Naugles, Legendary Mexican Food Chain, Making a Comeback NEXT WEEK in Fountain Valley!

Categories: Mexi Meals

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Photo by The Mexican
Naugles' legendary hot sauce

No long-gone Southern California fast-food chain seems to inspire more wistful memories than Naugles, the Mexican-American company that closed down in the 1980s after a merger with Del Taco. I wasn't around back then to taste it, but I'm well aware of its influence, as documented in my Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America

As I reported last year, a group of Naugles activists (yes, they exist) are trying to bring back Naugles--never mind that Del Taco still owns the rights to the name. They've gone so far as to offer pop-up nights of chain standards like bun tacos (hamburger with taco meat), bean-and-cheese burritos, and taco sauce, all prepared with the original Naugles recipes. The first one, held in Lancaster this summer, was such a raging success that a second one is being held next Friday, October 11, in Fountain Valley.

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7. Meatballs from Pirozzi

Jennifer Fedrizzi
Meatball ice cream with cheese frosting
Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

I'm pretty sure I've not had a meatball as scrumptious or as soft as the ones Alessandro Pirozzi is serving at Pirozzi, his new restaurant in Corona del Mar. And I don't know why it took me this long to try them. After all, I've been to all of his restaurants: Mare Culinary Lounge at the Laguna Beach Holiday Inn, Alessá in downtown Laguna, even Cucina Alessá in Huntington Beach, with which he's no longer affiliated. Perhaps I was too distracted by the cool-blue nightclub atmospherics at Mare or the overwhelmingly encyclopedic menu at Alessá to notice he's probably always made meatballs this good.

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Snuff A&O Kitchen+Bar's Cigar Dessert--Quick

Categories: Now Open

Photo by Dustin Ames
Much better...maybe

Let me tell you about the first time something I ate at a restaurant made me . . . um, trip out. Yeah, that's what I'll call it. It was a dessert served at the new A&O Kitchen+Bar in Newport Beach: The Tobacco & Whiskey Brulee looks innocent enough, served in a flip-top glass jar. But it isn't; you have to be at least 18 to order it, as it's actually made with tobacco. According to our waiter, a cigar is unfurled and its innards steeped in milk. That milk is used to make the custard, which is chilled inside the jar, then topped with a scoop of whiskey-infused chocolate mousse and bits of chocolate streusel that are scattered around like flicked cigarette ashes. Tastes like Grandpa's shirt! They presented the dessert with a comically long spoon, and it was the last thing I ate that fateful Saturday brunch.

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Ramen Samurai Returns to Battle Ninjas in Manchester

He's back..

Remember Nissin's Ramen Samurai from when he did battle in Brazil? Well, he's back, and this time he's doing battle in Manchester.

And he's not just fighting some random street tough. No, this time the ramen company has him squaring off against three ninjas during what looks like a soccer half time (Is this what they call it?) in Old Trafford.

Check after the jump.

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8. Ribeye from Selanne Steak Tavern

Anne Marie Panoringan
This is the Lord Stanley--32 ounces of gluttony--because I didn't take pictures when I went.
Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Selanne Steak Tavern doesn't look like a steakhouse, not in the usual clubby, blatantly masculine, business-happens-here model of Mastro's or Houston's, with its dark wood and low lights and private booths. It's still a steakhouse, though, and good steaks cross its antiseptic glossy metal counters.

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Long Beach Lunch: The Prospector

Sarah Bennett

To the too-cool, twenty-something crowd in Long Beach, The Prospector Steak House and Saloon is one of the city's best dark-n-divey bars at which to get a $4 well whiskey and slosh around watching all kinds of grimy local punk bands perform. But to an older-something set of Long Beach day drinkers and meat lovers, the building on the corner of 7th St. and Junipero Ave.--yes, the one entirely covered in paintings of 1800s miners, cowboys and country-camp wenches--is a quality lunch and dinner establishment, home to some of the best steak and lobster around.

After nearly a decade of experiencing The Prospector solely as a member of the former, post-closed-kitchen set, I recently decided to join the day crawlers, lured by the decadent idea of eating a proper steak dinner for lunch.

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Restaurant Roll Call for September 2014

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Edwin Goei
There be oodles of noodles inside!
Time for our monthly round-up of open-and-shut-cases we wrote about last month. Among the notable ones was the debut of Capital Noodle Bar, a spin-off from the Capital chain, and that someone finally moved in to the old Battle of the Dance building.

Here's the rest of the list.

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Pillsbury Made Pizza Cake an Actual Thing

It's coming for you.

Do you remember that pizza cake that I thought was clone stamped into existence? You know, the one some small-to-medium-sized pizza chain thought would be cool to throw into a contest?

Well, Pillsbury has turned it into a real, actual thing that you can put into your mouth, and I have to be honest, I'm kind of afraid.

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Masterlink Sausage & Meats Celebrates 50 Years Tomorrow!

Categories: Local Eats

Photo by Josue Rivas/OC Weekly
Joe Martin and Mike Pease of Masterlink

It was a year-and-a-half ago that we found our way to Masterlink's factory in Fullerton and sat down with Joe Martin and Mike Pease, two hardworking guys promoting their meaty product. Now, we're proud to report that the company--which provides sausages to nearly all the great OC sausage restaurants--is celebrating their 50th anniversary TOMORROW.

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On the Line: Lei Shishak of Sugar Blossom Bake Shop, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by Dustin Ames
C is for cookie, which we like very much

In yesterday's interview, I learned about Lei's range of food preferences. Today she explains how she burns off all those calories. If you're a fan of baking (or know someone who is), tell us your favorite dessert in the comments to win the item at the end of our conversation. A winner will be announced on Friday.

Read our first part with Lei over here.
Then finish the interview below. . . .

When you're not in the kitchen baking, what are you doing?

I'm outside-- at the beach, hiking or enjoying drinks on a patio somewhere.

What do you like to do at the beach?

Surf, swim, paddleboard, etc. I enjoy playing catch on the beach and boogie boarding.

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