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Thai Taco Tuesdays at Anajak make it restaurant of the year

Bill Addison • Los Angeles Times • July 22, 2022
Chef Justin Pichetrungsi’s omakase menus of South Asian flavors are a phenomenon — and sold out through September. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times) Waiting in line for tacos is a truism of life in Los Angeles. Trailing down a busy commercial...

Review: Move over pho, it’s banh canh’s time to shine

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • July 21, 2022
The menu at A&B Seafood by Bếp Việt, a new Vietnamese restaurant in Garden Grove, is extensive. It would take months of repeat visits to sample everything. But I think it’s safe to say the kitchen here is best defined by a single dish, a soup...

Critic’s Notebook: Rekindling my relationship with fried shrimp at Izakaya Ichie in Buena Park

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • July 20, 2022
The ebi furai at Izakaya Ichie in Buena Park are absolutely delicious. Ebi furai are the crispier cousin to shrimp tempura. Oddly, this new Japanese pub lists the ebi furai on the menu as “shrimp tempura” even though these are distinctly not...

I'm calling it. The salad of summer is deep-fried

Jenn Harris • Los Angeles Times • July 18, 2022
This week, I’m making the case for salads. These will not help you achieve your ideal summer bod, but they will make the most of some very good produce. Morning glory salad at Jitlada My favorite salad in all of Los Angeles is deep-fried. This...

The 10 best restaurants in San Diego, according to our critic

Bill AddisonRestaurant Critic • Los Angeles Times • July 15, 2022
SAN DIEGO —  By the time Comic-Con attendees arrive in San Diego next week, plenty of restaurants in the city’s touristy Gaslamp Quarter will have dreamed up themed enticements — cocktail ice cubes resembling the Bat Signal, say, or sushi in the...

Best thing I ate: Minimalist donuts in downtown Brea

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • July 14, 2022
A new donut shop in Brea has embraced the old KISS principle — keep it simple stupid — and the donuts are fantastic. The selection at Downtown Donuts & Coffee is limited to fewer than 10 options: plain glazed, chocolate glazed, maple glazed,...

Burger of the month: Blue cheese, maple bacon and the sweet smell of the high life

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • July 13, 2022
The most important thing to know about the festive and glamorous new A Crystal Cove restaurant, a modern spinoff of the old A Restaurant in Newport Beach, is this: The menu here bears almost no resemblance to the original A. Instead it is a...

Yes, bone marrow belongs in a taco. Find this truck to try my latest taco obsession

Jenn Harris • Los Angeles Times • July 11, 2022
Bone marrow birria tacos from Pepe’s Red Tacos For a time, my Instagram and TikTok feeds were full of red-stained tacos. There were red birria and queso-filled tacos dunked five at a time into cups overflowing with even redder consommé. Stacks of...

Lucas Kwan Peterson rates every smoothie at Erewhon

Bill Addison • Los Angeles Times • July 9, 2022
Right on time for summer reading and sipping, this week Lucas Kwan Peterson writes about his visit to Erewhon to try its signature smoothies — and how he finds some elixirs more life-giving than others. As he says in the piece: “Each of Erewhon’s...

Review: At Taco Chico in Tustin, start with a sandwich

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • July 7, 2022
Forget for a second that the sign above the door says Taco Chico. Try not to think about the tacos yet. Order a sandwich first. And by sandwich I mean a cemita. “Cemita” is both the name of the Puebla-style bread used for these sandwiches and also...