Five Late-Night Eats in Orange County
1. BCD Tofu House: Irvine and Garden Grove
BCD Tofu House, 2700 Alton Pkwy., Ste. 135, Irvine, (949) 553-6465; www.bcdtofu.com. Open 24-hours. Also: 9520 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 636-5599; www.bcdtofu.com.
|Flickr user permanently scatterbrained|
|A California burrito!|
Sure, sure, Albertaco's has good carne asada, decent green salsa... But all the greatest and most mythical not-exactly-Mexican foods are served here. Breakfast burritos packed with all the delicious standards, carne asada fries (also available: pollo asada fries)... But the pièce de résistance at Alberto's has to be the California Burrito, which, again, isn't exactly authentic cuisine but it is the stuff Man vs. Food dreams are made of: It's a burrito the size of your forearm with carne asada, cheddar cheese, sour cream and--most notably--french fries all folded in.
Albertaco's, 28171 Marguerite Pkwy., Ste. 26, Mission Viejo; (949) 365-0695. Thurs.-Sat., 5:30 a.m.-midnight. Sun.-Wed., 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Also: 5894 Lincoln Ave., Cypress, (714) 220-2292, open daily 7 a.m.-1 a.m.
Pilfered from our 2009 Best of OC pick: "The venerated harbor eatery with hilariously ugly '80s beach murals and peanut-ginger-chicken pies went 24/7 this year. Some locals don't even bother with the excellent, diverse pizza menu because there's no better 1 a.m. drunk food than a basket of Beach Cities' puffy, steaming breadsticks (nothing stick-like about them, though) drenched in the joint's homemade ranch sauce. Order a pitcher of beer and sidle up to the recently installed communal Wii, and the breadsticks become peerless 1 a.m. get-drunk food, too.
Beach Cities Pizza, 34473 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, (949) 496-0606, open daily, 10 a.m.-3 a.m.
4. The Crosby: Santa Ana
|John Gilhooley/OC Weekly|
The Crosby, 400 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 543-3543; www.thisisthecrosby.com Mon.-Sat., 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
5. Luc Dinh Ky: Westminster
The rice, which is glutinous to start with, forms a chewy shell on top, punctuated by slightly burned bits that resemble the Persian tadig. The smoky flavor permeates the entire dish and mixes with the rice's original fragrance for an unbeatable combination. Contrary to just about every etiquette book out there, you are supposed to use the supplied (and very popular) spicy soy sauce to moisten and salt the rice.
It doesn't really matter which main course you get with your baked rice, though the sauce on the much-vaunted salmon gets cloying and annoying after a few bites. Go for a beef or chicken-based entrée instead. Whatever you do, don't miss their nước mắt, an herbal, sweet "health" drink that takes a couple of sips to get used to and then worms its way into your palate in a most ingratiating way. The drink comes free with a meal and the waitstaff will refill it for you if you ask.
Luc Dinh Ky, 9600 Bolsa Ave., Westminster, (714) 775-8811. Sun.-Wed., 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-3 a.m.