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Lunch Suggestions 405/Jamboree

I'm in Irvine for a new job and will be here 3 days a week going forward. I don't know much about food out here and need some help from OC Hounds. I'm willing to drive within a 5 mile radius to get some good lunch type food not too expensive. As a baseline I would like to find places similar to Pita Kitchen (middle eastern), Poquito Mas, Joan's on 3rd, Honey's Kettle (fried chicken) and sushi.

Thanks.

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  1. Culver and 5 you will find some great Persian and Middle eastern stuff! Also try Tentasions for sushi! take a short drive to NP and lost fo great bars in Balboa and NP

    1 Reply
    1. re: barcelona

      Connected to Ten Asian Bistro is Cafe Panini (MacArthur/Campus). Pretty good Med cuisine lunches. Also second Taleo for Mex. Veggie Grill (is that the name?) over at UCI is nice alternative option.

    2. There's a sushi/Japanese cooked food restaurant in the Gelsons center off of Jeffrey just east of the 405. I can never remember the name and I live in Sherman Oaks but my mom lives in Irvine and we eat there every now and again. Not spectacular, but some ok and affordable lunch combos, seems to get a good crowd. It's in the area by the Coffee Bean.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Debbie W

        I believe the restaurant the sushi restaurant that you are referring to is
        Maizuru
        5623 Alton Parkway
        Irvine CA 92618

      2. Try Wholesome Choice, which is on Culver and Michelson. It's a Middle Eastern supermarket with a food court inside. The Persian counter is where you want to be.

        http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2006/...

        For pasta, you simply have to try Franco's Pasta Cucina, which is in a food court on Michelson, near the airport. Simply the best pasta I've ever had, served cheap and cooked to order by a genuine Italian chef.

        http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2007/...

        2 Replies
        1. re: elmomonster

          I know franco's closes at 2pm but when do they open? I've tried googling and calling without success. thx

          1. re: choctastic

            Never mind, they open at 11am. I had to laugh when I figured out where it was and pulled into the parking lot. I hate this strip mall and have always passed it by on the way to the airport. This soulless, blindingly white concrete mess is exactly what those Teva wearing yippies in Berkeley mean when they scream about how strip malls are ruining America. They would have had a heart attack if they saw how much styrofoam is used inside the mall...

            Has anyone tried the gnocchi? I got the lobster ravioli and they were great but I should have stuck to my guns and got the gnocchi. And I dunno what people dislike about the bread. It was freshly toasted (okay I was their first customer) and went great with the light tomato cream sauce. A couple of regulars asked and got an extra piece of toasted bread. The "salad" is a couple of shreds of romaine, waste of a styrofoam cup. I still can't believe that lunch was $8. Yeah, it was served on styrofoam with plastic forks and napkins and absolutely zero ambiance, I mean zero. However, it was not the kind of lunch I normally have while sitting on a plastic chair next to a Blimpies. I'll be back again and again the rest of this week. Thanks again, guys!

            As I ate my lunch, I saw a stream of guys getting orders from this place but not one female. The gals went with the other food court places. Is this normal?

            --for the record, I want to say i normally have nothing against strip malls. some of the best eating is at strip malls. i just hate this one.

        2. Chicago's Best, on Main St, just north of Jamboree. Great Italian beef sandwiches, with the best French fries I've found in OC, along with their daily specials, which have been pastrami, tri-tip, and chicken pesto sandwiches on the days that I visited.

          Also a Philly's Best for great Philly cheese steaks, south of the Culver exit, on Barranca Pkwy.

          Not sure of any good fried chicken options nearby, but Zubie's Chicken Coop in Newport Beach has great broasted chicken.

          1. js, we are neighbors in a tough spot... I tend to frequent Francos, as metioned above as well as Baja Fish Tacos, again in a food court, on Jamboree and Dupont (behind the Daily Grill and Melting Pot). Mother's Market (Michelson & Jamboree) makes a great tuna melt, along with some other healthier fare in their cafe. I hit Houstons (same location as Mother's) for a good cheeseburger, since TK Burger is just a bit to far. For sushi, I would head down MacArthur to Wasa (The Bluffs Shopping Center), they always have fresh selections and do a great job, but a tad bit pricey. 930 Sushi on PCH in Newport may be a bit far, but good quality again at a bit better price. Welcome and happy hunting!