HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Some random questions about OC eats (around Disneyland and SNA), Japanese, 85C, etc

K K Sep 21, 2012 03:05 PM

I'll be in the area next month and really looking forward to trying some places I haven't been yet. Have some random questions on number of places, to hopefully narrow down my search

Brodard (Westminster)
- how bad is the wait on a weeknight (Mon - Wed) around 6 pm?

Thai Nakorn (Garden Grove)
- what are some great kid friendly options (e.g pho like noodle soups) if any, and non spicy items worth trying?

85 C Irvine

- Is the line crazy with 45+ min waits every hour during the weekday? Would it be as crazy or less wait during a weekday around 12 to 2 pm?

- what are some not to be missed items? Definitely going to try sea salt caramel coffee (should I get hot or cold?). Do they have something similar to those cream top milk teas in Taiwan, where it's pure black tea on the bottom thick layer of cream on top for you to mix (they call it 霜乳奶茶 over there), or is the sea salt caramel cream top coffee drink done in a similar manner? The taro bread/bun looks interesting, ditto for the black squid ink garlic. Probably not going to bother with their Macanese/Portugese looking egg tarts.

- I don't care for those presliced baked breads for toasts, but is it worth grabbing those gift boxes of random baked goods? Cake box? Would be great to have something to munch on the plane ride back home, since SNA is close by.

Japanese

- Is Fukada in Irvine worth going to for fresh soba? How about O Udon in Fountain Valley for udon (is it hand made/or fresh made in house)?

- what's the best izakaya (closest to Japanese or Taipei experience) within 20 mins from Disneyland?

- Habuya Okinawa Dining (Tustin), yay or nay? Is their tonsoku yaki, goya chanpuru, rafute, Okinawa soba any good?

- likely not doing ramen, but in Costa Mesa it seems that the two hottest places are Jinya and Ramadaya. Unfortunately they seem to only offer tonkotsu (ditto for Shin Sen Gumi Hakata in Fountain Valley). Which of the two grabs your throat the least (in that you don't feel like your throat pipe is being glued shut from the thickness) and doesn't make you walk out dying of thirst? Any other better ramen options around (definitely not going to the one by Anaheim if that's still around).

Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Porthos RE: K K Sep 21, 2012 03:17 PM

    Go to Yamadaya and get the shio or shoyu. Also try the tsukemen. Jinya is good only for the egg.

    For fresh soba it would be I-naba (Toreance). Don't think the soba at Fukada is fresh. The udon is delicious though.

    At Thai Nakorn your kids will probably love the chicken yellow curry. There's always pad thai or pad see ew.

    For noodles do Trieu Chau. House special noodles in soup. Small white noodles (pho noodles). Make sure you go to the original one on Newhope and Bolsa. Cash only. $7.25 a bowl after tax.

    Izakaya I really recommend you make the drive to Torihei (Torrance). You already drove 380 miles, what's 20 more? If not I've heard good things about Habuya.

    And if you're able to ditch your kids at the in-laws, Kasen for sushi.

    1. j
      jaykayen RE: K K Sep 21, 2012 03:18 PM

      Brodard: never had a problem getting a table for dinner during the week. It moves fast.

      I don't like the cakes at 85C, on the dry side.

      Fukada, I believe all their noodles are made in house. There is a legit noodle making room behind the kitchen you can see.

      The izakaya to go to in OC is Honda Ya, in Tustin and Fullerton. They have a related restaurant named Kappo Honda in Fountain Valley.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jaykayen
        Porthos RE: jaykayen Sep 21, 2012 03:24 PM

        The soba at Fukada while good has square edges like the dried packaged stuff and doesn't resemble the soba at I-naba (round edges, thinner, chewier) or Honmura-An back when it was open in NYC. Those are my only two references for in house freshly made soba.

        I eat at Fukada at least twice a month.

        1. re: Porthos
          j
          jaykayen RE: Porthos Sep 21, 2012 03:28 PM

          Sorry, just going off yelp reviews. I'm only there for the udon and sashimi salad. I see a lot of people enjoying the soba, but I've never tried it.

      2. K K RE: K K Sep 21, 2012 03:26 PM

        Thanks for the replies and so quick!

        We're flying, so driving to Torrance is likely out of the question, and not practical to drive to Rowland Heights/Hacienda Heights either for better Taiwanese. Staying local and just trying to get the best of what I can't get at home with a reasonable distance (likely have to return to Happy Place on Earth after dinner, so not too far and not take too long). Kasen is unfortunately out of the question for now, but I'd hit that if I were coming down solo.

        Trieu Chau looks great, thanks Porthos, will look into it. Wondering how it compares to the likes of Vietnamese Chinese places in San Francisco Bay Area (that do Chiu Chow style noodle soups) or places like Hai Ky Mi Gia in SF.

        Didn't know Yamadaya had shio and shoyu, that's good enough for me if the trek were made.

        Any good solid seafood restaurants that are not Cantonese/dim sum? Asian or American style is fine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: K K
          Porthos RE: K K Sep 21, 2012 03:36 PM

          Which airport are you flying into? Torrance is right by LAX.

          For seafood, check out my recent post on Shuck Oyster Bar. Stick with the raw oysters, chowda, and fried oysters and po boy.

          There is always 101 Noodle express for excellent dumplings, pan fried or boiled. Lamb noodles and pork sparerib noodles are good.

          You can always try the very expensive Chef Hung's noodles right by 85 C. The soy based ones are a bit on the light side which some people dislike. I prefer the clear broth with 2 kinds of brisket. You and your kids may like the tomato based one. Lots of little Taiwanese cold dishes.

          Trieu Chau will win most noodle contests. Get there before 11 or risk an absurd wait. Use plenty of the chile paste. Ask for the bone soup if you feel like knawing on the knuckle. It's that kind of legit place.

          1. re: K K
            Porthos RE: K K Sep 21, 2012 05:50 PM

            Almost forgot, right next to Trieu Chau is Newport Seafood (Chinese/Vietnamese). Get the house special lobster. Minimum 5lb in size. Great eats. That's for the Asian non Cantonese request :)

            The kids and you might enjoy Tsuruhashi. Yakiniku.

          2. b
            BrewNChow RE: K K Sep 21, 2012 06:52 PM

            Jinya has a chicken ramen that I think is great. There's also Santouka in the area. I never understood the love-fest for yamadaya, good ramen but didn't wow me. You want something lighter and less salty I'd go for Jinya's chicken.

            Non-spicy options at Nakorn are the nam sod khao tod and the raw shrimp salad.

            I've only been in Irvine a short while but the following places are all awesome, and compare favorably to the best LA ethnic places:

            Vientiane Thai Laos
            Olive Tree Restaurant
            Gendershe
            Thai Nakorn
            The taco trucks in Santa Ana

            The Chinese in the area is solid but pretty much every place is hit or miss, IMO when 101 noodle is among the top choices that alone should suggest how SGV is on another order of magnitude from OC. 85*C isn't a place I really understand the hype for.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BrewNChow
              Porthos RE: BrewNChow Sep 21, 2012 07:12 PM

              Jinya's milky chicken broth is considerably heavier than Yamadaya's clear shio or shoyu broths.

              Like I said above, you can always get the Tsukemen of you don't want heavy broth. And if you do, you can always ask for a cup of hot water to pour in your dipping broth and voila! Tonkotsu broth.

            2. ipsedixit RE: K K Sep 21, 2012 07:47 PM

              RE: 85 C Irvine

              - Is the line crazy with 45+ min waits every hour during the weekday? Would it be as crazy or less wait during a weekday around 12 to 2 pm?

              >>>Definitely shorter during the weekdays, although now that UCI has resumed classes, hard to say. But it's not going to be 45 min.

              - what are some not to be missed items? Definitely going to try sea salt caramel coffee (should I get hot or cold?). Do they have something similar to those cream top milk teas in Taiwan, where it's pure black tea on the bottom thick layer of cream on top for you to mix (they call it 霜乳奶茶 over there), or is the sea salt caramel cream top coffee drink done in a similar manner? The taro bread/bun looks interesting, ditto for the black squid ink garlic. Probably not going to bother with their Macanese/Portugese looking egg tarts.

              >>> I prefer hot salted caramel coffee, but both cold and hot are good. Nothing that I can recall that' similar to Taiwanese 霜乳奶茶. I like the egg tarts, esp the mochi egg tart.

              - I don't care for those presliced baked breads for toasts, but is it worth grabbing those gift boxes of random baked goods? Cake box? Would be great to have something to munch on the plane ride back home, since SNA is close by.

              >>> No, those gift boxes are more presentation than anything else. I would just get a bag of the milk pudding bread, pork floss bun, and the egg salad sandwich roll.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit
                b
                BrewNChow RE: ipsedixit Sep 22, 2012 02:36 AM

                Classes have not started yet for most students, Monday miiight be first day though...

                And are the lines really made up of mostly students? 86C is far enough from campus that you're not driving there. I highly doubt the kids are driving out in droves to eat taro cake, but I could be wrong.

              2. i
                I got nothin RE: K K Sep 22, 2012 09:01 AM

                Brodard is closed on tuesdays.
                I prefer the nem nuong at Dat Thanh over Brodard; a little too much sugar for my taste at Brodard

                1 Reply
                1. re: I got nothin
                  j
                  jblee RE: I got nothin Sep 22, 2012 05:56 PM

                  +1 for Dat Thanh.

                2. K K RE: K K Oct 18, 2012 06:10 PM

                  Thanks everyone....the trip is closing in.

                  Definitely going to do Brodard. Other than Nem Nuong (of course), what else do you folks like there? Durian macarons? Out of curiosity...is Brodard Chateau worth spending the extra $? Anything at the Chateau worth getting that is not available at Brodard restaurant, and is Chateau kind of like Thanh Long/Crustacean from SF (which has/had a branch in Beverly Hills)?

                  Thai Nakorn's a maybe at this point, perhaps not likely.

                  Probably will skip most Irvine eats, beyond 85 C either on the way from or to airport and a lunch or two. Anything else chow worthy beside Chef Hung in that complex or nearby?

                  What's a good KBBQ joint in Garden Grove/Buena Park that's not all you can eat? Already went to Sagan in Buena Park and Mo Ran Gak in GG which I enjoyed a lot (really, anything is better than NorCal at this point). Shik Do Rak (Garden Grove) any good?

                  Any options for a nice sit down dinner within 20 mins driving of Disneyland that has a kids menu and great for adults (Anaheim, Fountain Valley, GG, BP, maybe Cypress)? Can be American or Euro style seafood (as much as I love an oyster bar where Shucks sounds good, will have to pass on that, and likely no Newport Seafood), Italian, French, American.

                  Still trying to decide a Japanese option if convenient and worthwhile (will definitely skip ramen this trip), but that will be my problem. :-)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: K K
                    f
                    Fig Newton RE: K K Oct 18, 2012 06:24 PM

                    For sit down nearby, I'd recommend Park Ave. It's good for pleasing everyone in a family, I like their cocktails, the food is good, and they grow some of their vegetables on the premises, which is cool.

                    http://www.parkavedining.com/

                    1. re: K K
                      h
                      HB_Jeff RE: K K Oct 19, 2012 08:20 AM

                      Hi KK,

                      As far as ramen goes, I would like to offer another place to consider - Gomen. It is located in Stanton near the intersection of Knott and Katella. I have tried all the Ramen places listed in the other posts and I like Gomen the best by far. Of course it is all a matter of taste - there are no absolutes. Yamadaya was my least favorite.

                      What I really like about Gomen is their Chashu - it is great in my opinion.

                      Good luck with your trip - I hope you and your family have a great time.

                      JEFF

                      1. re: K K
                        b
                        Bradbury RE: K K Oct 19, 2012 05:47 PM

                        Brodard also makes a very good duck salad, banh tom (sweet potato and shrimp fritters), and seafood rice porridge. The Chateau is a bit more quiet, elegant and expensive, but still vastly cheaper - and probably better - than Crustacean.

                        If the line at Brodard is unusually insane, it's just a short walk (or short drive, but given the "car yoga" involved, maybe faster to walk) south to Vien Dong, where the grilled fish in turmeric and onions is really one of OC's epic seafood dishes...

                        1. re: Bradbury
                          Porthos RE: Bradbury Oct 19, 2012 07:08 PM

                          Second Vien Dong over Brodard.

                          Also good at Vien Dong

                          -Bun Cha Hanoi
                          -Spareribs noodle soup
                          -Bun bo hue (I usually get all beef instead of the more legit version with pig's feet and blood)

                          Right across from Vien Dong is Com Tam Thuan Kieu for broken rice plates. I get the on with chicken, fried fishcake wrapped in bean curd, and the meat pie thing. Absurdly good: http://www.yelp.com/biz/com-tam-thuan...

                      Show Hidden Posts