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In Anaheim (closer to Placentia and Yorba Linda) for lunch

Stuck at a week-long conference and if I have to go to Tom's Place one more time, I might go crazy(Tom's place on East La Palma is right across the street from the conference...). We only have an hour for lunch, and it is my only respite from the boredom, so please help me find something close. Anything is fine, as long as it is really good!

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  1. Drive to El Farolito. I think you can get there in about 10 minutes depending on traffic and lights. The food comes out relatively quickly. Order the carnitas. They also have the best home made chips and excellent spicy salsa. My wife swears by the hard shell chicken tacos. The chile relleno is also excellent. The rice and beans are a must. You basically cannot go wrong with anything you order and you'll easily get out for under $10.

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    El Farolito
    201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

    1. This is a case where Yelp can be your friend.

      If I were stuck there, I would try Bangkok Spice at 5031 E Orangethorpe, Kagura, and Rosine's. Rosine's is the only one I have tried, and it is good if you like garlic, but it is also the furthest away

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      Rosine's
      Anaheim Hills, CA, Anaheim Hills, CA

      Kagura
      6324 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807

      1. What about Knollwood for a burger?

        6 Replies
        1. re: scottca075

          I'm not sure if you're suggesting it because you like it, or if you're asking because you haven't tried. Knowlwood is a small chain of burgers that prominently advertises "World's Best Burgers," which is like a giant warning sign that they're mediocre burgers that are unremarkable in every way. I went once to their Irvine store and have no reason to ever return to Knowlwood.

          If you want burgers, then Slater's or TK Burger in this part of the world.

          1. re: Professor Salt

            I was suggesting.

            Slater's is overpriced and overrated, TK is good, but no better than Knollwood or In 'n Out. TK is also a small chain (6 stores, just like Knollwood) that advertises "voted best burger".

            Since you have never been to the Knollwood Anaheim location, maybe you should go and see why they have been there 54 years.

            1. re: scottca075

              I trust that a restaurant chain that's been successful for 54 years knows how to make their burgers the same in each of their locations, so no need for me to go to the Anaheim location. We'll agree to disagree on burgers.

              1. re: Professor Salt

                Not until you actually go to a restaurant you pan. We'll just call you wrong :P

                1. re: Professor Salt

                  I go to lunch at Knowlwoods in Santa Ana about once every other week with my lunch crew from the office. While it is certainly not the best burger I can find (even close tot he office), they have a decent selection of food, and it is better than just average. I like that they will grill a nice slab of onion for my burger. I like it better than 5 Guys, not at much as In and Out, but it is more comfortable to eat at a Knowlwoods than inside an In and Out.

                  1. re: Professor Salt

                    All the Knowlwood's are individually owned, so they do taste different. The sourdough burger there is not bad. This location also serves breakfast.

            2. 1. The food court at Wholesome Choice on E. La Palma and Imperial Hwy. (NE corner). Seriously—the Persian food.

              2. Fish or shrimp tacos at Señor Baja on Weir Canyon and Serrano.

              3. Blake's Place (BBQ) on E. Miraloma between Blue Gum and Red Gum Sts. Does not look like a restaurant.

              4. Slater's 50/50 on E. Santa Ana Cyn. Rd. and Fairmont. Build-your-own burgers à la The Counter. They specialise in a blend of beef and ground bacon (the 50/50) but it has to be cooked well done, so I usually just get a 100% beef burger so I can customise the cookery. Call ahead if you can to try and pad your schedule a little better.

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              Blake's Place
              2905 E Miraloma Ave, Anaheim, CA

              Slater's 50/50
              6362 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807

              1. I'm not sure about the distances but here are a few suggestions...

                Royal Thai Orchid Restaurant - Small Place. I've enjoyed the thai food every time I've been there. They have a spicy shrimp/scallop dish that has a great sauce... but I usually ask that it just be with shrimp.
                1315 N Tustin St Ste B
                Orange, CA 92867

                Blue Agave Southwestern Grill - It's been years since I've been there so I can't vouch for it recently. I think I used to order the apache chicken quemada, which I found tasty.
                18601 Yorba Linda Blvd.
                Yorba Linda, CA 92886

                California Fish Grill - Very simply prepared/presented grilled fish. Fish tastes fresh. Good portions. Fair prices.
                5675 E. La Palma Avenue
                Anaheim Hills, California 92807

                Slater's 50/50 - known for half-bacon, half beef burger... may be too far to drive.
                6362 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd
                Anaheim Hills, CA

                Don Jose - A few locations. This place probably won't get much love on the CH board but I love their chimichangitas... and their chips/salsa.
                2681 W La Palma Ave
                Anaheim
                5665 Santa Ana Canyon Rd
                Anaheim Hills

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                Royal Thai Orchid Restaurant
                1315 N Tustin St Ste B, Orange, CA 92867

                Blue Agave
                18601 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886

                Slater's 50/50
                6362 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807

                1. I agree with the recs for El Farolito, Blake's Place, and Slater's 50/50. I haven't tried Señor Baja, but I've heard it's good, and it's on my list.

                  I would add El Sabroso Grill in downtown Placentia, right around the corner from El Farolito. They have a great selection of tacos, and others I have been there with have been happy with their burritos and other menu items.

                  I would avoid Blue Agave. The last couple of times I've been into the restaurant, the food has been utterly forgettable (though for some reason, their catering isn't bad at all).

                  1. Burned again by Yelp. Bangkok Spice had great Yelp reviews and was perfectly mediocre. Their lunch menu had very few options so I ordered off the main menu. Maybe I'm spoiled by Nakorn (maybe? definitely), but it was meh all around. I'm trying El Farolito tomorrow. BTW is this one associated with the spectacular El Farolito in SF?

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                    El Farolito
                    201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: learningslo

                      Don't know if it's related to the El Farolito in SF, but me personally, I don't like it. It's ok gabacho-Mex, but if I'm going to this neighborhood, I'm headed to Mi Casita or El Cantarito or even Q Tortas, which I haven't been to in years. Honestly there's not a superstar Mexi restaurant in this part of town, just ok to pretty good at best.

                      Avoid Tlaquepaque though. It's sub-par gabacho-Mex of the worst kind

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                      El Farolito
                      201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                      Mi Casita Restaurant
                      330 W Santa Fe Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                      El Cantarito Restaurant
                      120 W Santa Fe Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                      1. re: Professor Salt

                        I'm with you, El Farolito is just meh. Same goes for Blue Agave which puts some nasty creme sauce on their food.

                        1. re: Professor Salt

                          I'm with Professor Salt here... the best part of El Farolito to me is the self-serve beer cooler.

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                          El Farolito
                          201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                          1. re: Professor Salt

                            Very interesting! I may have to change it up to Mi Casita, if only because it won't have a long wait.

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                            Mi Casita Restaurant
                            330 W Santa Fe Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                          2. re: learningslo

                            No, the name El Farolito, meaning "little light" or "lantern" is pretty common as is El Faro, "the lighthouse".

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                            El Farolito
                            2737 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                            El Faro Restaurant
                            11120 Atlantic Ave, Lynwood, CA 90262

                            1. re: learningslo

                              That is a pity about Bangkok Spice. But then again, I almost never eat Thai food unless I am going to Thai Nakorn either.

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

                              1. re: learningslo

                                Perhaps aside from Wholesome Choice, none of these places are worth travelling for, IMHO. El Farolito is OK as is El Cantarito if you are in the mood for a big messy plate of TexMex. If you're driving to La Placita Santa Fe you might as well keep going down Chapman another half mile and hit Taqueria De Anda--not "the best" but the best in the area.

                                I have to differ on the recommendation for Blake's. I've been several times, and never been impressed with the quality of the barbecue. Very little smoke flavor, pretty dry, the sides have often been disgustingly greasy and/or off-tasting, all indicative of the depressing current barbecue situation around there.

                                For halfway decent diner food you could always go to Kimmie's on Orangethorpe in Placentia. If you're into breakfast the homemade sausage is good, and things are generally executed with competence. The service is usually quite good though.

                                If you want to drive a little you might be able to make it to Mattern's Sausage, grab a sandwich or two, and eat while driving. That would be worth the drive.

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                                El Farolito
                                201 S Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                                Mattern Sausage & Meats
                                4327 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869

                                Blake's Place
                                2905 E Miraloma Ave, Anaheim, CA

                                Taqueria De Anda
                                602 W Chapman Ave Ste A, Placentia, CA 92870

                                El Cantarito Restaurant
                                120 W Santa Fe Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                              2. I don't know if your still in the area, but I used to work at Imperial and La Palma for about 6 years. CA Fish Grill (inside the Imperial Promenande on the corner) is good, but always crowded. The food court at the Wholesome Choice market across the street is good but always changing. The best are the Persian and Indian counters. The Persian counter you do have to wait a bit for some of the items, and they are always busy. The deli counter makes a decent sandwich for a very good price.

                                Senor Baja on the east side of Anaheim Hills is worth the trek. Really good lengua, and on Mon they have $1 tostaditas.

                                Near Old Town Placentia, I'd skip El Cantarito and El Farito for La Fondita, it's on the corner of Chapman and Bradford right at the entrance of Old Town. This place doesn't get enough recognition. Their menudo is good, no hominy unless you ask for it. Carnitas are very soft and delicious, a bit fatty but that's how I like it. One of the only places I have found to have huitlacoche. Also have good tortas.

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                                Wholesome Choice
                                18040 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

                                La Fondita Restaurant
                                111 E Chapman Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                                La Palma Restaurant
                                2700 E Gage Ave, Huntington Park, CA 90255

                                Fish Grill
                                9618 W Pico Blvd Ste 508, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                                El Cantarito Restaurant
                                120 W Santa Fe Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: iLoveUni

                                  They have huitlacoche? The only time I've had good huitlacoche (i.e. not from a can) was at a Rick Bayless place in Chicago. That would be worth travelling for! I ate at Mi Casita which was tasty. Excellent refried beans, red mole, and salsa. BTW, they are rumored to have a trompo for al pastor, although I didn't see it myself.

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                                  Mi Casita Restaurant
                                  330 W Santa Fe Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

                                  1. re: learningslo

                                    I've only had huitlacoche at a few places, and I don't have any close Mexican friends to tell me any different, so I wouldn't know if it's from a can or not. But I do like it best at La Fondita. They serve it with a masa quesadilla instead of a flour one. I don't know what is the authentic style, but I like how the corn masa is not so greasy and they use cojita inside. It's a nice light meal, that sometimes I will add a lengua taco or two depending how hungry I am.

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                                    La Fondita Restaurant
                                    111 E Chapman Ave, Placentia, CA 92870