibucho in Costa Mesa on 19th, right next to In'n'out -- I always find them to be cheaper than Frenzy Sushi. On the same block is Taco Mesa (good, cheap mexican) and on the corner of 19th and Monrovia (near Detroit bar) is another great taco place (whose name escapes me)

            1. c
              Chubbypanda Dec 1, 2006 09:25 PM

              I second the Diho Bakery motion. Their morning bao are awesome.

              Diho Bakery Pictures:
              http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/2006/10/diho-bakery-irvine-ca-supplying.html

              Across from Diho Bakery is Curry House, the place for Japanese curry in Irvine:
              http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/2006/08/curry-house-irvine-ca-eating.html

              If you like Taiwanese Cafe-style food, I highly recommend the Red Onion Cafe:
              http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/2006/09/red-onion-cafe-irvine-ca-eating.html

              On the border of what's affordable for college students is Frenzy Sushi, which is the best sushi restaurant within 15 minutes of UCI:
              http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/2006/10/frenzy-sushi-super-post-costa-mesa-ca.html

              - Chubbypanda

              http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

              1. SauceSupreme Nov 30, 2006 06:35 AM

                I like Pho Bac Ky on the corner of Michelson and University.

                1. arisu Nov 30, 2006 06:31 AM

                  This isn't exactly a full meal but it's next to one of the Korean Tofu places that elmo mentioned above. Specifically Kaya Tofu House. It's a bakery that I've been going to for the past couple weeks called Diho Bakery. Taiwanese owned, and they bake up the best and affordable white loaves of bread ever! If you have never tried "asian" white bread, please get a loaf! For $2.50 you get a large loaf that is soft and fluffy and tastes awesome straight out of the bag! Very different from american bread. Japanese markets will sell the same type of bread for half the loaf size and almost double the price.

                  The time that I usually go in is at 9:45 am (Their opening hours say 10 am though but they've always been open before that time) and they have the present day's bread freshly baked and cooling on the racks. In addition to the fresh bread, they have yesterday's various buns and such for 50-60% off. If you want the fresh buns you'll have to wait until after 10 am. In addition to bakery products, they also sell frozen products like dumplings and wontons.

                  In between Kaya Tofu House and Diho Bakery is India Cook House, an all you can eat $8.95 indian restaurant that I've been meaning to go to as well.

                  Ok I've rambled enough...

                  Diho Bakery
                  14130 Culver Dr # J
                  Irvine, CA 92604
                  (949) 857-6415

                  1. elmomonster Nov 30, 2006 03:51 AM

                    And oh yeah, if you're into Korean Tofu Soup, there's three, count them, THREE, Korean Tofu Places on Culver and Walnut...all competing for your business:

                    PHOTOS of all three:
                    http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2006/...

                    1. elmomonster Nov 30, 2006 03:49 AM

                      Wholesome Choice is a great place. Especially for Persian take-out. Koobideh with rice is about $7.

                      WHOLESOME CHOICE PHOTOS:
                      http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2006/01/wholesome-choice-irvine.html

                      California Fish Grill has plates of grilled fish with really crisp fries for around $9.

                      CALIFORNIA FISH GRILL PHOTOS:
                      http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2006/01/california-fish-grill-irvine.html

                      Near UCI, in the Albertson's plaza, is Stricklands. Awesome ice cream. But not exactly healthy...but c'mon, you gotta indulge sometime!

                      STRICKLAND'S PHOTOS:
                      http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2006/...

                      1. w
                        whomever1 Nov 30, 2006 02:33 AM

                        Make sure you check out the Wholesome Foods grocery store at Culver and Michelson. And there's a TenRen Tea house somewhere in Irvine, if you need boba.

                        1. choctastic Nov 30, 2006 01:35 AM

                          if it turns out you're too poor to even try these offerings, there's a trader joes in the uci marketplace. this place has come a long way since i went to uci. the uci marketplace has all kinds of decent lunch places now from kebabs to (crappy) sushi to banh mi and various fast food too (which can be healty, like if you do taco bell "fresco style")

                          irvine used to be kind of boring but there's all kinds of things here now.

                          1. i
                            I got nothin Nov 30, 2006 12:39 AM

                            Tenko Teriyaki on Culver and Michelson. Good place for the college crowd: edible food, a little bit of variety, various plates/bento boxes, and big portions for $5-7

                            1. kingkong5 Nov 29, 2006 11:54 PM

                              also, iirc, there's a Gina's Pizza and Pastaria in the Albertson's center, Campus and California. On Monday nights I believe they do all you can eat spaghetti for $5.95 which would be worth checking out.

                              1. a
                                annabananaoc Nov 29, 2006 11:49 PM

                                There are tons of good, cheap eats in Irvine - esp. if you like Asian food. Try S&W or the korean tofu restaurant on Walnut and Jeffrey in the 99 Ranch mini mall. There's also Seafood Noodle Restaurant and the korean restaurant that used to be BCD Tofu on Culver, north of Walnut, near the Ralph's and Sav On. If you like "Hawaiian" food, try L&L which is also in the same area as the Seafood Noodle Restaurant.

                                1. kingkong5 Nov 29, 2006 11:18 PM

                                  When I went to UCI (1991-1995), my mainstays for food were In N Out, Alberto's, Del Taco. Now you've got the Lee's Sandwiches, which is somewhat healthy. Drive up Culver to Irvine Ctr Drive and there's a great cheap eats place, Sam Woo restaurant (not the nice side, the other side where the meat and chickens are hanging from hooks).

                                  On the far side of UCI is a Panera bread place, I guess that's healthy for ya. And if you feel like chowing down, you can't go wrong with either Souplantation (Main St east of Jamboree) or Seoul Garden Korean BBQ (way up in Tustin, on Redhill just north of the 5) for some great all you can eat.

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