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Dec 12, 2006 09:22 PM

Ultimate OC Restaurants 2006

Thanks to Mr. Grub for starting the LA version of the annual Ultimate poll.

The concept is simple: everyone is asked to list, in rank order, your top 5 restaurants in Orange County that you would recommend to houndly out-of-town visitors or to chowfriends for a special occasion. Since we worship at the altar of deliciousness, your ranking should be based 75% on food and 25% on everything else.

To join the fun, reply with a list of ONLY your top 5 choices. Responses with more than 5 choices will not be included. Replies with fewer than five choices will be tabulated. Your entries will be weighted arithmetically, 5 points for your #1 choice; 4 for #2, & so forth. A simple list will suffice, but any & all explanation is welcome.

29 OC hounds responded last year. The more replies we receive, the more useful are the poll’s findings, so please do reply. We’ll keep the polls open until December 22 & publish the results shortly after the new year.

For openers, here’s kingkong5’s top 5:
1. The Loft - The Montage Hotel, Laguna Beach
2. Newport Seafood - The best house special lobster
3. Thai Nakorn - New location in Garden Grove, same great food
4. Brodard Chateau - Good location and atmosphere
5. Mastro's Steakhouse - great steaks

Last year's results:

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  1. Yaay! I was afraid that if I didn't do it for OC this year, no one was going to. And you came in! Phew! Thanks for picking up the slack.

    Here's my five for this year:

    1. Mastro's Steakhouse
    2. Bluefin
    3. Thai Nakorn
    4. Sushi Shibucho
    5. Cafe Hiro

    4 Replies
    1. re: elmomonster


      i know that you are a frequent of this board A LOT and share a lot of good knowledge of food that is respected by many(including myself, because i do enjoy your blog), however, i have to disagree with Mastro's. I was just there this last weekend, service was great and all, but the steaks (ordered bone in rib eye and date had filet) were on the bland side. it was cooked to order, nice and juicy, but for some reason, it just lacked any kind of flavor to it. im not saying it was a bad steak, it just wasnt what it was hyped up to be. however, sides were delicious. for that price, i guess i was hoping for something that would knock my socks off...oh yeah, i also mentioned it was my GFs birthday, couldnt they have given her some kinda desert on the house??? does anyone else share my view regarding Mastros?

      1. re: khuezee

        I can't speak for elmomonster and I have not been to some of the great steakhouses in New York or Chicago, but as far as steakhouses in Orange County, Mastro's can't be beat.

        I have been regularly going to to Ruth's Chris, Flemings, Morton's, Turner's New Zealand & Landmark (blech!) up until Mastro's came to town. I have never had as good as consistancy as Mastro's. I usally go about twice a month to Ocean Club and have had only stellar steak and incredible service everytime.

        The only thing negative I can say about Mastro's is how expensive it can be.

        1. re: khuezee

          I guess your mileage will vary. I've been there twice, and so far, so good. But, I am curious: what is your gold standard for steak? Mine was Ruth Chris, until Mastro's came along.

          But you're right about the birthday comp. It would have been nice. But then, you figure, Mastro's is a special occasion type of place already.

          Imagine all the birthdays celebrated there at any one time. If they started comping for b-days, they could be continuously giving out a free dessert for every other table.

          1. re: khuezee

            Coincidentally, the service at my last visit wasn't as polished as my first. It seems the larger the table, the less attention you get.


        2. 1. Honda Ya
          2. Brodard Chateau
          3. Thai Nakorn
          4. Taco Adobe
          5. Uoko

          1. 1. Stubrick's (Fullerton) & Sid's (Mission viejo) - Steak
            2. Sagami (Irvine) - Japanese
            3. El Giro Gallo (Santa Ana) - Mexican
            4. The Catch (Anaheim) - American/Continental
            5. Opah (Irvine, Aliso Viejo) - Euro/Asian

            1. 1. Zov's - consistently outstanding
              2. Taleo (Irvine) - Mexican
              3. Habana (Santa Ana) - Cuban
              4. Opah (Irvine)
              5. French 75

              1. 1. Shin Sen Gumi
                2. Seafood Paradise (dim sum)
                3. El Adobe de Capistrano (seafood specials, especially lobster fajitas)
                4. Inka Mama's
                5. Honda Ya