Groovy spots near Anaheim & Huntington/Newport Beach
Hey all. Heading to Disneyland from Arizona. Staying with friend near Huntington/Newport Beach area. Looking for suggestions.
Big fan of groovy little local spots. Normally prefer family-owned, full of character and sometimes rather divey places. What's the best in the area? Want to stay in that area.
Would welcome a couple of recommendations on good cheap seafood (think fish tacos or fish/chips) and killer margaritas.
In Anaheim Hills is Senor Baja, which has fantastic fish and shrimp tacos (fish is better)... if you make it up to La Habra, El Taco Nazo has wonderful fish and shrimp tacos too (but the shrimp is better than the fish).
Immediately around Disneyland, you have Carolina's (old-school divey sit-down red-sauce Italian, if you get anything "imaginative" you've screwed the pooch), Marri's (nicer, but not as tasty). El Farolito Jr. is on East St. and the 91 about 5-10 minutes from Disneyland and has tasty fish tacos, though not on the level of Senor Baja or El Taco Nazo... they're a total dive.
Full of character... sounds like you need to go to Jagerhaus, on Ball Road between Sunkist and the 57 Freeway, which is a German restaurant just overloaded with character -- and good food too.
And if you can make it to Stanton, 10-15 minutes from Disneyland, you can go to Thai Nakorn on Beach Blvd. and Chapman Ave., which is (in my estimation, and that of many other Chowhounds) the best Thai restaurant in Orange County, or to Park Avenue (actually on Beach Boulevard), which has a ridiculously cool Googie bar and good, straight-ahead American food.
Good, cheap seafood? Try Mariscos Los Mochis on State College Blvd. between Santa Ana St. and Lincoln Ave. in Anaheim.
The Shamrock in Newport is pretty good.
When I lived in Huntington, I loved a super-divey bar at Orange and 17th (three blocks back from the water) called Redz. It's next to a liquor store, a laundromat, and an equally divey Mexican food place.
Also, there is a bar called Kitsch in Costa Mesa on Baker. The sign is teeny-tiny so you cannot read it from the street. The hipsters hang out there imagining they are in a speakeasy, but it can be fun.
Nearby, is Detroit Bar, which is groovy. Great music and DJs and hot bartenders (both male and female). It's on 19th and Placentia. Technically in Costa Mesa, but close to Newport.
Wahoo's makes good, cheap fish tacos (I also love their pork platter). There's one on Main in Huntington.
re: Das Ubergeek
True. Detroit has changed over the past few years. It used to be one of the only non-meat market places to dance anywhere I've ever been, but the last time I went I noticed that the place was, well, stickier for one thing.
I also loved Memphis in Costa Mesa for Southern/soul type food when I lived in Orange County. They have good food and drinks...if you can get a table.
Take a look at this thread, it might be helpful (the topic is costa mesa, a neighboring city to both Huntington and newport, and it includes several recs for Newport)
I'd recommend heading down to Main Street in Huntington Beach and grab a drink at one of the numerous bars down their. Both Duke's and Chimayos are right next to the pier and are very popular spots for visitors (personally i've never been since I've heard they are a little pricey and the food is not all that good). Whatever you do, DON'T have a margarita at Fred's Mexican Cafe on the corner of Main St and PCH in Huntington. Their margs are 90% sweet&sour mix, I've even tried ordering an extra shot and they are still terrible.
As for Newport, I'd also recommend the Pier area for drinks (the Newport pier, not the Balboa pier). There's several nice little bars right around there, Mutt Lynch's, Blackie's, The Beach Ball, Stag Bar, Blue Beet.