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Feb 22, 2009 02:00 PM

Best Mexican, comfort food and sushi in Anaheim/Newport/HB areas?

We'll be in town the last week in March. I'm originally from CA but it's been a LONG time since I've visited....thanks!

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  1. Sushi: Bluefin, Wasa, Shibucho, Hamamori, Maki-Zushi.


    1 Reply
    1. DU's given you the right leads for Mexican and Sushi. As for comfort food in the area, that's a tough one. For me, comfort food can mean a lot of different things: Ramen from Santouka or Shin Sen Gumi, Pho or Bun Thit Nuong from a dozen different places in Little Saigon, some yakiniku from Tsuruhashi, a Philly cheesesteak and cheese wiz fries from Philly's Best, menudo and a crunchy taco from George's mexican food (actually those last two are more like hangover food).
      If you are looking for classic comfort food, there's Watson's Diner in Old Town Orange, Paul's Coffee Shop in Fountain Valley, or maybe Tulsa Rib Company in Orange (their fries are super-addictive). I guess some of Old Vine Cafe's breakfast/lunch Menu could be considered comfort food (creamy cheese grits, biscuits & gravy, Prime Rib and Truffle pannini)

      1. All of my recs are for the Newport area;

        For Mexican while not the best, we really enjoy El Ranchito on the Balboa Peninsula (not the Corona Del Mar location). It has a great patio and that cool laid back beach vibe. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Javiers in Newport Coast. This is a total luxe Dodd Mitchell designed Mexican restaurant. Overpriced but you get a nice ambiance with a killer view of the Pacific. If you want to eat mexican in flip flops and board shorts go El Ranchito.

        For sushi I have to highly recommend Bluefin. This place has gotten some knocks lately, mostly because the owner Takashi Abe hasn't been there as much. Sadly..his other restaurant Izakaya Zero in Huntington Beach has closed, so I expect he will be at Bluefin much more often. This is still my favorite non-traditional sushi in the Newport area. This is in the same plaza as Javiers.

        For comfort..and I guess everyone has their own idea of what comfort food is, but my idea of comfort food is fatty burgers, osso bucco, roasted chicken, lamb chops, pot roast, tasty steaks etc. The problem is that most places that make this food in Newport area not using the best quality ingredients (Blue Beet, The Alley, even the relocated Arches). The exception to the rule is A Restaurant. This is in the former famouse Arches restaurant on PCH. Same old school vibe with amazing updated comfort food. We have been many times and it just gets better and better.

        They also serve steak tartar, pork belly, chicken liver terrine. I also love that the steaks are served with a separate bone filled with tasty bone marrow which I often order a whole plate of.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cdmedici

          cdmedici - El Ranchito in Newport is actually located by the Newport Peninsula and not Balboa. The only Mexican place in Balboa is Cabo Cantina. But both of these places are good.

          For good comfort food that has a mix of Mexican and American is Mutt Lynch's right on the beach.

          1. re: Jaytizzle

            Good call. There is nothing more comforting on a sunny saturday or sunday than a schooner of beer at Mutt's, an order of fried pickles and a view of the boardwalk and newport pier.

            1. re: Jaytizzle

              huh??? I have lived her my entire life and not sure what you are talking about. It has always been called the balboa peninsula. Anything east of 45th street is the Balboa Peninsula. Do you mean it is by the Newport Pier and not the Balboa Pier? If that is what you mean than you are correct.

              1. re: Jaytizzle

                There's only one peninsula. I've only heard it called the Balboa Peninsula, and Caltrans thinks so too, since that's what the signs on PCH for Newport Blvd headed toward the end of the peninsula say.

            2. Here are the links.

              Mutt Lynch's
              2300 W Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663

              El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant
              2800 Newport Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92663

              1. One of my best friend's Mom (who happens to be Japanese from Japan) enjoys the HB Todai AYCE. If you get there early, the best and the freshest stuff is available.
                Comfort food to me is sweets. Sprinkles Cupcakes has a location in Newport...and I believe the Original Pancake House is in Anaheim. I love Sprinkles red velvet with cream cheese frosting...the best I've ever had. And pancakes at the Original Pancake House never disappoints.

                10 Replies
                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Mutt Lynch's? Really?
                    Love the place but the food???

                    1. re: cls

                      Beer + cheesy/greasy food = comfort the morning after a long night. By no means is Mutt's a destination for a well-crafted meal, but it is comforting.

                    2. re: Das Ubergeek

                      I ditto ya Das Ubergeek. When it comes to sushi, never, ever do the buffet style restaurants. They're an insult to a real made fresh in front of you sushi bar!

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        I is a Todai, but not part of the Todai franchise. It's run by an independent group based in Japan, I think. The sushi is made only a few pieces at a time, and if i actually sits out long (which it doesn't) they'll toss it. I was a skeptic until my friend's Mom suggested it one time, and it turned out to be one of the nicest AYCE experiences I've ever had. She's Japanese from Japan, so she doesn't kid about sushi.

                        1. re: attran99

                          She may be Japanese, but that doesn't necessarily make her a Japanese CH. I've seen many folks from here dine @ McDonald's abroad and that doesn't speak to McDonald's quality. If anything, they're nostalgic for food from "home" whether it's good, bad or in between.

                          1. re: OCAnn

                            Here's the deal...she's got discerning tastes...I've known her long enough to understand that. None of her recs have ever been bad...from the tiny little holes in the walls in Torrance where you can only order in Japanese...and yes, even to the places I never thought I would like. So I'm not listing recs just to list recs.

                              1. re: attran99

                                Yeah, your mom and I part ways on this one.

                        2. re: attran99

                          In Balboa is Great Mex which is a hole in the wall Mexican place next to the theatre.
                          That's where all the locals go and it is very good.