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Dragon Phoenix Palace Chinese Seafood Restaurant

This place is in the center of Little Saigon even though it’s a Chinese restaurant.   The Dim Sum is pretty good there.  It’s served from I think 11am to 2pm.  You’ll feel like you’re in another country.  It’s best to get Dim Sum on the weekend as there is more variety but it will be way more crowded

Directions: From the 405 go north on Magnolia.  Turn right at Bolsa and left at the next light.  That light turns into a parking lot.  The restaurant is on the right on the second floor.

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Tommy’s

Tommy’s is somewhat famous in Los Angeles.  They’ve become a small chain and there are a couple in O.C.  They make chili burgers and they are some of the greasiest things you’ll ever eat.  They are extremely delicious but you can only eat them about once every 2 months because they are so greasy.  Tommy’s is also open 24 hours.  I don’t know how we did it but when I was in high school my friends and I could eat 4 double cheeseburgers from Tommy’s each.  Note, all burgers come with chili by default.  If you don’t want the chili why are you at Tommy’s?

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Fatburger

Fatburger is also from L.A.  Fatburger as in "Man! That’s Phat!"  I love them with all 4 extras.  Chili, Bacon, Egg and Cheese.  Yum!  The one in O.C is in the Park Place area.

Directions: 405 to Jamboree, turn right from the exit toward Newport. Turn left at Michaelson, the first light and left again at the next light which is into the Park Place area

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Houston’s

Houston’s is a national chain.  The have a very small menu.  Their two specialties are (1) Their Spinach Dip which they claim was named one of the 10 best things to eat in L.A.  I agree. (2) Their ribs which they call knife and fork ribs.   These ribs are so tender you usually don’t even need the knife.  The meat falls right off the bones with just a light push from your fork.  Yes!

Directions: They are in the same center as FatBurger above.  In LA there is one at the Century City Shopping Center and another in Manhattan Beach on Rosecrans a mile or two west of the 405.

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Picnic Garden

This is a Korean Style BBQ and it’s all you can eat.  At lunch time on a weekday it’s only 8$ and that includes soft drinks.  At a Korean BBQ you cook the food on a grill at your table.  Since this is all you can eat they’ve got bars (similar to salad bars) except they have lots of raw and seasoned meats.  There are sauces in the back as well as ready to eat foods like eggrolls and fries.

One tip: Wait for the grill to get good and hot.  If you put the cold meat on it before it’s hot the grill will never get hot.

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Seoul Garden

This is also a Korean BBQ.  It’s much newer looking than Picnic Garden.  It’s a toss up which is better.  Some people like one and some people prefer the other.   It’s also $8 for lunch but drinks are separate.

Directions: From the 5 take Red Hill north.  Past the 1st light on the right is a shopping center.  It’s in there behind the Del Taco.

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Cheesecake Factory

You may have heard of them.  They are also a national chain (or are they now international).  The thing that sucks about the Cheesecake Factory is that they don’t take reservations and they are almost always busy.  On a Friday or Saturday night you can expect to wait at least 2 hours.

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Niki’s

Niki’s is Indian fast food.  I could probably eat there everyday.  I usually get the Chicken Tika (not hot) and I have them put the white sauce on my rice.  I have the spinach and the yogurt and if I’m really hungry I’ll order a samosa.  Note: The yogurt should be treated like a dip for dipping the meat and other hot things.  Think of it like sour cream on a potato.

Directions: Take Bristol north from the 405.  Past Sunflower on the right past the gas station.

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Tommy Sushi

This place is interesting in part because it’s so hidden.  If somebody didn’t tell you it was there you’d probably think it was a closet.  The sushi’s not bad.   The dinner sets of Japanese food are large but not great.  I really like the Poki bowl which is kind of like eating a bowl of California role with some sashimi added to it.

Directions: Take the 55 to McFadden east and then turn left on to Newport Blvd.  Go Past the 5 to Bryan. Just past Bryan turn right into the parking lot of Tony’s Landing.  Tommy Sushi is behind Tony’s Landing, behind the Thai BBQ (which is also pretty good)  Don’t mistake it for the Teppan restaurant next door.

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Sushi Wave

Sushi Wave has the best sushi I’ve had in O.C.  There is often a 20 minute wait.   It’s funny because the place is full of Americans instead of Japanese natives even though there are lots of Japanese natives in the area.  At least most of the employees are Japanese natives.  What makes it so good?  The fish is fresh!

Directions: From the 405 south take the 73 to the 55 south and then exit the 55 and drive down Newport Ave long the side of the freeway.  Sushi Wave is on the right in a strip mall several lights down.  If you make it to NikeTown and Triangle Square you’ve gone 1 or 2 lights too far.

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