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POLL: Ultimate OC Restaurants, 2009

Hi folks, here's OC's version of the 2009 Ultimate Restaurant poll.

Please rank your top 10 restaurants in Orange County that, as succinctly stated by previous pollster Mr Grub, "you would recommend to houndly out-of-town visitors or to chowfriends for a special occasion. Since we worship at the altar of deliciousness, your ranking should be based 75% on food and 25% on everything else."

Please reply with a list of your top 10 choices:
- five restaurants in the OVER $25/person for food and
- another five restaurants for UNDER $25/person (also food only).

For details & instructions, please see Max's post/thread for LA proper:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/665207 :: PLEASE POST YOUR VOTES HERE: Ultimate Los Angeles Restaurants 2009
...I'll be tabulating the same way but will keep the OC poll open until 12/31/09.

The more replies we receive, the more useful the poll’s findings are, so please reply. I'll publish the results shortly after the new year.

And as an fyi, here are the results of past polls:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585999 :: Ultimate OC Restaurants, 2008; RESULTS
2007 results were lost in cyberspace
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/356299 :: Ultimate Orange County Restaurant Poll Results 2006
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/76035 :: Ultimate Orange Country Restaurant Poll Results 2005

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  1. > 25

    Hamamori
    Marche Moderne
    Stonehill Tavern

    < 25

    Marc Burger
    Santouka
    Vien Dong

    1. I only have a below $25 list now, because I am poor.

      <$25, places I recommend to out-of towners.

      1) Veggie Grill
      2) Fukada
      3) 85c (kind of cheating since it's a bakery, but whatever)
      4) Santouka
      5) Pizza e Vino (if they're not from LA, Phoenix, or NYC)

      Honorable Mentions:

      1) Grande Bakery for being the absolute best panaderia in town, imho, even better than a lot of the places in L.A. that I've been to. Hands down, one of the best panaderias, short of Porto's. Nobody ever talks about this place, but it is the bomb.

      1 Reply
      1. re: choctastic

        Well, okay, it's not nearly Porto's level, now that I think about it. But it is definitely the best panaderia in OC.

        I also liked the panaderia in what used to be Gigante Market in Anaheim.

      2. I don't dine in OC much except for Japanese, but:

        Over $25:
        Sushi Shibucho
        Tsuruhashi
        Yakitori Shin-Sen-Gumi
        Maki-Zushi
        Mastro's

        Under $25:
        Santouka
        Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gumi

        I'm sure that, if I ever got around to going to some other places, this list would look much different.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mrhooks

          Nice to see you making the rounds in OC mrhooks!

        2. >25
          Marche moderne
          Sapphire
          Charlie Palmer
          Cucina Alessa
          Xanh bistro
          <25
          Bear flag fish Co

          1. Under $25
            - Veggie Grill
            - Fukada
            - Ngu Binh
            - Santouka
            - Taqueria De Anda

            Over $25 (Been going to LA for my pricier eats, need to explore more in OC)
            - Tsruhashi
            - Taps

            Going to hit up Mastro's soon, so should be on my list next year!

            1 Reply
            1. re: groover808

              Over 25:

              Old Vine Cafe
              Marche Moderne
              Koi (Seal Beach)
              Onotria
              Royal Khyber

              [reflecting where we went this year, i.e, I have no doubt that Stonehill and others are better than Royal Khyber, but we didn't make it to Stonehill, etc this year. That being said, we didn't make it to thise because we kept going back to OVC, MM and Koi.