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What is the quintesential SoCal ....

w
WaWa Jan 27, 2010 11:05 AM

food experience...we will be visting the mouse in two weeks and are staying across the street. I think I am more excited about vistiing some good restaurants. We live in a small city with very limited options of foodies...think lots of chains.

So I have read though all of the threads on disney but a lot seemed to lean to asian food. While we love it we tend to steer clear as our daughter has nut and pollock allergies and from experience it has been an issue.

So if you had to pick 5 restaurants for supper, we will have a car, but not knowing the area we do not want to venture too far... they need not be fancy just yummy...we have kids 6,8, 10; what would your list entail that would give us a taste of SOCal. If we can I would love ot be able to walk once or twice.

We will be going on to San Diego later so I was thinking of doing sea food there?

My son loves burgers so maybe In n'Out so we can say we have been.
would love to do some really tasty Mexican...

I am not hung up on price but nor do I care to pay through the nose as so often it is the holes in the wall that are the best...
What do the locals recommend what woudl your list of five kid friendly place be...

  1. Servorg Jan 27, 2010 11:21 AM

    You won't even have to leave the Mouse House to experience one of the best restaurants in the OC - make a reservation for Napa Rose (NR).

    Click on the link below to find some of the threads / reviews of NR here on CH.

    -----
    Napa Rose Restaurant
    1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

    1. t
      TomSwift Jan 27, 2010 12:01 PM

      NR can be on the pricey side and offers food that adults would appreciate but that your kids may not. See if you can check out a menu.

      I'd suggest Marri's Pizza, in the mini mall at West and Katella. Directly across the street from California Adventure. Informal, really good pizza and other Italian food, and kid friendly. I grew up in Anaheim and Marri's has been delivering top notch pizza since the days when it really was a hole in the wall (nitches hacked out of the walls where they kept the salt & pepper shakers)..

      5 Replies
      1. re: TomSwift
        Servorg Jan 27, 2010 12:47 PM

        "NR can be on the pricey side..."

        That is true, without a doubt. They do have a child's menu however. You can look it over here with prices: http://allears.net/dlr/din/menu/men_n...

        Probably better if the OP and his wife get a baby sitter for the evening and go by themselves one night. It really is a very excellent restaurant.

        1. re: Servorg
          t
          TomSwift Jan 27, 2010 01:21 PM

          Agree completely with the babysitter idea. I didn't know about the child's menu; not having children the issue has never arisen. It is an outstanding restaurant and should not be missed.

          1. re: Servorg
            t
            TomSwift Jan 27, 2010 01:23 PM

            That is a great sounding child's menu. At those prices, I wonder If I could pass for 11 or under?

            1. re: Servorg
              OCAnn Jan 29, 2010 07:40 AM

              And if you do go to NR sans kids, you might consider sitting at the Chef's Counter if you don't mind seeing an active kitchen and interacting with the chef. At the counter, you have the option of ordering off the menu or having the chef create your meal for you. They'll ask you a few questions on your likes, dislikes and allergies and prepare a meal based on that. However, if you want a quiet meal, then this would not be for you. And it's not more expensive than sitting at a regular table.

              1. re: OCAnn
                w
                WaWa Jan 29, 2010 08:08 AM

                That is a great tip the kids would love that; thanks

          2. wienermobile Jan 27, 2010 12:09 PM

            Very kid friendly and just a few miles away at Knott's Berry Farm is the famous Mrs. Knott's Fried Chicken (the restaurant is outside the park so you don't have to pay admission) with homemade biscuits and boysenberry pie. Also around the corner from Knott's from Chicago is Portillo's Hot Dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, and it is really good.

            -----
            Portillo's Hot Dogs
            8390 La Palma Ave, Buena Park, CA 90620

            Mrs Knott's Restaurant
            8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA

            1. j
              jaykayen Jan 27, 2010 12:16 PM

              El Farolito in Placentia for Mexican. I don't think they take reservations, but I've never waited too long. Portions are large and definitely splittable, very kid friendly, I see babies in here all the time.

              In-N-Out, of course. I think the best non-chain, upscale burger in OC is at Haven Gastropub in Orange.

              Vietnamese has to be on the list. I'm not sure how sensitive your daughter is to nuts, but pho should be safe for her to order. I haven't really had a favorite pho restaurant for a while. My favorite Vietnamese rstaurants right now are probably Ngu Binh, Brodard, and Ha Noi Avenue.

              Japanese... well, there are a bunch listed in the Chowhound poll. I really like Honda-Ya.

              Here is the Ultimate OC Restaurants poll: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/679834

              -----
              Brodard Restaurant
              9892 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92844

              El Farolito
              201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

              Ngu Binh Restaurant
              14072 Magnolia St, Westminster, CA 92683

              Honda Ya Japanese Restaurant
              556 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780

              Haven Gastropub
              190 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

              8 Replies
              1. re: jaykayen
                a
                attran99 Jan 27, 2010 12:42 PM

                Agree with the Pho comment. Pho is a rice noodle soup served in a slowly cooked beef broth spiced with star anise, cinnamon, onions, peppercorns, and a few other things. Wonderfully delightful on a cold day...or any day of the week, if you're me. The standard bowl of Pho (Pho Tai) will have the noodles, sliced onions, scallions, cilantro, and thin-cut rare steak. The steaming hot broth poured over the top will cook the steak. If you're adventurous (and I am), get the bowl with tripe, brisket, tendon, and rare steak (Pho Xe Lua). A biwl steamy bowl will set you back about $5-6 each. Check Das Ubergeek or elmomonster for specific Pho recs.
                Another Vietnamese treat that would be accessible is banh mi (sandwich). It's a fresh French baguette schmeared with pork pate, Vietnamese-French mayo (egg yolks, oil, and salt), and your choice of protein. My faves are French jambon (ham), cha lua (Vietnamese pork lunchmeat), and the thit nuong (grilled pork). The sandwiches are stuffed with accoutrements of pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, sliced onions, and jalapenos. A banh mi will set you back about $3-4 for a 10 inch sandwich. Lee's Sandwiches is the closest location to Disneyland on Harbor Blvd. It's a chain, and while it's not the best, it satisfies my cravings.
                Enjoy your trip!

                1. re: attran99
                  WildSwede Jan 29, 2010 09:20 AM

                  I would smuggle some Banh Mis into Dland since food is pricey. Get a locker.

                  1. re: WildSwede
                    a
                    attran99 Jan 30, 2010 02:37 PM

                    If you smuggle, I would suggest getting the accoutrements on the side. They help the banh mi get soggy faster.

                    1. re: attran99
                      WildSwede Feb 3, 2010 01:56 PM

                      Great point, Attran, thanks! Also, smuggle in bottled water and other " snacky" things. Is there a Bob's Big Boy in the area? Kids would probably like that.

                      1. re: WildSwede
                        OCAnn Feb 3, 2010 02:21 PM

                        There's a Bob's Big Boy in Anaheim on Katella, east of the 57 & the Honda Center...in the same strip mall as King's Fish House.

                2. re: jaykayen
                  groover808 Jan 27, 2010 08:43 PM

                  2nd El Farolito for solid, authentic Mexican in a family friendly, casual sit-down environment.

                  For Vietnamese, Xanh Bistro in Fountain Valley is slightly more upscale twist and they do cater to a non-Vietnamese crowd well. Just tell them about your daughter's allergies.Not as hole in the wall, mom-n-pop, non-english speaking environment you'll encounter in much of Westminster.

                  You should really try some Korean BBQ in Garden Grove. I like Cham Sut Gol, but others can chime in. It's all you can eat, you cook it yourself and there's a plethora of side dishes. Just have your daughter steer clear of the fish cake side dish, might have pollock or haddock.

                  In-N-Out is a must visit, solid burgers.

                  Also you might want to make a trek out to Mitsuwa Food Court in Costa Mesa (maybe 15 miles from Anaheim). Best ramen in OC at Santouka (food stall with wood slats), just take out the white and pink looking fish cake for your daughter.

                  1. re: jaykayen
                    w
                    WaWa Jan 28, 2010 09:06 AM

                    Can kids go in Haven Gastropub or is it a true Pub?
                    Thanks

                    1. re: WaWa
                      Das Ubergeek Jan 28, 2010 10:45 AM

                      It's a restaurant. Minors are permitted.

                  2. p
                    pinpei Jan 27, 2010 01:17 PM

                    I will disagree with some of the posters here. What are the quintessential SoCal meals? As a native I would say that hot dogs and pizza do not rank as quintessential SoCal foods. The restaurants suggested might be great, but SoCal is not known as the place to come to for hot dogs or pizza. We are known for Mexican food, burgers, Vietnamese food and Chinese food. Not being from OC (I'm an Angeleno), I am sure others can better steer you to where you will find these foods near Disneyland. As far as hamburger chains go, In-N-Out is spot on for quintessential SoCal.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: pinpei
                      OCAnn Jan 29, 2010 07:52 AM

                      But if you're in the mood for hot dogs or pizza anyway, there's Costco (a huge membership warehouse). You don't have to be a member to eat here and it's in the same shopping area mentioned up thread as Lee's Sandwiches. Costco's food counter is outside and you can get a good hot dog (with beverage!) for $1.50, a couple slices of thin-crust pizza for $2, a salad for $4, chicken bake for $3.50. These are good, cheap eats.

                      EDIT: The only bad thing about Costco is that it's near Chuck E Cheese...and if your kids see that, they may jump & scream to go there instead (and a ToysRUs next door). There's also a D'land outlet store on the southwest corner of Lemon Street (one street west of Harbor Blvd) & Orangethorpe. You'll have a lot of restaurant and fast food chain options in both areas if necessary...and a Target (discount store) nearby if you need to purchase bottles of water, snacks and other essentials.

                      1. re: OCAnn
                        w
                        WaWa Jan 29, 2010 08:09 AM

                        Great idea; but probably no...we live right by a costco so we oftne do that witht he kids now,, shop grab a bite etc....chuch e cheese just sent a shiver down my spine.....

                        1. re: WaWa
                          OCAnn Jan 29, 2010 08:34 AM

                          Yes, Chuck E Cheese: kid's dream, adult nightmare.

                    2. w
                      WaWa Jan 27, 2010 07:56 PM

                      thanks for your input and I do welcome more I will chew on it tomorrow with a fresh cup of coffee in hand...lights out now. I will dream hamburgers though...I just pulled out the summer issue of Saveur Magazine...the burger bible ...they talked extensively about In-n-Out and Tommy's as well as others man my tummy is growling....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: WaWa
                        OCAnn Feb 1, 2010 08:36 AM

                        Huell Howser, a local PBS travel host, is doing a episode on In-n-Out, here's the short YouTube piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5QG37...

                      2. Professor Salt Jan 27, 2010 08:53 PM

                        Welcome to Orange County. I'd put in a vote for Park Avenue Restaurant in Stanton. Very American retro - classic comfort foods with an upscale twist. It's a little bit of a drive, I'm not sure how close (in minutes) you want to keep your destinations. Keep in mind with the traffic around here, a few miles can take a very long time in rush hour traffic.

                        http://www.parkavedining.com/

                        We have tons and tons of Mexican food in the Anaheim / Santa Ana area. Many hole in the wall taco joints, but for something more upscale, I'd steer you to Gabbi's in the City of Orange.http://gabbimex.com/

                        Also for Mexican seafood in the area, check out Mariscos Puerto Esperanza http://mariscospuertoesperanza.com/

                        Lastly, for San Diego recommendations, ask or search on the California board. That's where San Diego is discussed.

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/3

                        -----
                        Park Avenue Restaurant
                        11200 Beach Blvd., Stanton, CA 90680

                        Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen
                        141 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

                        Mariscos Puerto Esperanza
                        1724 N Tustin St, Orange, CA 92865

                        1. d
                          degustateur Jan 27, 2010 09:37 PM

                          Welcome to SoCal, WaWa!

                          America is often referred to as the great “melting pot” of peoples and cultures. This is a particularly apt statement when it comes to food. Perhaps nowhere is this truer than in Southern California. The influences are many and varied: Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian, Korean, Indian and even African amongst a host of others. As visitors from one of America’s small towns, I would encourage you to partake of quintessential examples of SoCal dining venues not found in your hometown, notably those embracing SoCal's cross-cultural richness and flavors. Without knowing where you’re from, in and around Anaheim/Orange County, I would suggest:

                          Breakfast/Brunch:

                          Break of Dawn
                          24351 Avenida De La Carlota
                          Laguna Hills, CA 92653
                          (949) 587-9418
                          www.breakofdawnrestaurant.com
                          Located a few miles south of Anaheim in a lovely setting. Exceptional California breakfast fare with a French-Vietnamese twist. Delicious short ribs with wine-poached eggs. Yummy braised duck with chestnut omelet, toast and creamed cauliflower. Great corned beef, potatoes and eggs. Killer Crème Brule French Toast! Kid-friendly.

                          Old Vine Café
                          2937 Bristol St
                          Ste A102
                          Costa Mesa, CA 92626
                          (714) 545-1411
                          www.oldvinecafe.com
                          Small, quaint bistro at the back of the Camp run by two brothers. Outstanding comfort foods with a new California take that focuses on small plate offerings. Absolutely wonderful breakfasts. The BBQ Omelet with slow-cooked pulled pork and creamy cheese grits is delicious as is the Quiche. Outstanding selection of artisan cheeses. Excellent wine list and pairings. Kid-friendly.

                          Lunch:

                          Sushi Wasabi
                          14460 Newport Avenue, Suite E
                          Tustin, CA 92780
                          (714) 505-3496
                          Omakase only. “No California roll!” Outstanding traditional, straightforward sushi served by Katsu, a true master itamae. Daily, he personally goes to International Fish Market in Downtown LA before 5:00 AM to select the day’s catch. Fish quality and freshness are top-notch. Katsu hand-picks his Kumamoto oysters one at a time. Portion sizes are relatively small allowing one to enjoy the full battery of the day’s offerings. The Texas Blue Crab Hand Roll is the star of the show. It’s often my craving for a couple of them that prompts my many return visits. Not really kid-friendly unless they know and love sushi. I’ve seen seven year olds there before who really know their stuff!

                          Mariscos Puerto Esperanza
                          1724 N. Tustin Ave.
                          Tustin, CA
                          (714) 998-3599
                          Chef Santiago and his wife Concha Vallejo have graced OC with some of the finest Sinaloan/Nyarit style cuisine to be found anywhere. Santiago’s 30 + years of restaurant experience is apparent in every dish he offers. First among the must haves is the Pescado Robalo Zarandeados, a savory whole white fish from the waters off Mazatlan. Grilled to perfection and topped with an exquisite roasted chile sauce. Served with grilled marinated veggies, two styles of rice and frijoles borrachos, it’s guaranteed to rock your culinary world. The langostinos and the lobster are bone fide alternatives. Robust margaritas made with a special tequila (agave) wine from Mexico and a unique horchata slush are requisite accompaniments. Kid-friendly.

                          Mas’ Islamic Restaurant
                          601 E. Orangethorpe Ave
                          Anaheim, CA 92801
                          (714) 446-9553
                          Great Muslim style Chinese cuisine. The sesame bread is a must (you’ll have enough to take home). The soups are generous and extremely well prepared. I’m a real fan of their mutton stew in a delectable white broth with handmade flat noodles. One bowl serves two. Kid-friendly.

                          Dinner:

                          Marche Moderne
                          3333 Bristol Street, #3001
                          Costa Mesa, CA 92626
                          (714) 434-7900
                          Upstairs on the back side of South Coast Plaza by Macy’s. Chef Florent Marchand and his amiable wife Amelia do a herculean job in bringing top-notch French cuisine to SoCal. Look for sweetbreads (veal thymus glands), pork belly and foie gras on the menu for lunch and dinner. The $20, 3-Course Lunch Spontanee is a super deal, saving you at least 50% if ordered separately. Florent is hands-on in the open kitchen daily and his presence is felt in every bite. Amelia is a certified pastry chef in the French tradition and her creations are marvelous. Kid-friendly.

                          Exotic/Different:

                          Merhaba
                          2801 West Ball Rd.
                          Anaheim, CA, 92804.
                          (714) 826-8859
                          Don’t be put off by its humble appearance and surrounds. Hana, the owner/chef does a exceptional job bringing to Orange County some of the finest Ethiopian/Eritrean cuisine the world has to offer. Everything is cooked to order, so be prepared for a brief wait. Her injera bread is the best I’ve had. Try the kitfo (steak tartare – order it “leb leb” style), the chicken with egg, the hamli (greens) and the shiro (pureed chickpeas) for a truly wonderful dining experience not to be forgotten. Like eating in someone’s home. Very kid friendly. What’s great is that she’s open everyday from morning ‘til night and doesn’t require reservations. Enjoy a bottle of Tej (honey wine - $15) with your meal and finish it off with an authentic Ethiopian coffee ceremony. It will definitely wake you up after you’ve gorged yourself on a true feast.

                          Enjoy your visit to SoCal.

                          Bon Appetit!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: degustateur
                            k
                            kevin Jan 28, 2010 08:13 AM

                            this is a pretty good list, wasabi is good and so is esparanza.

                            1. re: degustateur
                              Das Ubergeek Jan 28, 2010 08:48 AM

                              Good list. I would suggest Tana (on La Palma in Anaheim) rather than Merhaba. Both have, shall we say, leisurely service, but Tana seems to get the food out there faster and I think the dishes are more interesting.

                              Break of Dawn is amazing and worth it but it is more than a "few" miles south of Anaheim. It's closer to 20 miles south of the Resort. I'd still drive it though, or go for breakfast the day you head for Disneyland.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                u
                                uwsister Jan 31, 2010 08:32 PM

                                I was about to say if I had known Break of Dawn was only a few miles south of Anaheim, I so regret not going when I spent three days in Anaheim (convention) last month! I attend the same convention every year so I would like to try next year -- but OC traffic considering, how long approximately will it take me to get there from Anaheim Convention Center/Disneyland?

                                1. re: uwsister
                                  d
                                  degustateur Jan 31, 2010 09:45 PM

                                  ... about 20-30 minutes on the 5 fwy south. fwy access is very direct. here's a link to directions:

                                  http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&s...

                            2. Das Ubergeek Jan 28, 2010 08:50 AM

                              You've gotten some great advice. I concur with Park Avenue. If you like Thai (just ask for no peanuts, they speak English fine), go to Thai Nakorn. Also good in the area is Marri's (walking distance from the park), Jägerhaus for breakfast. All are perfectly kid-friendly (I take my 2-year-old to all of them).

                              Addresses and such you can see here: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforki...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                OCAnn Jan 29, 2010 08:01 AM

                                Thai Nakorn is a OC board favourite...love their pad see ew!

                              2. w
                                WaWa Jan 28, 2010 08:57 AM

                                wow you people rock...I wish I could reciprocate!

                                So if you had to choose would you choose Mariscos Puerto Esperanza or El Farolito ?

                                Still wading though the rest...I think sushi will be out....the kids eat it but don't love it (yet ;-=) )and we are always cautious with the pollock allergy.

                                Keep them coming if you have more this is awesome I wish I could just telaport and try eveything. Oh and someone asked I am from Canada, South Eastern Alberta just north of the Montana border.

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: WaWa
                                  Das Ubergeek Jan 28, 2010 08:58 AM

                                  Puerto Esperanza, no contest, hands down.

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                    w
                                    WaWa Jan 28, 2010 09:33 AM

                                    Ok one more Puerto Esperanza or Los Cotijas?

                                    1. re: WaWa
                                      Professor Salt Jan 28, 2010 09:44 AM

                                      If you're talking about Las Cotijas on 1st Street in Tustin, then definitely Puerto Esperanza. I haven't been to the others DU mentions here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/485313

                                      Las Cotijas does a meh version of fried Baja style fish tacos, as well as chicken, beef and pork tacos. IMO, nothing special by Orange County standards

                                      Puerto Esperanza does a much more interesting menu with a lot more skill.

                                      1. re: Professor Salt
                                        w
                                        WaWa Jan 28, 2010 10:43 AM

                                        Ok as I am wading through all this Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen or Puerto Esperanza? thanks

                                        1. re: Professor Salt
                                          Das Ubergeek Jan 28, 2010 10:46 AM

                                          I like Los Cotijas! Their quesadillas are greasy goodness and I like the fish tacos, just not the weird squeeze bottle of salsa. That said, in a contest between pretty much any OC Mexican restaurant and Puerto Esperanza, the answer is Puerto Esperanza.

                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                            k
                                            kevin Jan 28, 2010 10:47 AM

                                            is puerto esperanza thejoint with those langostinos and orange chipotle sauce.

                                            true bliss and very good stuff, i concur.

                                            1. re: kevin
                                              Das Ubergeek Jan 28, 2010 10:48 AM

                                              It is, yes.

                                            2. re: Das Ubergeek
                                              Professor Salt Jan 28, 2010 01:28 PM

                                              Sorry about that DU - I guess this is one point where you and I differ. I much prefer El Taco Nazo in Anaheim Hills for fried Baja style fish tacos.

                                              But I do agree with DU that Puerto Esperanza's seafood trumps most other Mexican restaurants mentioned in this thread. Most (except Gabbi's) are street taco type places. I love me my taquerias as much as the next guy, but we're talking apples and pomegranates.

                                              -----
                                              El Taco Nazo
                                              701 S Weir Canyon Rd Ste 107, Anaheim, CA 92808

                                              1. re: Professor Salt
                                                Das Ubergeek Jan 28, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                I prefer El Taco Nazo (in La Habra) and Señor Baja (in A. Hills) for fried fish tacos but neither of those is anywhere near Disneyland and in the case of Anaheim Hills is a punishing, punishing drive at dinnertime.

                                      2. re: WaWa
                                        OCAnn Jan 29, 2010 07:38 AM

                                        To me, MPE and El Farolito are two different styles of Mexican food. If you're looking for good Mexican seafood, then MPE for sure. But if you're looking for solid Mexican home-style cooking (and what I affectionately call "glop"), then you'd want to do El Farolito.

                                      3. ocshooter Jan 28, 2010 05:42 PM

                                        If you are there for the Mouse with the kids, are you really going to be able to break away and have dinner somewhere else? Keep in mind, driving distances here are much further than other places. We think nothing of driving 30 minutes to an hour or more for just about anything.

                                        If you need to be closer to the parks, a friend of mine really like Catal, in Downtown Disney. It is part of the Patina group of restaurants. I would pretty much skip all the other chains in Downtown Disney, though the food at House of Blues is not too bad, especially if you are going in to see a show. The Sunday Gospel Brunch gets good reviews.

                                        As mentioned, Knott's is good for fried chicken if you are going to the park. Universal Citywalk has a bunch of chains up there if you are going to Universal Studios, but I can't recommend anything. You are probably better off going out for dinner in the Valley, try Art's Deli, after the Studio. If you are going to Downtown LA, don't miss Phillipe's near Chinatown and Union Station. It and another LA institution, Cole's argue about who invented the French Dip a century ago. I side with Phillipe's.

                                        You definitely have to have In and Out, get the Double Double Animal Style - it is not defined on the menu, just order it that way. You can try Thai food, there is Thai Nakorn in Stanton on Beach Blvd. and also in Garden Grove. There are tons of authentic Mexican places around, but I would lobby for a slightly more upscale fusion style, Taco Rosa in Irvine is good and usually not too crowded. Javier's on PCH in Laguna Beach get mixed reviews but I like the food. It, however, is the stereotypical OC scene, and if I were steering an out of towner to a place like that with good food, that would be on the list.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: ocshooter
                                          Das Ubergeek Jan 28, 2010 10:08 PM

                                          Javier's, home of the $22 enchiladas. You can get the same food without the MILF scene elsewhere for a third of the price. :)

                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                            k
                                            kevin Jan 29, 2010 08:05 AM

                                            wow, the milf scene and 22 dollar enchiladas i'm down, where is javier's ?

                                            1. re: kevin
                                              Das Ubergeek Jan 29, 2010 04:02 PM

                                              Crystal Cove and Irvine Spectrum.

                                              It's El Farolito food at Brasserie Pascal prices.

                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                BubblyOne Jan 29, 2010 08:59 PM

                                                Wouldn't part of that be Placentia real estate prices are a tad different than ocean view on PCH? I understand you don't care for Javier's, but for some of us that live at the beach, it's a quick go-to avoiding a 20+ minute drive inland and quite good. And it's not terribly expensive either, considering. I don't see any lobster and crab enchildas for $7 or $8 "third of the price" anyplace near me at a nice sit-down restaurant.

                                                1. re: BubblyOne
                                                  Das Ubergeek Jan 30, 2010 09:32 PM

                                                  Javier's is just completely mediocre to me. The food is unexciting, the seafood I've had has been dreadfully overcooked and the flavour dial needs to be turned up, way up. I don't care if a place is sit-down or counter service if the food is great, but in this case it isn't great, and it's so expensive.

                                                  I don't need my Mexican food to have ocean view on PCH... and how do you explain the same horrendous prices with a view of bored South County teenagers with noplace better to go at Irvine Spectrum?

                                                  As for lobster and crab enchiladas at lower price points, I believe the crepas de langosta are $9 at Taco Mesa. About the same level of quality, but less often overcooked.

                                                  If you can afford to eat at Javier's and think it's not terribly expensive, congratulations, you must be living very comfortably and I wish you great joy of it. If I spend $22 on a main dish it had better be pretty amazing because, despite not being exactly poor, I don't have that kind of free income. Obviously people agree with you, because it's quite busy.

                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                    j
                                                    Jase Feb 3, 2010 01:51 PM

                                                    Javier's has become one of those institution type places I think. Where people still look at them through the prism of their heyday. Laguna Beach was a regular haunt for me when they first opened up in downtown. It was a great slightly upscale place. The seafood enchiladas was stuffed full of crab and shrimp. Cooked right, reasonable prices considering the portions and quality. All the food was the same, along with warm laid back but attentive service. We loved going there. But then it got really popular, celebs starting showing up and getting the tables in the back room.

                                                    You could just see the gradual slide. Prices creeping up, portion and quality going down. Service more like a hip place with some attitude. I thought opening the Irvine location was kind of the death knell overall for the brand. Because that's what it became, a brand. Not just about putting out good food anymore.

                                                    The move to the Newport location made so much more sense. They had become more of the Newport lifestyle and not the laid back LB. But I can see why people would still recommend it, it's become an institution.

                                          2. re: ocshooter
                                            w
                                            WaWa Jan 29, 2010 08:56 AM

                                            thanks I will check those out.tummy is growling...

                                          3. wienermobile Jan 29, 2010 08:34 AM

                                            If there is any chance at all you are passing near the downtown LA area Langer's Deli has the best pastrami on earth. Just a note they close daily at 4pm and are closed Sundays. Also LA's original Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax is definitely worth a trip.

                                            -----
                                            Langer's Delicatessen
                                            704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

                                            Farmers Market
                                            6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: wienermobile
                                              k
                                              kevin Jan 29, 2010 08:44 AM

                                              3rd and fairfax serves the best corned beef sandwich at Maggee's, what langer's is to pastrami, maggee's is to corned beef.

                                              1. re: kevin
                                                OCAnn Jan 29, 2010 09:01 AM

                                                And Philippe's is to french dips....

                                            2. d
                                              degustateur Jan 29, 2010 03:07 PM

                                              In-n-Out Burger ... (not so) Secret Menu ...

                                              Ahh, In-n-Out Burger, a SoCal institution. If you’re going to go for fast food, it may as well be fresh, never frozen and with as few preservatives as possible. One of my favorites.

                                              These links may serve to enhance your InO experience. Have fun! ^_^

                                              http://www.badmouth.net/in-n-outs-secret-menu/

                                              http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/In-n-Out...

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: degustateur
                                                d
                                                degustateur Jan 29, 2010 09:42 PM

                                                … forgot to mention my usual order:

                                                - 3 x 2, animal style, medium, whole grilled onion, extra toast, extra mustard, chopped chiles, no spread, no pickles
                                                - Fries, extra crispy
                                                - Root beer float or Lemon-up

                                                1. re: degustateur
                                                  w
                                                  WaWa Jan 30, 2010 08:34 AM

                                                  tommy is growling now; thanks=-)

                                                  1. re: degustateur
                                                    a
                                                    attran99 Jan 30, 2010 02:35 PM

                                                    Must try animal style fries...fries topped with cheese, grilled onions, and spread (which is thousand island dressing). Not pleasant on the eyes, but tasty on the palate and yummy in tummies.
                                                    I also like the Neopolitan shake...you can order them in Large and X-Large if you like them (at a nominal charge, of course.)

                                                    1. re: degustateur
                                                      t
                                                      taiwanesesmalleats Feb 1, 2010 09:09 AM

                                                      Double-double, animal style, no pickles, extra grilled onions, protein burger with well done fries and a Diet Coke for me. If I feel like carbo loading, I get it extra toast. I always leave happy.

                                                  2. w
                                                    WaWa Feb 20, 2010 02:39 PM

                                                    Home and reportinng back

                                                    Long days witht hte mouse so we could not everything we wanted to but ..El Farolito was great we went twice...loved it!

                                                    The beans were great, enjoyed the pork carnitas immensely, as well as the chili relenos, we tried fish tacos as well...yumm...lots of yummy things here thanks for the recommendations!

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                                                    El Farolito
                                                    201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                                                    1. w
                                                      WaWa Feb 20, 2010 02:41 PM

                                                      In-n-out...glad we went; now we have been but honestly we found it salty and only ok. When I compared it to a recent night at five guys burgers and fries it was not nearly as good. I am glad we went though!

                                                      1. w
                                                        WaWa Feb 20, 2010 02:45 PM

                                                        We decided to eat here for our disney experience as the pirates of the caribeean view was so fun for the kids...I had the monte cristo very yummy but a bit greasy. We also tried the jambalaya which was good too. Outside of this we went for Disney's Dole Whips twice, those are a tasty little treat! yummy!

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                                                        Blue Bayou
                                                        1580 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA

                                                        1. w
                                                          WaWa Feb 20, 2010 02:51 PM

                                                          Bad timing though...we returned home to Canada and in my mailbox was the newest issue of Saveur magaine...the cover is...THe best of Los Angeles...now I need to go back and skip the parks and hit more restaurants!

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