Edwin's Top Five Restaurants of 2014

Categories: Five Great...

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Dustin Ames
Here fishy fishy fishy!

For this list I had to whittle down a list of many worthy places. The criteria I used was simple: "Which of these 50+ restaurants I ate at this year would I most likely return and become a regular."

This was the answer:

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Niyaz's Top 5 Dishes of 2014

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I was fortunate that 2014 was a year of great eating across the country: Spicy Pie slices on the Coachella sprawl; the best steak of my life in Maui; impossible gnocchi in D.C. But there were many dishes to be discovered here at home as well. From new twists on old classics to simple things done right, I knew right away what dishes inspired me in the kitchen, or simply kept me coming back for more.Here's my top 5 plates of 2014.


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Crisp Concert Is So Good, It Almost Makes Christmas Music Bearable

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I spent five years in college working retail, so suffice it to say, I absolutely hate Christmas music. Very little can repair five seasons worth of hour after hour of merriment. Green tea Pocky? Well, in this video, it almost does it.

Check this masterfully edited piece from Glico, the company that brings us Pocky and many other Japanese snacks. They've sampled the sound from people eating their snacks and have turned it into.. well, some weird liminal space between heaven and hell that's not purgatory.

It's almost good, even..

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In Search of the Perfect Pizza at Settebello

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Photo by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Those leopard spots

I happened to be in a Vegas suburb earlier this year and tasted a pizza that floored me. Perhaps it was because I wasn't expecting it to amount to much. Perhaps the humidity in the desert that afternoon was the optimal condition for the dough. Whatever forces in the universe needed to converge for a pizza to reach perfection, it did that day. The pizza I ate at the Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana of Henderson, Nevada, was one of the best pizzas of my life.


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Eat This Now: Hummus at Gogo's Pizza and Kabab

Categories: Eat This Now

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Photo by Charles Lam
Hummus in its natural habitat

Pizza gets top billing at Gogo's Pizza and Kabab, which is a little weird to me because their pizza is just so-so. No, if you ever find yourself at that weird little take-out counter in Costa Mesa, you want to be ordering from the "kabob" [Gogo can't decide on their preferred spelling] half of the menu.

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Dining Specials For Newport Beach's Christmas Boat Parade

Categories: Holidays

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The Winery FB page
Colorado Buffalo Carpaccio from The Winery

Holiday lights cruises have been going on since the 4th, but Wednesday through the 21st is a delightful spectacle that manages to back up Pacific Coast Highway to no end. Yes, the boat parades are baaack! This year, Leslie (This is 40) Mann and Mark (Sugar Ray) McGrath are grand marshals. Don't question, just roll with it.

If you plan on subjecting yourself to the hectic holiday festivities, look no further. We were given some useful restaurant advice to make navigating your evening that much smoother. Six locations in close proximity to those coveted views are offering special menus for all nights of the parade. Click on the names in each description to link to more detailed information.

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Rambutan: On Sale For $5.99/lb At Seafood City in Irvine

Categories: Bargains

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Edwin Goei
Hairy, but good!
Little Saigon's fruit sellers seem to have the monopoly on rambutan--the golf ball-sized fruit native to Indonesia that resemble the dangling hairy testicles of a red, alien creature--charging upwards to $8-$9 dollars a pound for this way tangier cousin to the lychee.

I gather there's room for haggling there, and they probably expect it, but I'm not much of a haggler, so I was more than a little excited when I discovered Seafood City was selling them for $5.99/lb. They had them last week and they had them yesterday, but their stock is either dwindling or people like me are buying them up.


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This Is Reddit's 20 Most Overrated Foods

Categories: Really?!?!?

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Photo by Michelle Woo
Fun fact, I went to Dominique Ansel's bakery during my recent trip to New York. They were out of Cronuts

I've been known to be a little bit of a hater in my earlier life (Read: last year. For examples, see: From Pancakes to McRibs, the 5 Most Over-Rated Foods Ever, Pliny The Younger Is Overrated, Or: Why I Won't Be Lining Up Next Year, Vietnamese Food is Hip Now (And I Hate That), If You're Still Crazy About Bacon, You're an Embarrassment, and Seriously, Hipster Chefs Really Need to Stop Calling Their Non-Pho Dishes "Pho"). But my disdain isn't anything near random-people-on-the-Internet level. No, for that you have to go to Reddit, and man did they do it.

Here are the 20 foods they think are the most overrated. The average redditor isn't a foodie, so don't expect too much but, hey, it's a pretty good list.

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Anne Marie's Top Five Restaurants Of 2014!

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Shellfish at its finest

I spend the whole damn year thinking about whether a place I'm at could make Top 5. What I've come to learn is that my instinct is generally right. If it's good, I won't have to think about it. I'll go without hesitation, and the menu will make me smile every time.

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Clay Oven's Offering Pay-Up-Front Tickets for a 5-Course Game Meat Dinner Tomorrow

Categories: Local Eats

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Photo by Kenneth M. Ruggiano
Chef Geeta Bansal
You may have heard of the pay-up-front reservation concept happening at Trois Mec in L.A., Volver in Philly and elsewhere. It's where you pay for the entire experience as though you're buying a ticket to a concert. The Wall Street Journal wrote about the idea in an article they called "The Restaurant Reservation Revolution" back in May.

And now, for tomorrow night's game-meat dinner at Clay Oven in Irvine, Chef Geeta Bansal is offering a pay-up-front ticketed meal in OC. If I'm not mistaken, she's one of the first restaurateurs in OC to do so.

For a total of $195.00 ($202.82 w/service fee) that you pay for online for a Will-Call or a print-at-home ticket, you get five courses of game meats and seasonal produce accompanied with wine pairings from Trefethen Family Vineyards.

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