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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...

You'll never guess the magic ingredient in this vegan soft serve

Jenn Harris • Los Angeles Times • July 6, 2022
Vegan soft serve at Mother Tongue Michael Mina’s new restaurant lulls you into its sun-drunk, warm cocoon without you even realizing it. Located in the new Heimat social and fitness club complex in Hollywood, Mother Tongue is a floor below a...

Critic’s Notebook: My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week of dining in O.C.

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • July 6, 2022
If an ice cream cone at Ikea is the best thing you’ve eaten all week, welcome to the club. That’s the sad predicament I found myself in recently. The life of a restaurant critic isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. And that’s precisely the way...

Three new-ish San Francisco restaurants that our critic loves

Bill Addison • Los Angeles Times • July 2, 2022
It’s been four years since I last witnessed the summer fog in San Francisco come barreling over Twin Peaks, soon to blanket the city. I’d forgotten how fast the mass moves, almost like you’re watching a time-lapse video but the speed is real life,...

Review: 4 new pizzerias add diversity to Orange County’s already hot pizza scene

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • June 30, 2022
Four very different new pizzerias are shaking up the local pizza scene. Two of these parlors have introduced competing visions of New York-style pizza, while another takes aim at the Detroit-style deep-dish trend and the other muscles its way into...