when in doubt . . . eat

What to do with visitors to an area you’ve only been in for a few weeks . . . why try out many of the local eats, of course. Here’s a round up of a recent Orange County, CA weekend food crawl:

double doubleThis is California after all so start with a late night trip to In N Out Burger. Double Doubles with grilled onions for everyone (add extra sauce and it’s called Animal Style an off menu favorite). Smiles all round for sure . . .

Taco MariaTaco Maria, recently voted one of the top 10 restaurants not in Orange County but in all of Los Angeles (now that’s impressive) is a new favorite. Homemade corn tortillas with tasty hanger steak and a glass of red sangria are worth going back for again and again. I can’t wait to try their prix fixe dinner menu one of these days.

twenty eightTwenty Eight, by Top Chef contestant Shirley Chung specializing in Chinese food served western plate style is a great choice for a nice dinner.  An impressive looking restaurant that’s spacious and heavy on the black – black wood floors, black wooden tables, black overhead lamps. The entire meal was lovely, with the table agreeing that the plentiful appetizers or “munchies” as they call them, were spectacular. I only wish the room had been more crowded on a Saturday night. Open just a few months it doesn’t seem to have found it’s stride yet. But give it a try. You won’t be sorry.

bagels and cream cheeseNew York bagels they ain’t but Shirley’s Bagels aren’t bad for the West Coast. At least they are boiled like a real bagel should be. And they whip their own cream cheese on sight — a nice touch.

shakesEven a cold rainy-ish day shouldn’t keep you from showing visitors the beach. And what better place to sit and overlook the rocky cliffs and white sand of Crystal Cove Beach than the Shake Shack (aka Ruby’s Diner) where yummy flavored milk shakes rule.

Nancy's Chopped Salad50 Best dishes; Mar'13; John Sedlar, Pizzeria Mozza; portraitYou’ve seen the pizza now meet the salad and dessert. Pizzeria Mozza is simply the best restaurant I know. And I am sooooo happy they have an outpost in Orange County!

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