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Italian Restaurant in Orange County

Il Barone and Antonello. Both very fine. Antonello is the classic, and Il Barone is from the former chef there.

Mar 05, 2014
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Laguna Beach area

I find Salt Creek Grill to be atrocious. The bar can be fine with acceptable appetizers, but the dining room is definitely not Chow-worthy. You can do much better with your other options. Also on the higher end is Sapphire, which is consistently good.

Aug 15, 2013
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Dinner with kids close to St. Regis in Dana Point

Take the St. Regis tram down to the Monarch Bay Club, which is a private beach club operated by the St. Regis. You can eat either on the patio overlooking the sand, or in the dining room. Either way you can watch the sunset, and there are good food options for both adults and kids. The hotel desk can make reservations for you.

If you are determined to leave the resort, you can eat at Mahe, which is tolerable Japanese food across from the harbor, at Olamendis, which is Mexican across from Doheny Beach. Shwack Burger is good too. You can also head north on Pacific Coast Highway into Laguna Beach, where there are many options. Search this board for some recent threads that run down pretty much everything there.

Aug 14, 2012
2intune in Los Angeles Area

meatball sub in the O.C.

I second Claro's as well. You may also want to try Ciao! Deli Pizzeria on Baker in Costa Mesa. I would characterize it as New York Italian-esque. Definitely worth a try. Maybe not awe inspiring but certainly dam good.

Jul 18, 2012
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Long Beach Eats

Delius is a very well-regarded restaurant in the town of Signal Hill, which is entirely surrounded by Long Beach. I recommend it strongly. Upscale and higher on the price continuum though.

Apr 10, 2012
2intune in Los Angeles Area

orange county rec

Hi DukeFan

I too am a Duke fan and will happily weigh in.

Marche Moderne is a great choice, probably my favorite in all of OC. It has a small bar where you can eat, if you dislike dining at a table alone.

Closer to the airport is a very good upscale Italian restaurant, Il Barone. Beautiful fish specials and made-in-house pasta. I strongly recommend it, and if you are without a car, you can easily walk there from the airport-adjacent hotels.

Anqi is another good choice for food you aren't likely to get everywhere, also near Marche Moderne at South Coast Plaza.

And by the way, if you need a basic sports bar to watch opening night of March Madness, near the airport is the Classic Q. Not exactly chow-worthy food (although the burgers aren't bad), that might trump other options, although duke doesn't play until Friday.

Mar 12, 2012
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Mexican in or near Newport Beach

El Matador on Newport Blvd by the corner of Rochester also fits the bill. Solid old-school Mexican of the Avila's school, but not a chain. Reasonable prices, big drinks and acceptable food.

Feb 03, 2012
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Where to find castelvetrano olives in Orange County

i saw them in the olive bar at gelson's in dana point last night.

Jan 21, 2012
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Making potato latkes -- how do YOU remove the excess liquid?

salad spinner. i have an oxo. put your grated potatoes in. rinse several times to get rid of starch. spin. for even more dryness, place in the freezer. sucks any moisture right out.

Dec 20, 2011
2intune in Home Cooking

Pina's Bistro in Tustin

Oh yeah, and how about Rutabegorz, next to the Gary's Outlet? Great salads and in general healthy food.

Rutabegorz Restaurant
211 N Pomona Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832

Nov 01, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Pina's Bistro in Tustin

Zon, on Newport Ave., is great for banh mi and, although I haven't tried it, the pho has been well reviewed elsewhere. Definitely chow-worthy.

Nov 01, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Orange County Fresh Fish Help

The Gelson's in Dana Point always has a nice selection of good fish. Prices are somewhat lower than those at Santa Monica Seafood, and the quality is very nearly equal.

Sep 21, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Putting pizza stone on charcoal grill

I have been using this method to great success. Lodge Logic L9OG3 Pre-Seasoned 10-1/2-Inch Round Griddle. Get your bbq nice and hot. Also, heat the griddle on the stove top until it is very hot. Oil lightly. Stretch the dough and put it on the skillet. Yes, it will start to cook immediately. Quickly put the rest of your toppings on the dough, and put the griddle on the grill. Cover. The pizza will be done within 5 minutes. The bottom of the crust and edges will have some nice char, and will not stick to the griddle. I learned this method from the LA Times. No corn meal necessary.

Aug 22, 2011
2intune in Home Cooking

South Orange County (Laguna, Dana, SJC) Recs for a Fun/Young Group Dinner on a Friday Night?

Scott has the right idea. Stick with Laguna. Eve's is fun, but K'ya and House of Big are more centrally located, and probably better equipped to handle a large group. Be aware though that at House of Big the wait can be over an hour, so see if they will give you a reservation for a large group. That wait is testament to the fact that the food is very reasonably priced (though not exactly locally sourced) and people are generally having fun and partying.

Aug 05, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

South Orange County (Laguna, Dana, SJC) Recs for a Fun/Young Group Dinner on a Friday Night?

If you will be at or near the St. Regis, and the rehearsal dinner isn't being held there, consider Stonehill Tavern at the hotel. The drinks and apps are great, and there is a distant view of the ocean. Also, Mahe, across from the Dana Point harbor, has fun-type (as opposed to authentic) Japanese food, and more of a scene. I'd stay away from Renaissance though. I took my teenage sons there a month ago and they still give me a bad time about it. The food was mediocre at best, and the crowd was 50-60 y.o. singles.

Second Olamendis and El Campeon. for brunch and hangover food. There is an Olamendis in the Gelson's shopping center across the golf course from the St. Regis, and if you are staying there, you can walk.

San Juan Capistrano is not a compromise between Dana Point (south) and the OC Airport (north)-- it is farther south than Dana Point. For a compromise, Laguna Beach provides the best dinner options. And given what you seem to be looking for, I would recommend that. House of Big Fish is ok food-wise, but a lot of fun atmosphere-wise. Don't rule out the roof-top bar at Kya. The view is so spectacular this time of year. Try drinks up there then move downstairs to the restaurant. Also, right across the street is Sapphire, which may be the best bet of all. Unique menu, and large group tables outside. I did see a bad review of the place on this board not too long ago, but I've been there a dozen times at least and have never been disappointed. The biggest rap is that the menu hasn't changed as much as I'd like, but that shouldn't be an issue for you.

Stonehill Tavern
St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

Kya Restaurant and Bar
1289 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

24961 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629

34660 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92624

Aug 03, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Laguna Beach - Outdoor patio with ocean view

I believe the House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer also has an ocean view outdoor patio. Not exactly luxurious, but it fits the description. Also, the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove is just short of Laguna Beach and is right on the beach.

Jul 18, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

need help with chicken on a gas grill

Another point, and this applies equally to cooking a protein in a skillet -- don't be poking and lifting it up too soon. Meat and fish need to cook a bit before they are moved or turned. Once you see that the part in contact with the heat source has cooked through a bit, the meat will release more easily. Its hard to be patient when you think the food is sticking, but wait and you will be rewarded. Someone smarter than I can may be able to explain the chemistry, but I know this to be the case.

Jul 12, 2011
2intune in Home Cooking

Laguna Beach sushi?

San Shi Go in Laguna is good. We have been regulars there for years. It isn't the best sushi in OC, but it is certainly more than acceptable, and the place is definitely family friendly.

San Shi Go Restaurant
1100 S Coast Hwy Ste 303, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Jun 03, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Laguna Beach: 5-1/2 (Feet)?

I think 5 1/2 feet was Kang's second restaurant, which was in Fashion Island. The original, Five', in Laguna Beach did close. I don't believe there are any plans for a successor.

Apr 27, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Shishito pepper recipes needed

A favorite Japanese restaurant grills them then wraps seared albacore sushi around them, finished with ponzu and bonito flakes.

Apr 25, 2011
2intune in Home Cooking

Props to the pasta nazi - Franco's Pasta Irvine

Is this place in the food court by Von Karman?

Apr 13, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Cooking hash browns: a side-by-side method comparison

You are rinsing off the starch. Otherwise the results are, well, starchy. Not crisp on the outside and soft inside -- more gloppy.

Apr 07, 2011
2intune in Home Cooking

Cooking hash browns: a side-by-side method comparison

If your potatoes soak up too much oil, you may not have your pan and oil preheated enough before adding the potatoes. I let my cast iron skillet heat up for about 5 minutes on medium low, then add fat (I use a combination of coconut oil and butter), let that heat up til it is shimmering, then add the potatoes. On my stove I'm at med/low, but its a pretty big gas stove. Your mileage may vary on that. After the first few tries, you'll get to see where the cutoff point is between heat too high (burning the bottom before the insides cook), and heat too low (not enough brown, soak up oil). Incidentally, I don't disturb or mix the potatoes while they cook. When the bottom browns, I put a dinner plate, face down on the top of the pan and flip the whole disc onto the plate, re-oil the pan then slide the uncooked side back into the pan.

Apr 07, 2011
2intune in Home Cooking

Knife Sharpening at home [moved from Boston board]

I'm with you loper. I have one of those gadgets and I swear by it.

Apr 06, 2011
2intune in Cookware

Cooking hash browns: a side-by-side method comparison

The parboil and freeze method is fine, but a little hard to plan for if you want hash browns for breakfast. I grate raw potatoes then use a salad spinner first to rinse and then extract all of the moisture. Cover the pan for the first ten minutes of cooking then uncover. The result is a nice crisp crust with nicely cooked-through strands. Helps if you use a cast-iron skillet.

Apr 06, 2011
2intune in Home Cooking

Cool Places for a Drink/Light Food in Irvine

Kimera is a good choice. Maybe a cooler place would be Mesa in the same center as Taco Asylum. Mesa

Kimera Restaurant
19530 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, CA 92612

Taco Asylum
2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Mar 22, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area


I was just at the Inn last weekend. We stayed for two nights, and ate at Suzanne's the first night and at Maravilla the second. Maravilla was better, but neither was spectacular. And neither was cheap at all. The consensus seems to be that Ojai is simply not an amazing restaurant destination. But the farmer's market Sunday a.m. behind the adobe building was really great. Nice selection of fruit, vegetables, baked goods, meat and seafood. Worth a trip to stock up for the ride home.

Mar 15, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

Excellent pastrami and/or corned beef sandwich in OC?

Arnie's Manhattan Deli in a Newport Beach office park near John Wayne Airport has fantastic rye bread and very good corned beef and pastrami that are kosher style. I order the corned beef lean. Cole slaw is also passable. Certainly comparable to, if not better than, Katella Deli

Katella Deli-Restaurant
4470 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Arnie's Manhattan Restaurant
1660 Dove St, B Newport Beach, CA

Feb 26, 2011
2intune in Los Angeles Area

looking for new Potato Latke recipe

I've been using the salad spinner method for latkes and hash browns for years. This yields the most consistent browning, with no mushy center. Definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Dec 01, 2010
2intune in Home Cooking

Unknown and Amazing Molecular Gastonomy Experience in Orange County: AnQi

Based on the OP's review, I'll give it a try again, but after my first visit, I thought it was an overpriced, pretentious PF Changs.

Nov 30, 2010
2intune in Los Angeles Area