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LaSalsa

Why this place has done was well has it has it beyond me.  The place sucks!   There are like 50 of them too.  I don’t get it.  I’ve tried it like 5 times at like 3 different locations and every time I’ve hated it.  Bland tasteless dry food.  Complete crap.  Blech!  Avoid this place and maybe it will go away.

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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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Jerry’s Famous Deli


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Bangkok 4

Bangkok 4 is my favorite Thai restaurant.  It’s in the South Coast Plaza Crystal Court behind South Coast Plaza.  It’s on the 3rd floor.

I’m not sure if this is real Thai food or upscale Californiaized Thai food but I think is delicious.  It’s a little expensive.  The kind of place you’d go on a relatively nice dinner with your girlfriend.  If you just want to pig out go to the Thai BBQ next to Tommy Sushi.

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Genghis Kahn Mongolian BBQ

If you’ve never had Mongolian BBQ this is not a bad place to try it.  Basically they have a salad bar type arrangement.  They give you an empty bowl and you fill it as full as you can with stuff from the bar.  They have different shaved meats (i.e. thinly sliced) like turkey, beef, pork etc.  Then they have some veggies like sprouts and cabbage and water chestnuts.  Then they have sauces.  There are instructions for how to mix the sauces above the bar.  You need to put like 5 ladles full plus some BBQ oil.

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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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Ebisu Ramen

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Sam Woo in Irvine

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Sam Woo has been called the best Chinese in O.C.  One indication is that the clientele is about 95 percent Chinese.  Another is that the service can be rude.   Some people say if the service isn’t rude it’s not real Chinese.  There are several Sam Woo restaurants in So.Cal.  I think there’s one in San Francisco too.

There are three restaurants there.  One is take out only.  One is called Sam Woo Seafood Restaurant and looks a little expensive.  I’ve never been in there.   The 3rd is between the first 2 and that’s were I eat.  It’s usually cheap too.

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Imperial Dragon

This is a small Vietnamese restaurant in Costa Mesa. It’s definitely not bad. I’ve only been for lunch. They don’t have the catfish that the other place has but their soups are great as is their Charbroiled Pork with Rice and their Vietnamese eggrolls.

Directions: Take Bristol south.  It’s on the right just past Paularino in the same shopping center as Video Tokyo

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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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