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MORE BITES

January 15, 1988

Here are summaries of recent Times restaurant reviews. Bangkok IV, 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa. (714) 540-7661 . Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Now they've really done it. They've opened an upscale Thai restaurant in a shopping mall. What next? Bangkok IV is operated by veteran Lucky Teachanarong, and his newest outing is a flat-out winner. Appetizers like taro todd , Balboa mussels and Thai toasts are terrific, and main dishes like paht Thai (flat noodles pan-fried with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts) and pork with green beans in dry curry paste aren't far behind. Food tends to be on the sweet side here, but the management will turn up the heat on request. Now you've been warned. There are even some excellent homemade desserts. Chez Cary, 571 S. Main St., Orange (714) 542-3595 . Open daily for dinner.

Chez Cary is like a dry-docked cruise ship: luxurious, fitted speciously and caught in a time warp. The main dining room is a mausoleum of crystal and red velvet, and service is conspicuously understated by teams of waiters and captains pushing flaming carts and sweeping through the dining room. Musicians are never far behind. Don't bother with the beluga or the fois gras, which are priced out of reality, but do enjoy traditional goodies like escargot, Dover sole, steak au poivre , veal chops, and vollaille a la Bourgeoie , the latter a breast of capon in an unctuous sauce of bacon, onion and carrots. For heaven's sake, don't forget your dinner jacket. Dover's, at the Doubletree Hotel, 100 E. The City Drive, Orange (714) 634-5000. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Dover's at the Doubletree Hotel in Orange is an eye-catching restaurant with a ceiling more than three stories high and an eclectic collection of objets d'art which give the restaurant the feeling of a museum, but the cooking is often less lofty. Chef Steve Lancaster tries too much, and the result is an erratic jumble of good and bad. Salmon tartare is wonderfully silky and big enough to share. Appetizers are generally impressive, especially a seafood sausage in a bed of green and white linguini. Entrees lean toward the exotic; avoid the Pacific Rim dishes (except for the tea-poached salmon, which is great), and pursue the simpler dishes. Dessert is dreary. Ambiance is dressy.

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