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Aug 6, 2009 10:47 PM

Anaheim/Central OC Eats

Close friends are moving to Anaheim (off Harbor and 5) and I will be at their place from time to time. Any good places I should hit up or suggest in their neighborhood? I'm familiar with the following in the area:

Little Saigon (know pretty well)
Cortina's (haven't been, but on my list to go to)

Any places nearby like:
California Fish Grill
Veggie Grill
Naan and Kebab

Or any other good eats?

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  1. Any hole in the wall Mexican food place that's name ends in a "os" like Alertos, Albertos, Alejuandros.

    Felix Cafe in Orange Circle. Good cheap Cuban food.

    I'll add more as soon as I think of them.

    1. There's a Zankou Chicken off of Ball Rd. They have great kebabs.

      Sushi Momo in Fullerton is one of my favs.
      Rutabegorz in Fullerton has a lot of vegetarian options.

      Zankou Chicken
      2424 W Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92804

      Rutabegorz Restaurant
      211 N Pomona Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832

      1. I also live off the 5 at Harbor. Harbor between Ball and Lampson is essentially a Chow drought, with the following exceptions:

        k'ya (Harbor and Ball)
        Mimi's (OK, especially for brunch)
        Marri's (Walnut and Katella)
        Joe's Italian Ice (Harbor between Chapman and Lampson)
        Oggi's (local SD pizza-and-beer chain that's not bad)

        I go to Tustin or Costa Mesa for my sushi.
        The only Veggie Grills are in Irvine.
        There's a CA Fish Grill on La Palma and Imperial, catercorner to Wholesome Choice.

        For your Middle Eastern fix you need to head west to Brookhurst between, say, Katella and Lincoln. Al Sanabel bakery, Kareem's, Sahara Falafel, Zankou (actually on Ball west of Brookhurst), lots of grocery stores.

        Other good places within, say, 10 minutes' drive of the 5 and Harbor:

        Nhu Lan Bakery (banh mi), Garden Grove Blvd and Harbor
        King Harbour Seafood (Cantonese), GG Blvd and Harbor
        Doner-G (Turkish), Ball and State College
        Natural (Mexican fruit shop), St Coll just north of Ball
        Pizza Boy (decent pizza), St Coll just north of Ball
        JT Schmid's (brewery), Katella across from the Pond
        Angelo's (burgers, cheap beer, hot waitresses on skates), St Coll and Santa Ana
        Willy's Eatery (Greek-ish plus burgers), Ball and St College
        El Farolito Jr. (Mexican, but good tacos), East and the 91
        Taqueria El Sancho (good al pastor), East and South
        El Gaucho #2 (Argentine sandwiches), St College bet Vermont and South
        Lizarran (Spanish tapas), Harbor and Chapman in Fullerton
        Rufino's (red-sauce Ital-Am), Ball and Euclid
        Nory's (Peruvian), Ball and Euclid
        Wadiya (Sri Lankan), Ball and Euclid
        La Palma Chicken Pie Shop (chicken pot pies), Euclid between Crescent and La Palma
        Cafe Casse Croute (Quebecois, but no poutine), Brookhurst and Orange

        Slightly further afield:

        Pepitos (The City Dr and GG Blvd, Orange) -- I really like their enchiladas Oaxaca (Oaxaca cheese and a whole green chile)
        Bangkok Taste (Grand Ave and the 22, Santa Ana)
        Johnny Reb's (Chapman between the 55 and Prospect, Orange)
        El Rincon Chilango (17th just east of Bristol, Santa Ana)
        The Olde Ship (Harbor north of Chapman, Fullerton)
        The Olde Ship (17th just east of Bristol, Santa Ana)
        Lomeli's (Bastanchury and Brea, Fullerton)
        Tony's Little Italy (Bastanchury and Placentia, Placentia)

        There's also the Korean districts in Buena Park and Garden Grove, Park Ave. and Thai Nakorn in Stanton, Citrus City Grille and Frog's Breath and Gabbi's and Papa Hassan's and Rutabegorz and Watson's Drugstore in the Orange Circle, Xanh in Fountain Valley, Tana Ethiopian on La Palma on the border between Anaheim and Buena Park, Beba's Bolivian on Lincoln and State College... I mean, your friends are not exactly going to starve.

        Also, once it opens, Thai Nakorn on GG Blvd and Palm will be close by. Probably next month.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          A couple of my faves to add to Ubergeek's definitive list:

          Los Sanchez - my favorite nachos that I've been able to find in all of OC
          Tulsa Rib - among the best BBQ ribs in OC
          Portilo's - only LA/OC location, other one out in Moreno Valley, Italina beef sandwich on croissant among my favorites

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            DU, I am new to Orange since January. I'm particularly interested in finding a wide-ranging eastern mediterranean restaurant of any kind but especiallyt turkish, greek and/or arabic. I'm after a place with some breadth, something beyond the usual kabob, rotisserie, kibbeh, eggplant-and-hommus tahini dips and parsley salad. That's all fine but I hanker for imam bayildi, shankleesh, grilled eggplants and peppers, georgian red beans, greek grilled squid, etc... Can you give some recommendations? Probably I'll have to drive a bit beyond but that is ok. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

            1. re: nwilcox

              Wholesome Choice in Anaheim Hills and Irvine has phenomenal eastern Mediterranean, Indian, Persian, and Asian food that you can eat on the premises or take home.

              1. re: nwilcox

                You won't find a combination Greek-Turkish-Georgian-Lebanese place like that, unfortunately, so you'll need to separate out your needs and eat in separate restaurants for the various dishes you like. (Incidentally, where did you move from where such a restaurant exists? Detroit?)

                I don't personally know of any Georgian restaurants in OC (would love to find one), though occasionally an Armenian place will throw in some khinkali. I would love for someone to correct me here, because Georgian food is the unsung miracle of the Middle East.

                Imam bayildi you will need to go to a Turkish place and there is but one -- Doner G on Ball and State College, near the 7-Eleven.

                Shanklish (za'atar-covered cheese balls with tomatoes and onions) I've never seen in OC but I have not been after it either -- you should try Zena's on Tustin and Meats in the city of Orange, and possibly Al-Sanabel on Brookhurst and Brookmore in Anaheim, which may have such things or be able to make them for you.

                Greek grilled squid is actually surprisingly hard to find. Sophia's on Kraemer in Placentia has it but I can't really recommend Sophia's as a destination (the service is so glacial and the food is not good enough to wait). Greek Island Grille on 17th in Costa Mesa MAY have it -- someone who's been more recently please chime in. Stuffed peppers and tomatoes, however, are available at Greek Garden Grille on Main and La Veta in the city of Orange, near CHOC and the MainPlace mall.

                Finally, I go to Al-Sanabel (see above) for mankousheh -- I love the cheese, the za'atar and the eggplant-and-meat one, and for Iranian polo and stews you have two options: quick and cheap at the Wholesome Choice grocery store's food court on Imperial Hwy and La Palma (NE corner) in Anaheim or on Culver and Michelson in Irvine -- or if you want sit-down you can go to Darya on Tustin north of Taft in the city of Orange. Make sure if you go to Darya that you order the juicy chicken kabob (that's what it's called) to go with your polo... unbelievably juicy.

                And to the OP, I totally forgot the two great mariscos places in the area: Mariscos Licenciado #2 in Anaheim (on State College and La Palma) and Mariscos Puerto Esperanza in the city of Orange (on Tustin and the Taft, near the gas station).

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  DU, thanks a lot, I really do appreciate the broader information about the eastern med. Very helpful. I am sorry it sounded like I was hankering for a place that served ALL that groovy stuff and no, I've never seen such a place anywhere. I am really seeking the eateries beyond "stock greek" and "stock lebanese" and your suggestions are a big help. I often feel like eastern med food in (most of) America is about where Chinese food was forty years ago: Practically all Cantonese and even then only the narrowest and blandest tiny slice of that grand cuisine. At any rate thanks for your tips.

                  Maybe if enough of us wax poetic about Georgian food the market will respond!

                2. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Thanks, fantastic list! I've been frequenting the Orange Circle area a bit more, but at a loss with other areas.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Cafe Casse Croute (Quebecois, but no poutine), Brookhurst and Orange - we finally made it across town from west GG to try this place. Cute little cafe (though perhaps a bit outdated decor) - surprised to see a Zagat sticker on the glass as we went in. Didn't meet the (somewhat infamous) Mr. but the lady who waited on us was very sweet. We showed up at 11:00 so apprently we missed the breakfast crush and finished just as the lunch crowd started to arrive. Never having had French Canadian food before, all I can say is that the (finely) minced pork pie was very tasty - how it compares to other versions, I have no idea, but I'll definitely order it again - unless I go for the crepes instead. The crust was very minimal, so the pie was mainly filling, which was fine by me. Good gravy, very good freshly cooked vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces - perfectly cooked to just tender, not limp, good flavor (or choose rice or bread instead of potatoes, or veggies). The hostess told me that everything is made fresh on the premises, nothing is fried. Their (Lionaise style - not sure how to spell that?) potatoes are boiled ahead, then quickly browned on the grill - very good. Hubby had the big breakfast which came with two fresh sausage patties and 2 strips of bacon. I got a taste of the sausage and it was very good - mildly flavored with just a bare hint of sweetness, maybe a maple flavor?

                    The place also says bakery, but there was no display in the dining area - I was ready to be tempted but without the visability factor, I managed to be good. A previous Chow post said it was located adjacent to the Stater Brothers market - but it's the shop at the south end of the strip, furthest away from the market, right along Brookhurst. There are also some other interesting places including one called "The Hidden Cafe" that's "hidden" in the corner of this L shaped mall, along with a pizza place and another cafe. More exploration is in order.

                    Cafe Casse Croute
                    656 S Brookhurst St, Anaheim, CA 92804

                  2. I'm going to add Ma's Islamic in Anaheim off of Orangethorpe to this list. Came here the other night and looooved their sesame green onion pancake. We got the thick type, so 1 1/2 inches of bready goodness, will try the thinner style next time. Also got the hand sliced stir fried noodles. Same taste as some really tasty chowmein, but they have a hand sliced chow fun style rice noodle. Noodles are long, thick, dense, and divine. Huge portions, ordered 3 items between 5 girls and still had leftovers, the bread filled us up quickly.

                    Ma's Islamic
                    601 E Orangethorpe Ave
                    Anaheim, CA 92801

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: groover808

                      try Saffron Grill on Katella in Orange for Persian food

                    2. Tacos San Pedro on Lincoln. Great tacos, menudo, and flautas.