¡Ask a Comida Critic!: Will Villa Park Ever Get Good Food?
I love Rockwell's as much as anyone. I get my coffee from the Coffee Grove. I'll even stomach through China Panda. But will Villa Park EVER get a good, hip restaurant?
In a word: no. The tiny city's sole retail area is the Villa Park Town Center, where the three restaurants you mentioned (plus First Class Pizza) all reside. They work fine as neighborhood restaurants, but for us out-of-towners, only the pies of Rockwell's would motivate us to drive to your bizarre burb, where the houses can't be smaller than an acre and your councilwomen like to mention sodomy too much.
But In a sentence: you already have the hippest restaurant in Southern California repping Villa Park, and OC's hottest sandwich spot--Kogi and Harry's Deli, respectively.
Both Roy Choi of Kogi fame and Harry Kho of his eponymous Irvine sandwich shop are Spartans, graduates of Villa Park High. I've never interviewed either so don't know what horror stories they endured that made them go far away from the city, but I doubt they'd ever return to give Rockwell's a run for its supremacy. So sorry, Pam, but feel proud that your city spawned the two--and save a macaroon for me from your hometown bakery.
Harry's Deli, 17881 Sky Park Circle, Ste. A, Irvine, (949) 261-2116; www.harrys-deli.com
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