Although it’s hard to believe…we really don’t have it all in OC. 

Roy Choi Restaurants

20131025_141028Source: Pomme Des Garcons

Did you know the Kogi truck still makes its rounds around Orange County?

Neither did I, until recently. I was driving past K1 Speed in Irvine on a Wednesday night and saw it posted up in the parking lot. I wondered…how long is the line going to be this time?  

There was no one in sight. In 2010, this would have been insane. I grabbed a Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla and beef bulgogi tacos. It was remarkable.

Whenever I’m in the LA area, it usually involves a visit to a Roy Choi restaurant. If I’m stopping by DTLA, it’s a trip to Chego. If I’m on the westside, it’s brunch at Sunny Spot or A-Frame.

1-2Source: Lunchaim

Whenever concept Choi decides to put his hands on, it’s a magical experience. Flavors are actors and are staring in a tragedy known as “dinner.” Some tastes will be bitter. Some will be salty. Others will be sweet.

I just wish Choi had more of a presence in Orange County. After all, Choi did attend Villa Park High School in Orange. His parents did own a Korean food restaurant in Anaheim. He’s as much OC as he is LA. 

So please, if you’re reading this Roy, open up a spot in OC.

Seriously…can we at least get a Chego? 

Guisados

Sampler_plateSource: Latino Foodie

 

When some people think about Mexican cuisine, the first dishes that come to mind are tacos, burritos, tosadas…

But really, braises and stews are a big part of Mexican kitchens and for the most part, most taquerias ignore these recipes. Guisados is one of the hottest taco shops in the LA right now for that very reason.

There, you won’t find carne asada or grilled chicken on the menu. Instead, you’ll find bistek en salsa roja, chicharron and chuleta en chile verde tacos. For kids who grew up in a Mexican-American households, these dishes sound more commonplace and comforting than al pastor. And we need this in Orange County.

Spitz

This one will be short. First of all, we can’t get enough Mediterranean/Turkish/Middle Eastern cuisine in OC. We absolutely love the stuff.

But let me just show you a picture of Spitz’s Street Cart Fries.

547635c7695c9IMG_8719_1Sources: OpenDining.net

Enough said.

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen

Feature3Source: Pike and Rose

As #basic as this selection sounds, I’d actually be intrigued to have Chipotle’s Asian concept, ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, open a few locations in Orange County. Right now, they only have stores on the East Coast and in Los Angeles.

We’re all about bowls in Orange County. Walk into any Chipotle restaurant in OC and you’ll hear 95 percent of the clientele order the burrito bowl. The Flame Broiler has its origins in Orange County and has since grown into a national chain.

 

If ShopHouse can make it in OC, it can make it anywhere in the country. Plus, you gotta love Sriracha walls…

ShopHouse_SantaMonica_02-2Source: EverythingHAPA

Street Carts

IMG_3363Source: UmamiHoliday.com

Generally, Orange County doesn’t really have any street carts dishing out real food. We’re not talking raspados or elotes here. LA has street carts selling BBQ, churros and the legendary “dirty dog,” a bacon-wrapped hot dog with grilled onions, peppers, mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup. I would do whatever it takes to get a dirty dog cart in Orange County.

No, I don’t care if it’s probably unsanitary. 

No, I don’t care if they’re operating illegally. The government shouldn’t tell me what to put in my body. 

There’s something about eating something out of a cart that feels so good.

Yes, it’s probably because it’s unsanitary. 

Yes, it’s because they’re operating illegally.

What LA restaurants do you want to see in OC?

Originally posted 2016-04-25 23:55:29.

Join the Conversation!