Greetings + LA Questions:

You gotta get that Orange County stereotype out of your head. Just Taco Maria? LOL

Long Beach is pretty boring for food IMO, Central OC is better.

Pho 79…get any of the pho and add a oxtail (oxtail is while supplies last and $2 more, a bargain)

Pho Dakao…best chicken pho

Brodard…famous spring rolls

Vans Restaurant…banh xeo

Phat Ky Mi Ga…duck noodle soup

Com Tam Thuan Kieu…broken rice plates

Trieu Chau…noodle soups

Rigobertos Tacos…ask for extra crispy tripe tacos

OC Poultry and Rotisserie…roast chicken banh mi’s, yeah in Anaheim btw

El Gaucho Meat Market…also in Anaheim, Argentinian sandwiches and empanadas with best chimichuri

Thanh Tam…spam and eggs banh mi

Cortinas Italian Market…great sandwiches

Angelos Italian Deli…some of the best Italian sandwiches

Mariscos Los Corales…try the gobernador tacos and mixto ceviche.

Chicken Maison…get the garlicky chicken

Han Yang…get any of the beef bone broths

Maitiki Island BBQ…Hawaiian lunch plates, call ahead

Joes Italian Ice…lemon ice is perfect for summer

Ma’s Islamic Chinese…scallion-sesame bread and knife cut noodles

Ohshima…omakase sushi, make sure you get Shige-san

TK Burger…best enjoyed at PCH location

There you go, OC for your booshie tastes


As for LA Chapter/GCM, etc.

Try out Lupita’s in Cypress Park, this is one of the best Mexican restaurants that no one mentions, and get very little Yelp/social media love, but the neighborhood comes out for the menudo, and scrambled eggs/cactus.

El Huarachito in Lincoln Heights does a great chilequiles, one of the best I had.

If on the weekend, head over to LAX-C and try the warm, fresh Thai coconut cakes at Mae Ting’s in the same plaza is Chimney Coffee House, the sandwiches and drinks are great.

Our swing by Nicks Cafe, get a ham, eggs, and biscuits plate, use the house salsa and house jam, sit at the U, and rub elbows with city workers, and lawyers.

Or Kim Chuy for fish ball noodle soup and leek cakes, than wait in line for Howlin Rays.

That’s just me. Eggslut and the Arts District coffee places are cool, a good chance you get to see Emily Ratajowski in person.

Great list. Plus one on Chicken Maison

I would add:

Bella Cuba for really good Cuban;

Ritters SKK for great pan roasts;

25° in HB for burgers;

Taqueria Zamora for Mexican;

Taqueria El Zamorano for Mexican;

Nate’s Korner for breakfast burritos;

Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai for ramen.

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If you still find yourself in Rancho Santa Margarita the Cismontane brewery there is pretty tasty and can make the suburban hell that is back-OC somewhat more manageable.

Hi @oliver,

Welcome to FTC! :slight_smile:

To help us help you better, since you’re no longer in Anaheim, but are now in Long Beach, is there a reason why you can only dine in the 7 Orange County cities you just listed?

Long Beach grants you much closer access to places like Torrance / Gardena (treasure trove of great Japanese eateries), Manhattan Beach, or a closer shot up to Downtown LA.

And in your original post on the other board, did you mean you’re planning on hitting up places like the Pantry, GCM, etc.? or that you already visited them before in the past (and are not going there)?


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Their Haze Shift is amazing.

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Hi Chowseeker,

The post linked above where I asked about LA Chapter was concerning a completely different trip where we’re staying in the Downtown/K-Town area. It was just an inquiry about brunch at that specific spot. We’ve stayed at the Biltmore, Ace, Normandie, etc. on past trips and have walked by so many times. I’ve always been curious about it. We’ll be back in Downtown LA later this year so I thought I’d check in to see whether it was worth squeezing into our itinerary. We’ve been to all those other places mentioned countless times, I was just pointing out that I’m familiar with the area and many of the old landmark eateries in the neighborhood.

The reason why we’re relegated to the above mentioned cities for this upcoming trip is because we’re visiting family, and even though we’re shacking up in Long Beach (another area we’re pretty familiar with- long live Joe Jost’s! :wink:) we’re going to be spending most of our time in these parts of OC.



Hi @oliver,

Ah thanks for clearing that up, makes more sense now. :slight_smile:

I think @JeetKuneBao @OCSteve have some great recs (and I don’t know OC that well). Some suggestions on my part:

  • Marche Moderne (in South Coast Plaza): For a “fancy” sitdown style meal. Classic French.
  • Kitakata Ramen Bannai (Costa Mesa): Thanks again to @OCSteve @Porthos (where is Porthos these days?) and others for the great rec. Amazing Kitakata style lighter Ramen Noodles. Best Chashu around. :slight_smile:
  • OC Poultry and Rotisserie Market: As @JeetKuneBao and @Ns1 recommended, some great Rotisserie Chicken Banh Mi.

Jeet’s list has plenty of Little Saigon recs worth checking out.

Good luck!



Their version of Chilaquiles is one of the best dishes in OC!

If this was in LA, it would get all kinds of coverage


I agree. I just had them for lunch last week. The sauce they put on the plate is addicting. Caveat: if you’re expecting the traditional pile of tortillas and eggs, you’re in for a surprise…


Do you mean Harlowe in West Hollywood? They have good drinks and a party vibe on weekends. Not sure about food.

LA Chapter is…not super reliable. It’s a decent hotel restaurant.

Have to wholeheartedly agree that Anepalco’s chilaquiles are shamefully under-mentioned within the mainstream foodiesphere.

[quote=“PorkyBelly, post:9, topic:4044”]
salazar for outdoor dining, drinks, tacos and pork chops.
[/quote]Your pictures of the tacos are downright pretty.

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[quote=“JeetKuneBao, post:22, topic:4044”]
That’s just me. Eggslut and the Arts District coffee places are cool, a good chance you get to see Emily Ratajowski in person.
[/quote]I’ve seen her… She’s a tasty morsel.

I really appreciate all of the input and feedback. I have an update to our plans that I’d appreciate some help with.

First, we’re considering a family dinner at Vaca on Saturday night. It’s been mentioned somewhere in this thread, but I’m not certain whether anyone has actually been?

Saturday afternoon, I’d like to try one of the Mexican places; either Anepalco or Maria. I understand Anepalco probably seems more exciting to regulars as Maria has been hyped to death, but I haven’t been to either - which is recommended stronger on the merits of food alone?

Sunday night, I need a second family dinner at more affordable cost; >$30 p/p. I’m considering Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai. Is this a good choice? We really only have one good ramen option in SF proper and that’s the recently opened Mensho, which is another strong Tokyo chain. Can anyone tell me whether the two styles of ramen served are comparable?

I have to admit that Vietnamese doesn’t really carry my interest as we have an abundance of excellent places here in San Francisco. Many of the places mentioned (Pho 79, Dakao, Brodard, Vans, Phat Ky Mi Ga, Com Tam Thuan Kieu, Thanh Tam, etc) sound like great options that we’d likely frequent regularly if we lived in O.C., but don’t really excite me as destination restaurants on vacation. I’d prefer to focus on regional foods that are less familiar or prevalent in San Francisco. The markets and sandwich places are similarly convenient and sound great, but aren’t necessarily what I’m looking for with the revised itinerary. I must admit that I’m not a fan of Hawaiian BBQ either - I’ve sampled it locally on every island and it’s just not my thing.

So that said, does anyone have alternate recommendations for a Saturday night family meal, aside from Kitakata, which is the front-runner right now?

Thanks again for all of the feedback; it’s been really helpful!!

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The Bruery opened another tasting room for their Terreux (sour/wild) beer in Anaheim as well.

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Kitakata ramen is a regional specialty. Their noodles are flat and different from what you normally expect as is their broth. Hakata style this is not, but they do make an excellent charsu. While I like it, it could set you off kilter if you walk in and expect something like Daikokuya. They also make an excellent house fried chicken.

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Thanks, that sounds really interesting and we’ll almost certainly give that a go.

Since the Mexican choices are closed for dinner Sunday, we’ll most likely do Kitakata Sunday night and Mexican during the day. Saturday night first pick is still Vaca, unless someone suggests otherwise.

@oliver Kitakata is also ridiculously small. I would suggest going either early or late for dinner. I think the place holds only about 50 people max.
I’ve never had to wait because I roll over here for an early lunch. Have never tried a dinner service before, but if the queue is anything like showing up at 12:15PM, then you may have a problem.


Have you looked at playground 1.0?