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Super Mex and Great Mex

Some of my Japanese friends claim they don’t like Mexican food.  I have to assume they’ve only tried Taco Bell and Del Taco.  I suppose they could actually not like it but if I had to eat only one type of food for the rest of my life I wouldn’t be at all unhappy if it was Mexican food.

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Kanpai

This is also a good place for sushi though not as good as Sushi Wave.  It’s great for lunch though as they have some pretty good lunch specials including gyoza and chicken and beef teriyaki for those non-sushi eaters.

Directions: Take Bristol south from the 405 to Baker.  Turn left.  Kanpai is on the left behind Shooters.  Note: Kanpai means Cheers in Japanese.

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Hof’s Hut

Hof’s Hut is a small chain of umm, Coffee shops?  It’s actually pretty good and they have really good dessert selections courtesy of their bakery.  My friend Willis loves this place.  He always gets the Rotisserie Chicken.

Directions:The one in Irvine is in the same shopping center as Sagami.

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Pho Mai Nguyen (the Catfish Place)

I’ve not been to many Vietnamese places but the catfish here is the best I’ve had.   It’s great.  In fact it’s so good I could each just that as my only dish plus some rice.  My friend Neil introduced me to this place. Vietnamese style eggrolls are also very good.  You roll them in a piece of lettuce and then dip them in a semi sweet reddish orange sauce.  Yum!  Another thing to try is the combination BBQ pork and vermicelli

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Rubio’s

Rubio’s is actually a fairly large chain in So.Cal.  It’s specialty is fish tacos.   Yes you read correctly, Fish Tacos.  When I first heard about fish tacos it sounded kind of gross.  I don’t know why when you think about it.  Tuna sandwiches are one of my favorites as were Fillet-O-Fish sandwiches at McDonalds when I was a kid.  My mom told me I had to give them a try so I did.  They are awesome.   The one to order is the Fish Taco Especial.

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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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Harbor House

Harbor House is also open 24 hours.  There is one in Dana Point and one in Huntington Harbor both on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).  They specialize in omelets which are actually not bad.  They have a wide range of other foods too.  They’re pretty good especially for a 24 hour place.

Directions: Simplest Directions. Take Warner west from the 405 until you get to PCH.   Like 5 or 6 miles.  Turn right at PCH.  Harbor House is on the left about 1 mile down PCH.  If you see a tall water tower like structure (it’s actually a house) you’ve gone about 100 feet too far.

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Prehistoric Pets

This is a really cool pet store that’s near Ebisu Ramen and Genghis Kahn Mongolian BBQ.   They specialize in reptiles but my favorite thing there is to feed the "Man Eating Catfish."  At least that’s what I like to call them.  Near the entrance to the store they have a small indoor pond with several kinds of fish including catfish big enough to swallow your arm.  For a few bucks you can feed them live night crawlers (large worms).  Cool!  This is definitely a must see place.  Check it out!

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Sagami

sagami.jpg (39325 bytes)Sagami is a good place for quick Japanese food.  They’ve got various types of rice bowls and sushi.  It’s only takeout but there are tables outside if it’s a nice day.   It gets pretty crowed at lunch.  There’s also about 6 other takeout places there if you’ve got a hunger for Japanese food and your friends don’t

Directions: Take the 405 south to Culver.  Turn left from the exit on to Culver.   Left at Barranca.  Then left at the next light into the shopping center with a Target and a Mervin’s.  It’s in the middle.

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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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