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Sep 6, 2008 05:24 PM

Casual dinner in Fullerton/Anaheim vicinity

Any suggestions for a place mid(-ish)way between Riverside and the South Bay to meet some friends I haven't seen in years? Somewhere pretty low-key would be ideal, as long as the ambience isn't too ... er, Zankou-like. (Not that I don't love Zankou food!)

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  1. If it doesn't have to be directly off the 91, La Huasteca in Lynwood is just a 15-20 minute detour from Anaheim and is well, well worth the extra few minutes. It's in the "Plaza Mexico", more or less as close as you can get to the 105 freeway. It's casual, it's not too expensive, it's got interesting ambiance (it's like a Mexican plaza brought indoors) and you can wander the Plaza Mexico centre afterwards, maybe get a paleta or something, find a coffeeshop and sit and catch up if you want.

    If you're looking specifically for right off the 91, how about Luigi's D'Italia? It's on South St. and State College Blvd. (State College is one exit west of the 57 on the 91.) Another possibility, if you're looking healthier (but beware huge portions) is Rutabegorz in downtown Fullerton, on Pomona St. between Harbor and Lemon St. I also like El Farolito, but go to the one in Placentia (off the 57 at Chapman-Fullerton). (El Farolito Jr. is right off the 91 at East/Raymond, but it's not quite as nice a place.)

    La Huasteca
    3150 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

    Rutabegorz Restaurant
    211 N Pomona Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832

    El Farolito
    201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

    Luigi's D'Italia
    801 S State College Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92806

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I like DU's recommendations of Ruta's & El Farolito; can't speak to La Huasteca (never been). The only problem w/El Farolito is the low ceilings; it can get loud in there and if you're planning on "catching up" (lots of conversation) it might not be a fit.

      If you like Zankou chicken, you might like Rosine's in Anaheim Hills (off 91 @ Weir Canyon).

      If you like Persian, there's Darya in Orange.

      Further west on the 91 in Cypress is Cafe Hiro for Japanese fusion (off 91 @ Valley View).

      The one other in Fullerton that might work for decent food is Lizzaran (Spanish tapas). My other stand-bys in Fullerton are the Olde Ship & Sushi Momo. Though the Olde Ship seems to have gone downhill a touch lately and Sushi Momo is ONLY good when you sit @ the counter (and so wouldn't be conducive to conversation).

      I hope you find something; good luck!

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Ruta's is wonderful for catching up. You can even hang about after food with some yummy, yummy coffees (the Russian rocks) in a groovy, low key and cozy place.

        Luigi's is groovy too, but a slightly different vibe. Though, if it's anything like I remember from my Fullerton days, the busboys clearing tables is almost a floor show in itself for how fast they move.

      2. Yum, these sound great -- thanks, gang!