Can't decide between Mexican and French? Head to Anepalco for the best of the two scrumptious cuisines. Whereas the Franco-Mexican union of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria fizzled, Anepalco sizzles on and more than satisfies the palette by following classic French cooking practice with the unmistakable rich flavor of Mexican food. As the featured restaurant of Ayres Hotel on Chapman Ave in West Orange (borderline Anaheim and Garden Grove), the exquisite, dual cuisine eaterie makes for a lovely date for lunch and dinner.
Despite it's average looking exterior, Anepalco is 4 star worthy, largely to the culinary mastery of its executive chef, Daniel Godinez. It is quite a task deciding what to order. If you are a fan of the delicate crepe like me, this is a top contender. There are several varieties of these and other egg dishes, for breakfast and lunch, as well as salad, sandwiches and burgers.
A menu favorite is a plate of chilaquiles- typically a no frills fast food item but is done with sophistication in the kitchen. Ane's chilaquiles are a mix of eggs scrambled, tortilla chips, red sauce, sour cream, pico de gallo, a signature avocado mousse and cheeses, including cotija.
Happy hour and other daily deals occur regularly.
Plenty of Beer and Wine available, especially a great number of Mexican originated wine and actual French champagne.
It is recommend to make a reservation here, required for holidays:
Chapman Ave. 714.456.9642 Lunch and Dinner.
*Note: A smaller location is also at Main St. 714.771.2333. Breakfast and Lunch only.
At the Chapman location: Shop nearby at the Outlets (The Block or just steps away at Best Buy).
At the Main St location: Shop nearby at the Mainplace Mall (Santa Ana).
Favorite Dish: RATATOUILLE BURGER
Hass Avocado/Zucchini/Mexican Squash/Red Pepper/ Eggplant/Mushrooms/Roasted Tomatoes/Serrano Aioli/Swiss Cheese/Brioche Bun
---One does not miss meat devoring this!
CLOSED---> now is D'Amore's Pizza, which I recommend. Revised tip to come!
OK, this is a total hole-in--the-wall! Joey's in Tustin, within the historic Larwin Square serves up perfect NY thin style pizza at the best prices I have seen in O.C. The sauce and cheese are just the right amount, not too much, not too little. Slices are about $2 a slice, equally individually- for cheese only, meat (pepperoni and or sausage), Hawaiian or veggie.
No fancy parlor here but clean and with a smile from the counter guy. Simple, great place to eat.
There is more than pizza here (salads, pasta, etc) I believe but haven't tried these yet!
Favorite Dish: Veggie pizza slice
Try to seek out Rutabegorz if visiting Orange county, especially central or north county. Rutabegorz (said as"ROO-ta-beh-gores") started just in 1991 as a juice/coffee spot but thankfully grew into a small local chain serving healthy and delectable natural food. The specialities here are the crepes, sandwiches and salads. There is a lean towards offering hearty and wholesome. Many vegetarian options are available but chicken, eggs and turkey dishes are common to have.
There is a very friendly and intimate atmosphere felt once walking through the door. Once seated there is usually no long wait for ordering. The hardest thing to do here is to decide on what to have. There are three locations of Rutabegorz, thus far. The central and charming-looking restaurant is at the Old Town Inn, in Orange. One that I have frequented is in the city of Fullerton, due north. There is another location in Tustin. Regulars are common in each Ruta stop. Treat yourself in a truly OC dining spot.
Each location has different hours of operation. Old Town Inn operates Mon & Tuesday (from 11-4PM; Wed-Sat 11 AM -9PM). In Tustin, it is open from (Mon-Sat 11 AM -9PM; Sun from 11 AM to 8PM). The one in Fullerton has the most late hours. (Mon-Thurs from 11 AM to 10 PM; Fri/Sat from 11AM- 11PM and Sun from 4 PM -9PM).
Favorite Dish: spinach/mushroom crepes
delicate and delicious crepe...individual ingredients stand out separately-- Under $10
Zito's is a main pizza joint in the city of Orange and throughout central-east OC. You come here mainly for the pizza, which has a decent NY Style. Maybe native New Yorkers would approve- maybe not, but this California girl certainly does! Zito even will refund the price of a pizza if you're not satisfied after a bite of one slice! The deluxe version of Zito's is in Tustin, which features Sunday Brunch (yay!).
For the locals especially, Zito's is good for offering coupons in snail-mailed dining guides and coupons. However, on website there are coupons for anyone to get.
Live entertainment occurs every Friday and Saturday at the 17th St location in Tustin.
Slices are readily available M-F during lunch hours, until about 3 at the Old Towne Orange location.
17th St. (Tustin, most fancy location, like a restaurant)
Glassell St (Old Towne Orange)
Katella Ave. (Anaheim)
Santa Ana Cyn.(Anaheim Hills)
Tustin St. (Orange, close to the Village at Orange)
Favorite Dish: BBQ Chicken , just right -cheesy and a lil' not too spicy!
Located off the SE part of the traffic circle in the heart of Old Towne Orange is Two's Company.
Panini, soups and salads are the tasty made-after-order favorites. 2's is fresh, fairly fast and affordable for most. Entrees are from $6-$10, coffee and other drinks just a few bucks more. The charming eaterie is well suited for al fresco dining, with plenty of seating. Breakfast and lunch is served. A visit here well-deserved.
Favorite Dish: Panini!! Any here is likely to die for. So far, I get the turkey cranberry!The bread was perfectly toasted, nice melted within. Cran not overly sweet. Very tasty and filling!
You may want to unbutton your pants to enjoy the delicious food stuff you will get at Flappy Jack's.
Not just a run-of-the-mill American breakfast joint, FP revives the morning eating experience with very flavorful, gourmet versions of standard pancakes, waffles, crepes and my fave of all- french toast. Featured flavors inclue pecan , banana nut, bacon batter mix and Hawaiian (coconut pineapple).
FP is a hit with Orange city, Villa Park and Anaheim Hills locals but others may happen to stop in, as it is visble off the 55 fwy. Inside, one can go back in time in the "good ol' mid 20 century Americana days, with Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. They are featured as plastered figures in the restaurant.
Note: Lunch is also available. No dinner.
Hours of Operation:
Original restaurant is in LA county, in Glendora
640 W. Route 66
Glendora, CA 91740
Favorite Dish: Stuffed French Toast-
filled with gooey villa cream! Served up with choice of real fruit dipping and powdered sugar.
Talk about decadent!
This is a small bar/restaurant located steps from the Orange circle.
It's rather cozy and unpretentious w/ friendly and young wait staff. Good place to lay loose, let loose a bit, watch a game or two and mingle.
Guys will especially love this place which features classy, sexy framed pinups on the lounge walls.
Special events and deals:
Sunday breakfast and Blood Marys
Taco Tuesday ($1.50 Fish Tacos!)
College Night Thursdays
Favorite Dish: Cajun (Spicy) Chicken Nuggets- surprisingly meaty and delicious!
In 2008, a new dining sensation has come to the city of Orange- Tutto Fresco. Just steps away from a McDonalds-gas station convenience stop, the trattoria offers semi-gourmet Italian-American cuisine for astoundingly affordable prices. The menu is quite varied- richly flavored pasta dishes, wraps, panini, and salads with choices of grilled chicken, meat and seafood. Skip the Big Mac for a Fresco feast.
Eat in the elegant, yet casually designed dining room. A party of two will be plenty full from 2 main dishes, crostini and rolls (with generous samples of vinegar, grated parmesano and olive oil for dipping), spending only about $25. If on the road, go in the drive-thru option to order and enjoy fancier fair for your road trip.
Tutto Fresco is also in Rancho Santa Margarita, south Orange county, at :
30642 Santa Margarita #E104
and coming soon to the city of Santa Ana.
Favorite Dish: Trenette alla Cardinale
thin ribbon pasta, sun dried pasta, grilled chicken breast in tomato cream sauce
grilled chicken breast with sauteed spinach and Roma tomatoes in our tomato cream sauce
Here is the most famous place to get a Cuban Sandwich way west of Miami- Felix's!
Also, Spanish food is on the menu here with the usual suspect- paella! Come in early for dinner (6-7 PM to beat the rush of locals dining. The restaurant building is quite small but there are tables placed outside for extensive "al fresco" experience.
The location is very visible, off the famous traffic circle of the Old Orange district.
What's nice is that there are generous portions here- perhaps too nice with the rice.
Careful to avoid eating here if on a low-carb diet.
There is patio seating but note the bar is indoors only!
Check out the website for more on specialties from Felix!
Favorite Dish: Cuban Sandwich- just the basics here: toasted bread and ham
platanos- plantains, made with perfection
Tres Leches Cake !! a moist , rich cake with "three milks"
One of the hottest, new eateries in the city of Orange is the Belgian waffle sandwich joint, Bruxie. You'll know just how popular it is by the circus of people it has each day all around its edifice, basically a medium sized food stand. The sandwich eaterie serves up semi-fancy restaurant quality street food culinary delight. It is steps away from the campus to Chapman College and a short walk from the Orange train station, Old Town Orange's traffic circle and main shopping area.
During peak times, weekday/weekend lunch (11PM-2PM), expect to wait about 10-15 min to wait to be served or get your order. So, is Bruxie's worth the wait. Absolutely! Choose from savory and sweet Belgian waffle sandwiches. The waffle itself is plain (non-sweetened) packed with typical and not-so-common sandwich ingredients. If you want to play it safe, try the Brussels waffle with pure maple syrup. Blah blah! Now, if you are willing to go out of the norm- get an Ogura waffle with red bean ans sweet cream or for a savory, try the popular(yes, popular!) buttermilk fried chicken waffle with cole slaw and chili honey!
This place is local hotspot that is expanding. New joints have opened in Brea and Rancho Santa Margarita or some restaurant entreprenuer will be inspired and open a similar Belgian waffle joint. Until then, come here to the heart of Orange and shhh, don't tell all of the masses- else the wait time will be even longer!!
Favorite Dish: Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese
sophisticated and downright tasty
Here is a good, very friendly dining spot for the family and for traditional American style food. Katella Grill is also a cozy place that celebrates local OC history. Check out the historic old photos of the county in the lobby. Expect no frills here, just a typcial dining bar and comfortable booths for comfort food done California style.
Favorite Dish: any wrap on menu- healthier option from which to choose
Chiken Brest Sandwich- good, simple
We had a comedy performance to attend and was looking for a restaurant near the Brea Improv to celebrate our friend's birthday. I gave Nini several options of which three immediately became non-options, which left us with La Vie en Rose. I've eaten at the Rose before and don't recall it being anything special. However, admittedly I was impressed during this visit. Two of us ordered the lamb dish and devoured it with huge smiles and satisfied tummies. :) In terms of the look of the restaurant, it's interior could be described as quaint and elegant. The service was fine. Overall, it was a good dining experience by all and we made it in time for the Brea Improv.
Favorite Dish: Carré d'Agneau Rôti à l' Ail et au Parfum de Romarin (roasted rack of lamb with garlic and rosemary)
I wanted to take my mom and loved one someplace special for Mother's Day. I was doing some major online research until stumbling on Claes' Restaurant. It wasn't actually my first choice, but the other was already booked, and in hindsight I'm glad it was or we wouldn't have had the opportunity to dine at Claes, which the whole family enjoyed, especially the woman of the hour - mom.
Claes is located inside the Hotel Laguna. The hotel itself appears pretty worn out and outdated, especially from the exterior. Consequently, I was a little apprehensive when walking in. However, I was pleasantly reassured once we stepped inside the restaurant and noticed it's 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean and contemporary decor. Mom was immediately impressed (score!).
Our lovely brunch by the ocean was capped off by a pod of dolphins swimming up and down the shore to greet all the wonderful moms a Happy Mother's Day. Perfect!
Favorite Dish: The menu was buffet-style at $45/person that included a complimentary glass of champagne or mimosa or orange juice for each person. The buffet selection included all the basic offerings of a brunch buffet along with a carving station for the leg of lamb and the roasted striploin. It also offered eggs Benedict, brioche French toast, free-range chicken breast, Scottish salmon, and salads and pastries galore. However, my favorite were the super jumbo bay shrimp. Yum!
Total bill: $215 that included a 15% gratuity
Mom's happiness: PRICELESS =)
Hailed as one of Orange County's "hidden treasures", the Anaheim White House Restaurant is truly a visual and gastronomic delight. Anaheim resident and friend, VT member poupeeaztec recommended this restaurant to me years ago, but it was only recently (02.21.08) that I dined here, and I chose a special occasion to do it - to celebrate my boyfriend's umpteenth birthday.
Upon first glance at the mansion (see photo #1) visitors will immediately realize that a unique dining experience is in store for them. Located in an unpretentious part of the O.C., the White House is a Victorian-style home turned upscale restaurant. Catering to the likes of celebrities such as Madonna, Martina Navratilova, Pele, and Barry Bonds, just to name a few, the White House serves up delicious Italian fare with French flair (see photo #2 below). Equally delightful about this restaurant was the complimentary offering of a cream puff dessert and glass of champagne for the birthday celebrant. Birthday boy and I had a wonderfully romantic dine and I suggest that you and your loved one(s) come here too the next time you want to celebrate something or someone special in the O.C.
On a side note the proprietor, Bruno Serato has been nominated CNN Hero for the 2011 year for serving "300 free dinners to homeless motel kids every night!" Good for you, Mr. Serato! Bravo!!! All the more reason to patronize this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Appetizers: Ravioli sampler for two @ $21.90
Entree A: Prawn and Fillet combo @ $69.95
Entree B: Ferre Vitello con Funghi @ $32.95
Beverages: 1 iced tea @ $3.95 and 1 Newcastle beer @ $6.50
Birthday dessert: cream puffs with strawberries and a glass of champagne for the celebrant and apple cider for guest were complimentary
Total bill: $145.73 excluding 15% to 20% tip
With a yummy Pacific Rim menu and a fun, laid-back, Hawaiian-themed atmosphere, Duke's is the right place to just chill out for dinner and drinks. My colleague brought her sister here for food and cocktails for her birthday and we all enjoyed. Afterward, we walked over to the other side of the street to continue the party at another bar/club who's name I forgot.