Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Orange County Dining

January 17, 2002

In these capsules of recent reviews, dollar signs indicate the average price of a meal for one, without beverages.

$: less than $10

$$: up to $20

$$$: up to $30

$$$$: more than $30.

*

CAFFE PIEMONTE: A family-owned place that serves excellent northern Italian food with a personal touch. Try the calamari saltati alla marinara, tagliolini alla Bolognese, pheasant ravioli and osso buco. Caffe Piemonte, 498 E. 1st St., Tustin. (714) 544-8072. Lunch Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; dinner Tuesdays-Saturdays, 5-9 p.m. $$

*

CAFE TU TU TANGO: This cavernous, high-octane space is filled with art created on the premises by working artists. The eclectic, all-appetizer menu includes Cajun chicken egg rolls, Dijon chicken skewers and tuna sashimi. Live entertainment also surfaces ("spontaneously," to quote management). Cafe Tu Tu Tango, the Block at Orange. (714) 769-2222. Sundays-Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-midnight; Thursdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. $

*

CAFE ZOOLU: Cafe Zoolu is Laguna Beach all the way, from the funky quasi-Polynesian interiors to owner-chef Michael Leech's cooking. Try the swordfish. This place is casual and hip without being trendy. Cafe Zoolu, 860 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. (949) 494-6825. Open for dinner Tuesdays-Sundays, 5 p.m. $$$

*

CANYON LODGE: Canyon Lodge overlooks a rustic golf course landscaped with chaparral, and the restaurant serves a menu of comfort foods nearly as American in spirit. They serve a mean cream of tomato soup and sumptuous desserts. Best dishes: flatiron steak, smoked prime rib and an amazing Mandarin chicken salad. Canyon Lodge, 31106 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. (949) 499-2663. Lunch Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner Sundays-Thursdays, 5-9 p.m.; Fridays-Saturdays, 5-10 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $$

*

CAPRICCIO: It doesn't hold back on big flavors like garlic and capers. The massive pasta dishes are smothered with aromatic sauces and, with some dishes, savory shrimp, mussels and clams. A fine selection of daily seafood specials. Capriccio Italiano Ristorante. 25380 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo. (949) 855-6866. Lunch Mondays-Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner daily, starting at 4:30. $$

*

CEDAR CREEK INN: The Cedar Creek Inn in Brea may be less homey than the others, but it's an appropriate setting for a serious, fine-dining approach to American food. There are classics like German pot roast and prime rib, mostly successful innovations like chicken breast stuffed with pecans and Brie--and, of course, devastating chocolate desserts. Cedar Creek Inn, 20 Pointe Drive, Brea. (714) 255-5600. Lunch and dinner daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Also in Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano. $$$

*

CHIMAYO AT THE BEACH: Chimayo at the Beach has a hot concept, a killer location opposite Huntington Beach Pier and stunning design. The menu is half Southwestern (star restaurateur David Wilhelm's forte), half seafood. Don't miss the rare ahi rolls with avocado or the slushy mango margarita. Chimayo at the Beach, 315 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach. (714) 374-7273. Sundays-Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fridays-Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. $$$

*

CHINA PALACE: China Palace has kept pace with changing tastes in its 20-year existence, while dozens, even hundreds of nearby restaurants have come and gone. This gaudy, tropical-themed place has a sushi bar and a Chinese kitchen that turns out dishes such as veal scaloppine with basil, fried soft-shell crab, Pekin duck and terrific fried calamari. China Palace, 2800 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. (949) 631-8031. Lunch Mondays-Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner Sundays-Thursdays, 5-10 p.m.; Fridays-Saturdays, 5-11 p.m. $$

*

CHIN CHIN: A longtime Los Angeles staple, this Orange County outpost specializes in Chinese snacks and dumplings, as well as noodles, salads, barbecued meats and stir-fried dishes. The best items include barbecued pork, Sichuan dumplings and stir-fried eggplant. If you want real dim sum, though, you still have to go to Monterey Park. Chin Chin, 27441 Crown Valley Parkway, Mission Viejo. (949) 367-9595. Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fridays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. $$

*

CUBAN PETE'S: You can call this an exotic family restaurant, one of the few within a stone's throw of Disneyland. The menu, not surprisingly, tends toward Cuban, but there are also wonderful dishes of Puerto Rico, a combination of many influences. Don't miss the ham croquettes, the mashed plantain dip mofongo, the roast leg of pork and the terrific guava cheesecake. The atmosphere is lively, the staff especially cheerful. Cuban Pete's, 1050 W. Ball Road, Anaheim. (714) 490-2020. Dinner only Tuesdays-Wednesdays, 5-10 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sundays, 3-10 p.m. $$$

*

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|