7. Ho Toy's
It'd be unfair to ignore all the steam-tray Chinese-American places in a list of great Chinese places, which means orange chicken. Ho Toy's, though it's a shady-looking takeout stall wedged next to a downmarket Albertsons, has the best orange chicken in Orange County. Their other items are similarly better than the chains bearing that smirking Asian bear, and the portions are enormous. Take-out only, though: there's exactly one table with two seats.734 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim; 714-956-8430; no website.
6. Capital Seafood
Dim sum by day, fresh Cantonese seafood by night. You may have to go around more than one wedding banquet, but it's worth it. It might be shiny and have branches in the so-fancy Diamond Jamboree (good luck parking) and Irvine Spectrum, but the food hasn't suffered. Note: the Capital Seafood in Garden Grove is unrelated.85 Fortune Dr. #329, Irvine; 949-788-9218; capital-seafood.com.
2700 Alton Pkwy. #127, Irvine; 949-252-8188.
5. 101 Noodle Express
Beef roll. Every single person who walks through the door orders beef roll, a flatbread with thin slices of the best roasted beef ever and plenty of cilantro. Sure, there are great dumplings on the menu, including the best pumpkin dumplings south of Koreatown, but are you sure you don't want a beef roll?5408 Walnut Ave., Irvine; 949-654-8542; no website.
4. Mas Islamic Chinese
|Matt Otto / OC Weekly|
|Owner Jamillah Mas and her addictive sesame bread|
The restaurant may stand in a bleak industrial park on the Anaheim-Fullerton border, but that doesn't stop streams of people, observant Muslim or not, from sitting down in a huge dining room to huge lamb hot pots, hand-sliced noodles called dao xiao mian, five-spice beef with leeks and towering platters of sesame flatbreads.601 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Anaheim; 714-446-9553; no website.
6380 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA
601 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Anaheim, CA
2700 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA
734 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, CA
4401 W. First St., Santa Ana, CA
613 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, CA
23702 Rockfield Blvd., Lake Forest, CA