Suggestions/Recommendation for North OC
We recently moved to north OC from Long Beach are looking for some recommendations. All around favorite restaurants please. We've spent considerable time at the Cellar in Fullerton (great wine list - I'm a big wine fan) and pretty good food. Also really enjoy Napa Rose (again, the wine - do you see a pattern?). We live right on the border of Buena Park and Fullerton. I'm Korean, so we are familiar with most of the Korean joints around. One big thing would be a good Persian restaurant that anyone could recommend, as well as a good bakery. Thanks for your help.
I think we somehow got involved in some kind of chowhound spy exchange. I just moved from Anaheim to Belmont Heights (Molino & 3rd), and you're now shacking up in north OC. Since you're already familiar with the Cellar, have you taken the few steps across the Villa del Sol courtyard to Cafe Hidalgo? It's a great pan-Latin menu featuring really fresh, well-executed takes on Argentine chimichurri, Yucatan-style salbutes, and the tenderest calamari I've yet tasted. You might find the wine list a bit pedestrian, but check for/ask about rotating special wines. They tend to pique more vinous interest. IIRC, corkage is around $10-12.
I don't have direct experience with many of the area's Persian offerings, but I can heartily vouch for Ali Baba, in Anaheim on the southeast corner of Lincoln & Brookhurst. I am lamb-mad, so when I'm not straying for the occasional esoteric seafood preparation, I tend to focus on Bo Peep's wooly charges. The Barreh Kabob ba Berenj is the purest expression, addictively marinated and expertly grilled. This is one place that understands that THERE IS NO LAMB PAST MEDIUM RARE! Another standout is the Chelow Khoresht Fesenjune, chicken breast chunks sauteed in a truly singular walnut-pomegranate. I do remember some Iranian wines on the menu, but never tried them, and the others were house variety stuff. No recall on corkage.
Another recco is what I call the "poor man's Valentino", The Anaheim White House, at 887 S. Anaheim Bl., 2 blocks north of Ball Rd. It's a former home efficiently and tastefully converted into a collection of themed dining rooms (just like Lasher's) named after our presidents. Just be careful with pretzels in the Bush Room. ;^) The menu is nominally Northern Italian, with notable French and California influences (check the link below for details). Given your professed love for the Cellar's wine list, I don't know how theirs will stack up. Prices run from fair to high markups, and you won't be short on Gajas, "aias" and other vowel-ridden cult bottles. As an Italian wine lover, though, it's encouraging to see a good basic Valpolicella like Masi's for a reasonable 7 ducats a glass.
Being firmly ensconced behind the Orange Curtain need not involve Chow deprivation, and I hope you'll feel the same after sampling these and other local picks.
Although this certainly does not fall under the fine wine domain, one of my favorite cheap restaurants is a Mexican place called Los Sanchez. It's a total dive (concrete floors, ratty chairs and an open kitchen), but it's always packed which tells you something. It's on Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim, on the west side of the street, about a mile south of the Hilton. It's literally in the shadow of the new Crowne Plaza Hotel. The prices are amazingly low (like less than $3 for most items), and the menu is huge. The shredded beef tacos are better than any I've ever had outside Mexico (and I used to live in Texas). On cold days, many people go for the huge bowls of Mexican soups, many of which are loaded with vegetables and ears of corn.
This is ont a touristy place, and it's totally lacking in ambiance. But for a delicious, inexpensive lunch that will tide you over until the next day, I would stronly recommend Los Sanchez.