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Two Nights in Huntington Beach

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I'm headed down to Huntington Beach with my husband this week for a conference - we'll have two dinners on our own and I want to make the most of them. I've searched the boards and haven't come up with much - there seems to be a pretty strong consensus that HB is "a culinary wasteland". We'll have a car, so we're definitely open to leaving HB to seek better food. What would be the best two dinners we could get? Price is not an issue, but we're also not particularly interested in fine dining. Should we head to Garden Grove for Vietnamese? Is there some hidden gem in Newport? Thanks in advance for your recs!

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  1. Low end lunch places:

    Trejo's Mexican for carnitas and barbacoa. Go early for lunch, not for dinner

    Pho 86 for fatty brisket pho, Pho Thanh Lich for chicken pho. Trieu Chau for legendary house special noodles.

    And to answer your question, yes, make your way to Westminster for Vietnamese. Look for Das Ubergeek's recs when you search.

    "Nice":

    Marche Moderne. Currently doing a truffle menu with generous truffle shavings. The 5 course tasting is $125pp. The risotto with porcini and truffles and the scallop and langoustines with truffle can be ordered in the entree portion size at $50.

    Pizza:

    P.Mozza just opened in Newport but since you can get that in LA, I would recommend Neapolitan style pizza with a chewier crust and appropriately wet center at Pizzeria Ortica.

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    Trieu Chau
    4401 W 1st St, Santa Ana, CA 92703

    Pizzeria Ortica
    650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    2 Replies
    1. re: Porthos

      Adding links

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      Pho Thanh Lich
      14500 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683

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

      Pho 86 Restaurant
      14576 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683

      1. re: Porthos

        As usual, I second Marche. And Ubergeek does make excellent Vietnamese resto recommendations. :)

      2. Thanks! I just made a reservation for Marche Moderne. Still trying to narrow down the options in Little Saigon and getting hungry just reading about them...

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