Meeting relatives in Orange- restaurants nearb y?
I'm meeting a bunch of cousins and my sister in Orange in July, and I'd like to get some suggestions for restaurants. Most of us appreciate good food, a couple have more lowbrow taste (sorry to be insulting but it's been a problem over the years). Just so we don't end up eating at a Village Inn (not that there;s anything wrong with that, but it's LA, for God's sake), I"d like to get some ideas about good food in the area. Mexican (street food is a plus for me), Vietnamese, seafood, dim sum, mom & pop Italian, and Japanese, especially sushi, are my main interests, plus anything that's not over-the-top pricey in any category. Thanks in advance. We're going in late July, if that makes any difference.
City guide: AN: Anaheim, CM: Costa Mesa, FL: Fullerton, GG: Garden Grove, HB: Huntington Beach, IR: Irvine, NB: Newport Beach, OR: Orange, PL: Placentia, SA: Santa Ana, TU: Tustin, WE: Westminster, YL: Yorba Linda
Mexican: Gabbi's (OR), El Rincon Chilango (SA), Super Antojitos (SA), Anepalco's (OR 2 loc.)
Vietnamese: Vien Dong (GG), Pho Quang Trung (WE), Quan Hy (WE), etc. (search boards for Little Saigon)
Sushi: Ohshima (OR), Noguchi (YL), Wasabi (TU), Wasa (IR), Bluefin (NB), Shibucho (CM)
Low-key Italian: Roma D'Italia (OR, TU), Cucina Alessa (HB, NB), Francoli (OR), Renata's (OR), Mascarpone's (OR), Da Bianca (OR), Anaheim White House (AN)
If any of you are beerhounds, you'll be smack dab in the middle of half a dozen breweries with tasting rooms. Most are only open at the weekend (Thursday-Sunday) but a few have better hours. There's the Bruery (PL), Bootlegger's (FL), Old Orange (OR), Anaheim Brewery (AN), Noble Ale Works (AN), Tustin Brewing (TU). The Bruery also has a bottle and sample shop in the Orange Circle, and if you want a craft beer bar there's Haven (OR) and Playground (SA).
Haven, as mentioned, is a good gastro pub in downtown Orange. Right in that area is Gabbi's an upscale Mexican, Francoli, a good Italian, and the Filling Station, a basic by hearty breakfast/lunch spot. Kimmie's Coffee cup is right next door to Haven for breakfast fare as well, but I liked the Filling Station better.
There are probably about 20 options right around the Orange Circle, ranging from basic to high end.
There are lots of Mexican places right around intersection of Chapman and Tustin. For Japanese, I would head out of Orange over to Tustin. Honda-Ya is great pub style Japanese food (with sushi, but that is not what they are known for). Tommy's sushi in Tustin is one of my go-to mid level sushi places. Wasabi in Tustin is much better, but also much more expensive. Wasa at the Irvine Marketplace is another mid-level place I frequent often. Taco Rosa in that area is a mid-upscale Mexican option.
For Vietnamese, you want to head over to Garden Grove, not a bad drive. Brodard is probably the most well known of the Vietnamese places. They also have Broudard Chateau, more expensive, nicer inside, and more focused on French-Vietnamese. Trieu Chau is a hole in the wall with excellent food. I would point you toward more options, but I always get taken by my Vietnamese friends and don't recall where we went.
If you like Street food, you can try to find some of the food trucks in the area. Southern California is really ground zero for them, embracing the concept of specialty trucks. They will congregate in one area so everyone can pick out the truck that suits their taste, or sample a few of them. Just bring something to sit on, since there will be little to no seating available at most meet-ups.