HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Take-out recs in Laguna Hills/Aliso Viejo Vicinity

  • m

Everytime I get home late and am too tired to cook/go out, we go through the same exercise. Where to get take-out? There's always In & Out, but we don't always want burgers. And Sharkey's is good, too. But sometimes we want something different, gosh darn it!

We can't find a really good pizza place. We can't find a really good Chinese place. We can't find a really good Thai place.

Any suggestions?



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. m
    Maison Rustique

    Forgot to say:

    We're in the Nellie Gail area, so Laguna Niguel is OK, too.

    And just about any type of cuisine. I don't think there's any Indian around here anymore, but if I've missed something, please speak up! ;-)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Maison Rustique

      Try Sango in Laguna Niguel. Its in the same plaza with Henry's market. Cheap, decent take out Japanese. Won't knock your socks off, but for a cheap take out place, its good.

      1. re: gachimai

        I second that. This place is inexpensive with a wide variety and while not top notch, boy, it makes for a nice fast luncheon place, too.

      2. re: Maison Rustique

        Indian is supposed to be good at Natraj at 24861 Alicia Pkwy in Laguna , right near you.

      3. For really good pizza, I rec. Antonucci's in MV on Alicia and Muirlands. Definately worth the drive for you.

        For take out Mexican, I would imagine that you're familiar with Las Golandrinas just outside of NG.

        Can't help with Chinese or Thai worth a damn in the area.

        What's Sharkey's?

        5 Replies
        1. re: JB
          Maison Rustique

          Sharkey's Mexican Grill (I think I got that right.) on Aliso Creek Road. I'd say it's competitive with Baja Fresh or that other one (darn! The memory is the first thing to go!) A "Fresh Mex" sort of place, but maybe a bit higher in quality.

          My DH was suggesting a pizza place on Muirlands (something that starts with a B, but I can't remember now), but that's far enough away that by the time you get a pizza from Muirlands to here, it's not going to be anywhere near hot/fresh.

          Thanks for the suggestions!! When we're over in MV, we'll check it out!!


          1. re: Maison Rustique

            Have you tried Mangia Bene's Salsiccia pizza? It's the best we have found so far in the area and it's close to you. They make it with very good quality Italian sausage (none of that gristly stuff), sweet carmelized onions, lots of mozzarella, and a little sauce on a thin crust. The salty and sweet flavors work together so well. We've tried some of their other kinds of pizza, but this is our favorite. They have a special take-out bar, so you can be in and out quickly and all orders come with a bag of complimentary garlic bread, if you want it (it's good).

            Other favorites there: shrimp appetizer Gamberetti Giovaninna, tender fried calamari, both the appetizer and the salad and the zuppa inglese dessert is like none I've had before: white cake, marsala custard, crushed amaretto cookies, fresh raspberries and whipped cream--so good with a cup of their strong Illy coffee.

            1. re: Lauren J.
              Maison Rustique

              We've eaten at Mangia Bene many times, but I've never had their pizza! DOH! Thanks for the suggestion--we'll give it a try!

            2. re: Maison Rustique

              Biago's on Muirlands & Ridge Route??? I love that place been going there for 25yrs. Great chef salad!

              1. re: Maison Rustique

                Do you mean Biagio's on Muirlands and Ridge Route? That place is great it has good pizza and sandwiches and a great chef salad.

            3. Have you tried China Moon on Town Center Drive off of Crown Valley in Laguna Niguel? I went there last week, and while not as authentic as the Irvine Chinese restaurants, I thought the food was very good and well prepared. It's a pleasant place to eat, but they also do takeout.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Samantha
                Maison Rustique

                Funny you should ask about China Moon--I'm temporarily working near there and have asked numerous people if they've eaten there. "No." But the place is always packed--every night of the week!

                It's a bit further than I'd like to go for take-out (Will probably be fairly cold by the time I get it home.), but will give it a shot on a night I'm working near there.



                1. re: Samantha

                  Have to give China Moon a big hand. Chinese food can be very personal, with what you're used to determining the baseline of 'goodness'. I've eaten Chinese food all over Irvine, Garden Grove area, and the San Gabriel Valley, as well as in Taiwan and Hong Kong. China moon, while pretty much Americanized, is really VERY good....... IMHO, the very best in South County. The service is great and the owners, Jackson and Vanessa Chen, will always accomodated special requests.

                  1. re: Midlife

                    Is that China Moon in Towne Center in LN? Also, any chance they were the former owners of Chef Chens off of Golden Lantern in LN? I know they used to have China Sea off of Del Avion but that closed.

                    1. re: Pate

                      China Moon IS in Town Center. I don't think they were behind Chef Chen's. Prior to China Moon and China Sea they owned a small place, in Lake Forest, called Mandarin Place.

                2. Ted's place is actually really good. I work in Aliso Viejo, and we love Ted's Place. It's hearty American, delicious!

                  A lot of people like Peppinos in the Target plaza off Oso/Pacific Park, I'm not a big fan. The sushi place next door is delightful

                  Depending on where you work, maybe you should get food on your way home from work. I work in Aliso and live in Long Beach. I get food in Irvine a lot (I used to live in Irvine). There's not much selection in the area for great food, everything is very chainy, so maybe changing the area may be better.

                  1. Try Golden Dragon on La Paz. It is right next to Henry's market.
                    I can vouch for the chow fun as being authentic, but that's about it. I haven't tried much else besides that except for the orange chicken.

                    1. I'll second Ted's Place. When I was working Niguel, it was often the spot. Although basically a burger joint, the menu has some eclectic offerings. The chicken dinner can feed two!

                      1. When I lived there, I really liked JackShrimp on Aliso Pkwy...the jack sauce is really yummy - I dont know if it takes home super well...but definitely worth a stop in.

                        1. Thanks all! I was stunned to see this thread pop up again after so long. Will put Ted's, Golden Dragon and Jack Shrimp on the list!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Maison Rustique

                            Ted's has great carnitas tacos. And really good breakfast burritos, really good. Do NOT get a hot dog there. Ted's is a drive thru/casual eat in divey kinda place and I mean that in the best sense. I real one-of-a-kind in a hundreds-of-a-kind area.

                            Also, for good quality sandwiches/soup/salad to go, try Corner Bakery in the same center where Henry's is if you haven't already.

                            There is also a BBQ place, Ribs on the Run, that does take out in Laguna Hills. I've never been but it was reviewed positively on this board. http://www.nybestribs.com/pages/1/ind...

                          2. For Chinese and/or Thai, I'd recommend Diho Siam in MV (La Paz & Marguerite...close to Nellie Gail) or Jade Palace II in Aliso Viejo (Aliso Creek & Pacific Park). The "B" pizza place on Muirlands was probably Biagio's in Lake Forest (Muirlands & Ridge Route).

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                              You're kidding about Jade Palace II, right? Some of the worst Chinese food I've ever had. The chicken chow mein was like a can of Chop Suey mix with a can of "crispy chow mein" noodles thrown on top of it. Just disgusting. Not a single Chinese person in the place. The additional Vietnamese offerings suggest to me that there may not be any Chinese folks in the kitchen, either.

                              1. re: laughter1998

                                Jade Palace II is the best Chinese I've ever had. I love the orange chicken, veggie chow mein and the Vietnamese pho! Maybe they had an off day but I go there twice a month and it's constantly great!
                                The food is far less greasy than typical Chinese yet is still bursting with flavor.

                            2. I just tried the Taco Stop last night. It is located right across from In and Out on El Toro and Avenida De La Carlota. I grew up near east LA and consider this to be authentic mexican food. The place is kinda divey but they serve beer and take credit cards.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: zzztimbo

                                Check out Tacos Ensenada up the street at El Toro & Raymond. I'll have to check the Taco Stop out. I've been curious.

                                1. re: zzztimbo

                                  went there. expensive for 24 hr mexican...

                                2. I like Thai Bite in the Aliso Viejo marketplace (near Ralphs supermarket). The food tastes really fresh, and the Thai currys are great. The fried banana and coconut ice cream desert is exquisite too.

                                  People seem to have very different preferences for pizza - we use ZPizza a lot in the same mall. For burgers we tend to get the double turkey burgers from Fat Burger - very tasty!

                                  Some interesting recommendations in this list so far, new places to try.

                                  1. I've lived in Aliso Viejo for the past 6 years and for pizza I second what some people have already said about the Salsiccia pizza from Mangia Bene, I love it. Their garlic bread is also incredibly good, and a good reason to dine there as you get as much as you want at no charge. Also try their Rigatoni Lorenzo it's my favorite dish there. Peppino's Sicilian style pizza is also really tasty, baked on a thick, rectangular crust. Although the bread to cheese ratio does get to be a bit too much on the bread side, still very tasty. Also Uppercrust Pizza right off Greenfield and Crown Valley has these pizza treats they call "Pinwheels" which is pizza crust twisted like a cinnamon bun, embedded with cheese and pepperoni and then baked with a generous amount of I think butter drizzled over it. Put some marinara sauce over it, delicious!

                                    For Chinese food, we almost always go to Irvine for that, but within AV there is one place we go to. New Mandarin Garden that is off Alicia Pkwy and Crown Valley in the Albertson's plaza. The servers there are very nice, and the food is good, though the place seems to cater more for takeout so it's pretty dead if you dine in there. Their house special Chow Mein is very good, the quality of the noodles is thick and robust. They have a very good dish that I believe is listed under "appetizers", I think it's called Won Tons in Red Oil or something like that. It's a spicy blend of won tons, soy sauce, and special garlic red oil sauce, highly recommended and not easily found on the menu of most Chinese places. There's also a custom blend dish I order from them, it's their General Zhou's chicken but cooked in their garlic chicken sauce instead, yum. My girlfriend had good things to say about Golden Dragon on La Paz but I've never eaten there. It was nice to note though that they cook your food freshly in front of you right when you order. I will agree with a poster above who said Jade Palace was horrible, some of the worst Chinese food I as a Chinese person have had.

                                    For Thai, my absolute favorite place is Thai Dining off Greenfield and Crown Valley, yes right next to Uppercrust Pizza. We go there probably once a week. Their service is great and the thei food is addictively good. I highly recommend their chicken satay and Tom Kah chicken soup as starters as well as their Thai iced tea. For entrees we always get their Pad Si Euw with beef, Panang with chicken, and Thai fried rice with chicken. And for dessert, ALWAYS get their mango sticky rice if it's available. It isn't always available because mangos aren't always in season. The combination of the incredibly fragrant and fresh out of the steamer jasmine sticky rice, creamy sweet coconut milk and fresh mangos is perfect. On a personal preference, we always ask they don't add the dash of salt to this dish, we like it totally sweet. I've tried Urban Thai and thought it was pretty average. Though Thai Bite in that same plaza is much better than it's setting would have you think. The restaurant is small and not very elegant looking, but the food is excellent and the portions are on the larger side while the prices are not.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: warrent

                                      I'd be really interested in your opinion of China Moon, if you've been there. It is within a few blocks of New Mandarin Garden, in Town Center (which is on the north side of Crown Valley, w/ entrances on Alicia Pkwy and NIguel Rd.) I haven't eaten at New Mandarin in a few years, but do remember it was good. We just think China Moon is better. At many South OC Chinese restaurants you are served a variety of dishes with just a small variety of sauces, so everything tastes like most everything else. China Moon is an exception, although it doesn't pass another of our tests: actually serving Chinese Broccoli (gai lan, I think it's called) instead of the normal floreted kind.

                                      If you are used to what is usually refered to as 'authentic' Chinese your opinion would be very useful.

                                      1. re: Midlife

                                        Update, I tried China Moon and it's really good, definitely better than New Mandarin Garden. I'd say it's my favorite Chinese food place in the area. The owners and wait staff are really friendly and provide great service. Their food is very tasty, I especially like 2 of their chef's specials, the spinach with scallops and the lantern pork chops. I think the items I've tried so far on their menu are quite authentic, but I did see some dishes on there that were obviously created to cater to the mostly Caucasian clientele eating there. But I see nothing wrong with that as long as you have authentic dishes on the menu as well.

                                        On the other hand, I think their menu doesn't have as many dishes or variety on it as a typical Chinese place. And if we're talking about authenticity, their menu doesn't have a single Chinese character on it, everything is in English. Chinese dishes have specific names in Chinese but when translated to English can run the gamut from recognizable to "oh that's what it's supposed to be". But those elements aren't really that important to me. If you only have a few dishes, but they're all super good, I'm fine with that. If I have to ask some questions to know what the dishes actually are supposed to be, no biggie. And they also let us order common Chinese dishes that weren't on the menu (such as sauteed string beans "gan bien sh ji doe") which was nice.

                                        Their decor and atmosphere is really quite nice too, much better than your typical Chinese restaurant. Definitely my top recommendation for Chinese food around Aliso Viejo.

                                      2. Antonucci's off of Alicia at Muirlands is good, we've had the pizza there many times. Also, I hope it's still there but Olamendi's in the Target plaza (la paz/oso) has good Mexican food.

                                        I'll also second Diho Siam, although their quality seems to be slipping as of late. If you can venture down towards Lake Forest at Rockfield, near the Black Angus there is a Pho Bo Vang, good Pho to go and other vietnamese dishes.

                                        1. Ninas Market on Raymond and El toro does take out Indian food. They also own the Natraj restaurants.

                                          1. If you want to go just over the hill, there's a great little Thai place on PCH and 2nd street I think. Not sure of the name, but it looks like a whole in the wall- so you know the food is fantastic.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Quesera

                                              Laguna Thai in So. Laguna. It is very good.

                                            2. Thai Dining - average
                                              There is no good Chinese food in Laguna/Aliso.

                                              Peppinos or Mobtown are your better choices for pizza in the area. Peppinos Reheats VERY well. Peppino Bread/Lina's Rolls, Baked Penne. The Peppinos in Lake Forest is Better than Laguna Hills.

                                              Sango Sushi for 4.00 chicken bowls, beef udon and cheap sushi..Japanese friend prefers it much more than Taiko in Irvine, another close, popular sushi restaurant with ridiculous lines.

                                              The donut shop Royal Donuts on Alicia makes the best lunch combo.
                                              Donut, Sandwich, Drink - 3.50 - sorry closes early.
                                              Their sandwiches are good - bake all their own breads daily. Go for their fatty pastrami

                                              Go to costco?

                                              Or THE HAT off Lake Forest. Chili Cheese Pastrami Fries. Heartattack city, but ...huge. and good

                                              Boston Market has better creamed spinach than ruth's chris.
                                              Their Chicken carver is good if you ask for the hickory ketchup
                                              Open till 10pm.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: eezerik

                                                Have you tried China Moon in Laguna Niguel? If you have, and still say there'so good Chinese inthe area, I'd like to know what you don't like about it.

                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                  Funny how I came here to add my recs, and they're already listed!
                                                  China Moon, Sango Sushi, and Mangia Bene are among my favorites when I'm at my parents' house.

                                                  Pho Bo Vang
                                                  23764 Mercury Rd , Lake Forest 92630-2810

                                                  Inka Grill
                                                  23600 Rockfield Blvd , Lake Forest 92630

                                                  Carnitas Plates:
                                                  El Conejo
                                                  25371 Alicia Pkwy
                                                  Laguna Hills, CA 92653

                                              2. The absolute BEST place to get a fantastic bite is off of Niguel Road (in a litte shopping center next to Peppino's) -- it is called Savoire's Fare. It is a bakery/cafe - the owner is an award winning pastry chef and his dessert are not only delicious...but GORGEOUS! You will be very impressed with his artful and delicious treats -- the only bakery I go to anymore.

                                                I have yet to go for dinner, but the lunch menu is perfect. I get a sandwich or a salad at least once a week to-go and look forward to it each time! Their bread is to die for, and the house salad dressing, which they also make along with the bread is the best dressing I have ever had!

                                                Also...there is a TERRIFIC Thai/Siamese restaurant that is in the Target/Stater Bros shopping center at La Paz and Pacific Park. It is called Siamese Express and it is mainly for take-out (few tables and small place) -- but their menu is HUGE and I have never been disappointed. I try to order something different each time, and it is going to take some time for me to get throught the whole menu! HA~ tough work, eh?!?

                                                Also, NY Uppercrust is great for single slices of pizza, but I love ZPizza's "Casablanca" -- but I add feta cheese and sundried tomatoes to it -- SOOOO GOOD!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: simontoby

                                                  Jade Palace in Aliso Viejo just redone/new menu/chef - much better than before. China Moon is also very good. Tri-Villages on Jeffries & I-5 in Irvine - the best! Also, Thai Dining at Greenfield/Crown Valley is also very good Thai, and, they deliver. Thai Bites and Urban Thai in AV town ctr also good.