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Where should I eat Thursday night?

Das Ubergeek Apr 23, 2007 03:31 PM

OK, so I'm the big indecisive dork.

Thursday night is Chowhound night. The rules are simple: within 30 minutes' drive (at rush hour) of downtown Fullerton, where my train drops me off; no more than $30 out the door.

If I've written a report about the place before I may not go again (unless you can convince me that I've totally missed the point of the place).

I will then report back and we can see if the collective opinions of Chowhound are a match for my personal pickiness.

  1. tony michaels Apr 23, 2007 03:35 PM

    I'll play. http://www.restaurantelfortin.com/eng...

    6 Replies
    1. re: tony michaels
      OCAnn Apr 23, 2007 03:56 PM

      Is it really good? Anything in particular to order or avoid? It's almost next door to my bike shop...so might be worth a stop when I go in for a tune-up.

      1. re: OCAnn
        tony michaels Apr 23, 2007 04:00 PM

        I recall I liked the mole negro. This was a while ago but I thought for Fullerton it was pretty darn good Oaxacan food and the prices are really inexpensive, (so you won't be risking the family fortune if you try it).

        1. re: tony michaels
          OCAnn Aug 28, 2007 04:03 PM

          I FINALLY went to El Fortin. I ordered the puero mole negro. Never having had mole, I didn't know what to expect. It was a unsweet chocolatey sauce.... I'm not sure I quite get it. The pork though, was absolutely delicious; it was tender and juicy. The white rice was very good too. I was surprised by their chips & salsa...their chips are nothing to write home about, but their salsa was different. It was heavier and saucier than most salsas, with a bit of a bite. I loved it!

          I'll have to go back and sample their other plates. El Fortin was empty as we walked in, but when we left, there three other couples/groups that were there. Most appeared to speak little English, like our server. From the outside, it appears a bit sterile and unwelcoming, but I loved this little place. I think the people there (diners & servers) added a bit warmth & sincerity that I didn't expect.

          Do I love El Fortin? It's too early to say; but it is charming and the initial plates were good enough to warrant a second visit. So thanks Tony for recommendation!

          -----
          El Fortin
          700 E Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831

          1. re: OCAnn
            v
            Vegasbuff Aug 28, 2007 04:20 PM

            They are going to be moving from this location in the very near future from what I understand. They are still going to be staying in Fullerton though.

            If you like horchata, their version has pine nuts and cactus pear juice in it.

            1. re: Vegasbuff
              OCAnn Aug 28, 2007 08:06 PM

              I saw their version of horchata on the menu. I'll try it next time; I was too chicken to try it today.

            2. re: OCAnn
              Das Ubergeek Aug 28, 2007 08:09 PM

              El Fourteen (as we call it) is not at all a welcoming place -- in fact half the time it looks dead.

              I don't love it... but it is one of the few Oaxacan choices in the area.

      2. n
        nyfoodjoe Apr 23, 2007 03:36 PM

        Does Dal Rae fit the driving limitation?? Maybe tight on the money, too

        2 Replies
        1. re: nyfoodjoe
          Das Ubergeek Apr 23, 2007 03:57 PM

          I don't know what Dal Rae is.

          1. re: nyfoodjoe
            Bob Brooks Apr 23, 2007 06:49 PM

            The Dal Rae is your classic '50's style dinner house. You could probably get out for $30.00 per person but you'd have to order rather low end items. Probably not your best option for this junket, but worth a try if you're feeling nostalgic sometime and want to have that kind of fare; i.e., martinis, caesar salad done table-side, followed by lobster newberg or something of that ilk.

          2. OCAnn Apr 23, 2007 03:49 PM

            After a stress-free train ride, I still don't want to drive or walk too far. My lazy rump limit would be 15 min!

            Stretch your legs on over to the Farmers Market just steps away from Ruta's. Have a beer @ the Beer "Garden". Grab a bite @ one of the outdoor vendors while you shop for veggies (or Mom's pitas, chips & dips). Granted, the Fullerton FM may not be as huge or as good as the others; it's more of a community get-together than anything else.

            Otherwise, if you're sans Mrs Das U, try FUN SUSHI MOMO. It's a great neighbourhood sushi-ya. You can have a great meal <$25. Be sure to sit @ the counter & Suzuki san will fix you up.

            SUSHI MOMO
            1979 Sunnycrest
            Fullerton 92831
            (up Harbor @ Bastanchury)

            Those would be my first 2 recommendations. Are you feeling Mongolian? Chinese? Happy Hour? Preferences would help me narrow the list.

            3 Replies
            1. re: OCAnn
              Das Ubergeek Apr 23, 2007 03:54 PM

              That's just it... I'm not feeling anything in particular. I love Mongolian. I love Chinese. I am looking for dinner, though I'm perfectly content to cobble together a dinner out of tapas.

              And yes, Mrs Ubergeek will be in LA.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                OCAnn Apr 23, 2007 04:13 PM

                Ahhh...the problem of too many choices.

                Another strong option nearby would be THE OLDE SHIP for English food, just up Harbor Blvd.

                All others on Fullerton's Restaurant Row (Mulberry St, Ziings, Roman Cucina, Branagan's, Mitsue Shabu Shabu, Florentine's, Seafood Grille, Cafe Hildalgo, Table 10, Steamers, Angelo's & Vinci's--I've been to these @ one time or another) range btwn "meh" and good (unfortunately, nothing spectacular).

                RUTA's & THE OLDE SHIP are the only two in the area which I consider good enough to stand behind (and you've tried the former). I might put SIDNEY'S CAFE in there too, but it's a bit too much like Ruta's on a smaller scale.

                Good luck & report back on whatever you decide. It would be nice to hear that one of the restaurants I considered good to be a real standout; or having my eyes opened to something I've driven by many times and never seen.

                EDIT: If you like pub fare, HEROES or the SLIDE BAR are worth visiting.

              2. re: OCAnn
                b
                Burger Boy Apr 23, 2007 04:02 PM

                I looked at the menu for El Fortin, looks authentic and really good!

              3. kingkong5 Apr 23, 2007 07:46 PM

                I'm thinking about hitting Tsuruhashi on Thursday, would you want to go? Great Japanese BBQ on Brookhurst near Ellis. Would be less than $30 out the door.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kingkong5
                  Das Ubergeek Apr 23, 2007 07:54 PM

                  Sure, though I probably can't get down there much before about 6.30. my username with no spaces at gmail, since we're not allowed to plan chow meets in the forums. :)

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                    kingkong5 Apr 23, 2007 09:28 PM

                    great, it's on like Donkey Kong. I like Tsuruhashi on weeknights because it isn't as crowded as on the weekends, and you can get in/out quickly.

                2. g
                  greengelato Apr 23, 2007 10:30 PM

                  have you ever had the AYCE sushi night at Chomp? It's every Thursday and starts at 8:30, though you have to get their early since it can be a madhouse. it's above average sushi for an american place but at $20, it is definitely a steal and leagues better than any other AYCE sushi place.

                  one time i ate almost 40 pieces of sushi- mostly rolls (their rolls are better). i began to smell like fish.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: greengelato
                    OCAnn Apr 23, 2007 11:19 PM

                    I thought Chomp was okay...comparable to those fast food take out stuff. Went once; never gone back.

                  2. s
                    suvro Aug 28, 2007 04:16 PM

                    Let me suggest the South Indian restaurant Tirupathi Bhimas in Cerritos/Artesia's Little India.
                    It will meet your criteria of 30 min drive (due west on 91 from Fullerton), and less than $30 out the door. It would be interesting to get your read on this favorite restaurant of mine.

                    You must have one of their dosais (paper-thin fermented rice crepes filled with stuffing - varying from spiced potatoes - Madras dosa, to more exotic fillings), or go for one of their combination platters. It is all vegetarian, but one of the best in SoCal.

                    -----
                    Tirupathi Bhimas
                    18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: suvro
                      m
                      MaryT Aug 30, 2007 03:38 PM

                      Dal Rae is one of those old old institutions that [still] serves up Oysters Rockefeller, snails, and other hard-to-find-these-days continental menu items. But it is expensive lunch or dinner fare. Not far from there is Maggies Pub, which has wonderful potato fritters, lots of seafood and sandwiches, really great fish and chips, and in the afternoon has a special menu.

                      http://www.maggiespub.com/
                      http://www.dalrae.com/
                      And as someone mentioned above, Artesia has wonderful selection in Little India.

                      There used to be a great Italian place in an old bldg in old town Whittier, started with a D, now I have to go look it up, it's still in the yellow pages -- Datillos. I haven't been there in a long time, but it used to be very popular.

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