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Sep 3, 2010 07:08 PM

Ethnic Restaurant Advice for Labor Day Weekend at Disneyland

I'm going to Disneyland with my wife and adventurous eating 10-year old daughter. I've been reading about all of the really good Viet restaurants in and around Anaheim so I have have a pretty good handle on them (thanks Das Ubergeek). But what if we want the best of the area? The restaurants should not be chains, and they don't necessarily need to be family friendly or english speaking. We are just looking for a good food adventure to offset Adventure Land (and Frontierland, and Tomorrowland...) Thanks in advance.

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  1. Labor day this weekend...2010. So I'm looking for a Saturday, Sunday, Monday night recommendation.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cjmacyogi

      Was just there and went to two CHOW staple stops. Worth every bite! 1st: - German. I arrived about 11A where the breakfast menu was NOT offered. However, it's those omelets and plum jam that are the bomb so, I asked for omelets and had no problem getting them. Schwaben omelet with plum jam is what I would recommend. The other restaurant is Thai Nakorn at Garden Grove and Harbor. Thai at its best. Both places are just a couple miles from the park, though in opposite directions.
      If you're too tired to leave the park, my husband and I ate at the Storybook Cafe inside the Grand Californian Hotel. Had the dinner buffet at $26.95 ea. and incl. drinks and dessert. Not "ethnic" but, still tasty and very convenient. Took the monorail..The staff was incredibly hospitable. They accommodated my need for gluten free as well. I was impressed with that! Have a great time and make sure you are NOT standing with trees in your view during the 9:30P fireworks otherwise you'll miss out on Tinkerbell AND Dumbo flying across the sky! :) KQ

      2525 E Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92806

      Thai Nakorn Restaurant
      12532 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        Thanks, Thai Nakorn was on the list. I hadn't heard about Jagerhaus. I'll check it out.


        Thai Nakorn
        11951 Beach Blvd, Stanton, CA 90680

        2525 E Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92806

        1. re: cjmacyogi

          Definitely Thai Nakorn.

          From a previous thread (DU approved?)

    2. Hey, cjmacyogi!

      How about something enticingly different and somewhat of a dining adventure in and of itself? Try some of SoCal’s finest Ethiopian cuisine at one of two venues virtually equidistant to Disneyland:

      Merhaba Restaurant
      2801 West Ball Rd.
      Anaheim, CA, 92804
      (714) 826-8859

      Tana Ethiopian Restaurant
      2622 W La Palma Ave
      Anaheim, CA 92801
      (714) 229-1719

      Both are similar in food, service and overall ambiance. Both are owned and operated by genuinely amiable Ethiopian women. Each has its cadre of loyal patrons who swear by it over the other. Until you have tried both and determined your preference, you cannot go wrong with either one. Virtually everything is prepared to order, so expect a brief wait. If available, be sure to share a bottle of Tej, traditional Ethiopian honey wine, while you wait.

      Try the kitfo (spicy beef tartare), the doro wat (chicken with egg), the hamli (mixed greens) or cabbage and the shiro (pureed chickpeas) for a wonderful dining experience you will not forget. If you go to Tana, do try the quanta fir fir – utterly delicious yet not offered at Merhaba. Both establishments are real gems tucked away in rather dismal looking strip malls. The vibe is like eating in someone’s home. Finish off your meal with an authentic Ethiopian coffee ceremony. It will definitely wake you up after you’ve gorged yourself to the gills. Merhaba is open daily from morning until 9pm whereas Tana is closed on Mondays.

      Merhaba remains my overall favorite for its superior injera, the best I’ve had anywhere, as well as for its kitfo, doro wat (I’m a devoted carnivore) and exceptional fresh-roasted coffee. Tana is generally favored for its superb vegetable preparations. Neither serves dessert, as it is traditionally not a part of Ethiopian or Eritrean cuisine.

      4 Replies
      1. re: degustateur

        Thanks, degustateur. I didn't know there was great Ethiopian fare that's not located in the Melrose/Fairfax area of L.A. I'll have to try those. Do they both have that lovely sourdough flatbread, too? I love that stuff!

        1. re: attran99

          They do both have the flatbread. Degustateur is right about the adherence, and I'm a fierce adherent of Tana.

          Other things in the immediate (under 10 minutes' drive) vicinity of Disneyland:

          1. El Moctezuma #2, in a U-shaped minimall at Harbor and Lampson in Garden Grove. Oaxacan, and frankly the best in the county. It's a little run-down looking but the food is top-notch: coloradito or negro or amarillo or verde (all kinds of mole, including occasionally manchamánteles); their crazy-good tamal oaxaqueño with negro con pollo inside; horchata preparada; and, to cut through all the rich sauces, a simple ensalada de nopales with cactus paddles, tomatoes, onion and chile, in lime dressing. Cheap, too.

          2. Los Chilangos, on Euclid west of the 5 freeway about 1/2 a mile; Mexico City-style antojitos, and great ones too. Real quesadillas made from hand-made tortillas, queso Oaxaca (tangy Mexican string cheese) and your choice of filling; I love huitlacoche (corn mushroom, which is inky black but so delicious) and squash blossoms the best. Also excellent are huaraches ("sandals") stuffed with fava beans and pambazos, which are rolls that are dipped in chile, griddled under weight, and stuffed with potatoes and chorizo.

          3. Thai Nakorn—order off the specials menu (don't freak at the lack of prices, nothing's over $10 except the whole fish). Truly excellent are the pork-stuffed squid, shredded green mango with crispy tiny bits of catfish (when you order this, make sure you specify you don't want fried catfish with sweet mango sauce), beef panang (the best I've ever had) and wild boar in chile-basil sauce.

          Los Chilangos
          1830 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

          1. re: attran99

            Hi attran99!

            As Das U. said, both Merhaba and Tana serve “that lovely sourdough flatbread” that you (and I) love. It’s called injera (enjera) and is a staple found at all traditional Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurants. Their cuisine is literally built upon its foundation.

            1. re: degustateur

              Thanks very much, all! Going to have to make a trip here soon! Haven't had Ethiopian since college, and would love to share the experience with the hubby.

        2. Hey all,

          While I have Brodard and Thai Nakorn in my sights as I too will be in the area very very soon (but may not make it to them if I lose out on the vote...) I need some backups.

          If I were to hit one Korean place that will surpass what I can get in Northern California (please don't say all of them...), which one should I pick from the list below (or if you know of something better)? It has to have minimal MSG.

          Garden Grove/Buena Park

          Kaju Tofu
          BCD Tofu
          Anna's Mondu (I could use a good mandoo in beef bone broth, is this place it?)
          Hangari Kalgooksu
          Man Doo Rang

          Is Kappa Ramen in Anaheim worth the bother?

          King Harbor Seafood, how is their MSG level for dinner?

          Thanks a lot!

          King Harbor Seafood Restaurant
          13018 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

          Thai Nakorn Restaurant
          12532 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

          Brodard Restaurant
          9892 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92844

          Kaju Tofu Restaurant
          8895 Garden Grove Blvd Garden, Grove, CA

          Man Doo Rang
          2740 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

          Anna's Mondu
          9972 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844

          2 Replies
          1. re: K K

            Yes, you can get mandu seolleongtang at Anna's. I think you can get them at Jang Mo Gip too (their seolleongtang is better) but I'm not sure about the mandu. Anna's also has soondae you can add to your seolleongtang if you like. Bear in mind that it's a store with like four tables in the front.

            I like Myung Dong over Hangari for kalguksu, and definitely Kaju over BCD for sundubu. Pretty much anything over BCD for sundubu unless it's 3 a.m. If it's early enough (before 8) you can eat in the food court at H-Mart on Magnolia and GG Blvd., which sounds weird but there's some great finds in there.

            King Harbor isn't too heavy-handed with the flavour powder.

            Jang Mo Gip
            4546 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90621

            Myung Dong
            5301 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90621

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Perfect, thanks a lot! Will definitely stop by one of the supermarkets to stock up on other things. Hope to report back in about 2 weeks...