Koko's: A Hong Kong-Style Café Finally Opens in Orange County

Categories: Now Open
Thumbnail image for Baked-Pork-Chop-with-Tomato-Sauce-kokos-cafe-irvine-550.jpg
kokos-cafe.com
Baked pork chop with tomato sauce.
I posited the question last May: Why aren't there any Hong Kong-style cafés in Orange County?

In that post, I said that the last Hong Kong-style café to grace our dining scene was O'Shine in Irvine, which then became Red Onion, a similarly styled restaurant that folded shortly after. Until now, no one has stepped up to fill the cha chaan teng void. To those unfamiliar with the concept, Hong Kong-style cafés are a unique kind of Westernized-Asian diner where one can get a steak with mashed potatoes, a hot bowl of jook, beef chow fun, pork cutlet with tomato sauce, chili chese fries or a sandwich in the same sitting, all of it priced cheaply and served until the wee hours of the night. The San Gabriel Valley is full of them, a good example being Monterey Park's JJ Hong Kong Cafe.

A few weeks ago, a reader clued me in to Koko's Cafe in Irvine, which took over the space of a failed barbecue restaurant called Dickey's.



koko_night.jpg
Edwin Goei

Koko's is doing brisk business and, from reading the menu, serving a lot of the cha chaan teng greatest hits. I see a baked pork chop with tomato sauce and beef chow fun. But for now, no sandwiches. As the person who handed me the menu (which I scanned for your convenience) said, it's still a preliminary list, which will most likely be tweaked over time.



Koko's Cafe, 15435 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine, (949) 551-2888.

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7 comments
Durnt
Durnt

I googled "best cha chan teng in california" and this article came up. This place has 2.5 stars on Yelp. That's not a good sign. As for JJ, that place smells like mildew. My family and I have been going to Tasty Garden in Westminster. It's acceptable -- 3 stars on Yelp. Outside of the SG Valley, this place comes the closest. We just came back from HK so we're still trying to replicate the experience. 

Jtling
Jtling

It's hard to compare food in the US compared to HK due to the tropical weather and water. This place has 3 stars and is only going up. Maybe they got their act together? Beats driving all the way to SGV if you ask me.

HK Girl in OC
HK Girl in OC

JJ Cafe is alright, nothing spectacular.  If you're in the Monterey Park area, I suggest Cafe Spot - best authentic HK style food (except for the mini egg waffles) imho.

DS
DS

sorry ... you can't really call this place "HK Style" Cafe. The owner has no idea what's HK style cafe is?! Owner should have done some research first!

909Jeff
909Jeff

Are they allowed to bounce us round eye's out on the street like they are in Hong Kong?

I've been to Hong Kong twice and upon my second return I tried to go into a "Chinese only" restaurant... A 90 year old dude literally tried to physically eject me, it was awesome.  I left without incident, but as an american I felt compelled to try.

Cunning Stunts
Cunning Stunts

I am not familiar with "Hong Kong" cuisine even though I would consider myself familiar with Asian Cuisine, Japanese Cuisine, Chinese, Cuisine, Vietnamese, etc.

I would love to see more pictures so I can hve some clue of what looks good to order.

Maybe Dave can do a Hong Kong cuisine piece to educate us all.

Specific to this restaurant and to all the new openings, I really wish OC Weekly would review the places more that you tell us about when they first open. We rely on you heavily for the new non mainstream places to try!

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