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OC- What's not to be missed?!

I am vacationing in OC for the next week, staying in Nrwport Beach, but have a car and am willing to drive... What's not to be missed, I am open to just about anything!!

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  1. Marche Moderne for excellent French cuisine and Studio at the Montage for Craig Strong's cooking. You should also definitely hit up some of the places in Westminster, such as Brodard or Xanh Bistro, for outstanding Vietnamese. If you want Japanese, either BlueFin or Hamamori--or for straightahead sushi, Sushi Shibucho. For a good gastropub, I like Sidedoor at the Five Crowns.

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    Bluefin
    7952 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Sushi Shibucho
    590 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

    Brodard Restaurant
    9892 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92844

    Marche Moderne
    3333 Bristol St 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    Xanh Bistro
    16161 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

    Five Crowns
    3801 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

    Hamamori At the Plaza
    3333 Bear St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    3 Replies
    1. re: New Trial

      Thanks for the tips! Went to Xanh last night, it was incredible!! We are going to Studio Thursday night, can't wait! Also want to check out Side Door! Any other recs in Laguna Beach, Corona Del Mar, or that general vicinity? Are there any must go Indian, Moroccan, or other Ethnic spots? Thanks so much for your help!!

      1. re: Carbear99

        I like Tabu in South Laguna. Coyote Grill is good for lunch or breakfast (really). Thai Nakorn is the best Thai around. There is also a small grouping of African places in Anaheim.

        As for sushi, I really like Bluefin, but I actually prefer San Shi Go near the fun zone and the Balboa Pier. Sen Shen Gumi has a yakatori place and ramen place next door to each other. Honda Ya and Kappo Honda are sister Japanese Izakawas.

        For cheaper eats, Taco Loco is good, and it is tough to beat the views from the Rooftop Bar upstairs from K'ya.

        There is a Moroccan place, but it is more about the ambiance and eating with your hands than the food.

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        Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen
        18315 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

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

        Taco Loco
        640 S Coast Hwy Ste 1, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

        Kappo Honda
        18450 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

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

        Kenyan Cuisine
        2626 W La Palma Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92801

        E A Merhaba Shop & Coffee
        2801 W Ball Rd # 5, Anaheim, CA

        Coyote Grill
        31621 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

        Tabu Grill
        2892 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

        San Shi Go Sushi and Asian Cuisine
        205 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661

        K'ya Bistro - Laguna Beach
        1287 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

        1. re: Carbear99

          For Laguna Beach, I'd recommend Brussels Bistro for yummy moules frites (mussels & fries), though a frequent favourite is 230 Forest.

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          Brussels Bistro
          222 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

      2. Thanks so much for all the suggestions!! Went to Side Door tonight, it was amazing!! Thinking about Break of Dawn for breakfast this week, thoughts anyone?

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        Break of Dawn
        24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

        12 Replies
        1. re: Carbear99

          Break of Dawn is definitely a good place to go for breakfast.

          If you are up for a great happy hour, I would check out A Restaurant in Newport Beach. 1/2 off all drinks and appetizers. One of my favorites for happy hour. From 3-7 M-F.

          Check out The CAMP and The Lab in Costa Mesa for an eco-friendly complex/plaza with some pretty good eats as well. Old Vine Cafe, Ecco, Mesa, and Habana.

          This Thursday in Laguna Beach there is a monthly art walk where all the galleries are open and most serve complimentary wine and snacks. Worth going to if you don't have much else planned. Starts around 6 pm and ends at 9 pm or so.

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          Break of Dawn
          24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

          Habana
          2930 Bristol St Ste A110, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

          Old Vine Cafe
          2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

          1. re: TNT Adventures

            The Old Vine Cafe was disappointing--I felt embarassed having recommended it (went based on CH recs). We were quite underwhelmed, my first truly disappointing CH rec.

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            Old Vine Cafe
            2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

            1. re: Funwithfood

              What did you have? Me, I *LOVE* their burrata cheese w/flash fried arugula.

              1. re: OCAnn

                I ordered what the waitress said was their best breakfast (forget now--eggs with a spicy sauce atop?) and my friend had eggs with beef atop. It's been a while, but neither of us thought the food was memorable. Insult to injury, we ordered iced tea and the waitress brought it in bottles--each bottle cost $6.00!

                The experience was a complete disappointment. I'd never recommend it. But, it seems to have a following...

                1. re: Funwithfood

                  Yes, I've had an awful experience with their breakfast, too.

                  1. re: Funwithfood

                    Sorry to hear that...I wouldn't be happy with that either. I wonder if their service issues are only during b'fast?

                      1. re: JAB

                        I went for dinner there last week. When I told the waiter that we didn't drink, it was like I had kicked him in the nuts. He walked away and another waiter served us. Kind of weird, kind of funny, a little off putting. But the new waiter was great and the rest of the meal was very good. I was pleased, and while not cheap, per se, I thought it was well priced too. So maybe breakfast isn't as much of a value as dinner?

                        1. re: adamclyde

                          I've been to Old Vine for dinner at least 20 times over the past two years. Its always been excellent, and keeps us coming back, and we have a hard time choosing between it and Marche Moderne for our favorite restaurant. Never been for breakfast and can't comment.

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                          Marche Moderne
                          3333 Bristol St 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                          Old Vine Cafe
                          2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                          1. re: adamclyde

                            LOL, I wonder if the 1st "waiter" was the co-owner / sommelier / brother of the chef?

                            1. re: adamclyde

                              You'd have made him happy if you instead ordered iced tea at $6/person!

                  2. re: Carbear99

                    Definitely Break of Dawn. Anything with a poached egg, or better yet, the tempura fried poached egg. Short ribs are awesome too.

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                    Break of Dawn
                    24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

                  3. Thanks everyone for all the awesome recs!! We've also ate at Coyote Grill, Hamamori, and Habana, and they were all spectacular!!

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                    Habana
                    2930 Bristol St Ste A110, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                    Coyote Grill
                    31621 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

                    1. Andrea Ristorante at Pelican Hill - especially if they still have their white truffle specials. this was a fantastic dining experience and the food was sinfully amazing!!!!

                      1. Carnitas Los Reyes in Orange - best lengua and chicharron tacos in OC.

                        Best part is the tacos are only $1.15. I ate there for $4 last time and the tacos are awesome. Truly authentic.

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                        Carnitas Los Reyes
                        273 Tustin Ave, Orange, CA 92866