Ten Great Chinese Restaurants in Orange County

weddingbanquet.jpg
Flickr user lightmatter
Orange County doesn't have the San Gabriel Valley, lined end-to-end with great Chinese restaurants. We do, however, have Irvine, which is where most of these recommendations are, and where you can eat well from just about any region of China.

As with all these sorts of lists, there will be the inevitable bruised egos and hurt feelings, so when you discover your favorite didn't make the list, add it to the comments for posterity!

10. Formosa Chinese Restaurant

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Quality Inn's website
Who knew a cafe inside a Quality Inn & Suites could be... good? Ignore most of the menu; Formosa Cafe, as its name implies, is a Taiwanese eatery. While you may not be able to read the Chinese-only specials on the whiteboard on the wall, a little polite insistence will lead you to the back page of the menu, where you'll find beef noodles, Taiwanese breakfasts, and the best san bei ji (three cup chicken) in Orange County.

23702 Rockfield Blvd., Lake Forest; 949-458-7125; no website.

9. 3-6-9 Shanghai

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Flickr user garysoup
Everyone goes to 3-6-9 Shanghai for the xiao long bao, the steamed dumplings with the soup magically tucked inside. To order only these does a disservice to the other Eastern Chinese items on the menu, like crab (sadly, not hairy crab) in garlic sauce, lion's head meatballs, and braised pork belly.

613 N. Euclid St., Anaheim; 714-635-8369; no website.

8. Trieu Chau

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Edwin Goei
It may be spelled the Vietnamese way, but Trieu Chau is mostly a Chiu Chow Chinese restaurant, a subset of southern Chinese food renowned for its beautifully clean flavors. It's a tiny place, so you may need to share your table with strangers as you slurp their amazing noodles. Get there early; they close at 5 p.m. and the lines start to get ridiculous earlier than you'd think.

4401 W. 1st St., Santa Ana; 714-775-1536; no website.

Location Info

Tri Village - CLOSED

14121 Jeffrey Road, Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

Chong Qing Mei Wei Szechwan Restaurant

5406 Walnut Ave., Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

Asian Tapas

6380 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

Mas' Chinese Islamic Restaurant

601 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

101 Noodle Express

5408 Walnut Ave., Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

Capital Seafood

85 Fortune Dr, Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

Capital Seafood

85 Fortune Drive, Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

Ho-Toy's Chinese Food

734 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Trieu Chau

4401 W. First St., Santa Ana, CA

Category: Restaurant

369 SHANGHAI

613 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Formosa Chinese Restaurant

23702 Rockfield Blvd., Lake Forest, CA

Category: Restaurant


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23 comments
budfreemike
budfreemike

Fu Wing Lo in Fountain Valley is the best.

Sgvhog
Sgvhog

Shame on you for recommending  Capital Seafood- as they still continue to serve shark fin soup despite the devastating effect it is having on world shark populations!

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

I very much enjoyed eating at Jamillah Garden in Tustin -- how does Mas Islamic compare?  It's the same lady, correct?  Her "HomeMake Noodles" were terrific. 

JB
JB

Mr. Ubergeek is a fine culiniphile, but like some Chinese food,I was still hungry after reading this shallow list.

Yes, I know, this is "10 Great Chinese," not the "10 Best Chinese," but the only reason Ho Toy made the cut is because it's near the author's residence.  This would be like me including California Wok...except California Wok, in addition to being the neighborhood Chinese-eria, is actually a much more solid choice, with filet mignon-grade House Special Beef; tender, dark green broccoli even during the months when broccoli is not in season; and, dare I say, equally-worthy orange chicken.

The fact that you always see a table with on-duty Costa Mesa police officers eating at California Wok speaks volumes.  Cops know food.

But still I wouldn't've included California Wok...if Irvine is the Taipei of Southern California, I'd rather have seen at least another Taiwanese in here.  Mas Islamic is uniquely OC and is a great choice...we need more uniquely OC and concede the noodle soup and porridge to the SGV.

I'll say it again, yes, I know, this is "10 Great Chinese," but when newlyweds Josh and Britney visit Orange County from Omaha, I'd hate for them to Google "10 Great Chinese" and end up in the Albertson's shopping center on State College Boulevard.

Mr. Ubergeek is a versatile and accomplished food connoisseur but having him do this list is like having Albert Pujols pitch an inning.....sure, he can throw a strike or two and retire the side, but you really need him to DH. I just hope Edwin won't be doing "10 Great Ethiopian" or "10 Great Farmers Markets."  

Dee Breakofdawn
Dee Breakofdawn

Golden star, former duong son is on bolsa next to quan hy

Happy face
Happy face

What about Long Hai in Old Tustin??

ja
ja

manager at capital seafood at diamond jamboree told me capital seafood in GG is related, and owned by the same family. 

Rick
Rick

How about Ten Ten in Anaheim?

Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

Hurray for puttin Chong Qing high up on here. Their lamb with cumin is incredible and is one of the only places were "extra spicy" means "really, really face-melting" spicy.

I just wish the went heavier on the Sichuan pepper.  

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

I enjoy Jamillah Garden in Tustin, and I like Lotus in Huntington Beach, but there's really no question that Mas Islamic is the best Hui cuisine in OC—and let's count ourselves lucky that we have a choice!

Gustavo is right—Sister Mas is always, always at her restaurant in Anaheim and in fact usually presides over the front.

I don't remember "HomeMake" noodles though—are they knife-cut noodles (dao xiao mian)? If so, the ones at Mas are fantastic.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

MUCH better than Jamillah, because Sister Ma is in charge of her Anacrime spot...

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Wow, this is one of the dumber comments you've put up in a while...

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

And the manager at Capital Seafood in GG told me it wasn't—and it's not on their website, either.

JB
JB

...says the guy who thinks Dallas is a more influential city in the development of Mexican food in the United States.....

JB
JB

Hmmm, I thought my post above was very well-reasoned

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

...except I can back up my talk, and you only offered a bizarre theory with no semblance of reality.

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