Dave's Top 5 Restaurants of 2012

Categories: Five Great...
It's the most common question I'm asked: what are your top five restaurants? I was asked in my 20 Qs on Greer's OC earlier this year, and I punted on the question because every year we're told to make this list up, and it's hard enough to pick just five.

I wish I had more than five spots for my top five; I'm leaving out restaurants that truly deserve a spot here. The pop-up dinners at Anais+, trolling the ever-changing menu at The Playground, burning the cold out of my sinuses at Chong Qing Mei Wei, octopus anything at Broadway by Amar Santana, and so many others: it's just about impossible to pick just five.

Read on for the finalists... 

See also:

Thumbnail image for Paninoteca.jpg
Anne Marie Panoringan
5. Paninoteca Maggio

You could walk in to Paninoteca Maggio, order in Italian from owner Sharron Barshishat, sip an excellent espresso while you wait, and never have a clue you weren't in Cinque Terre or Genoa until you paid in dollars rather than euros. The sandwiches are simple but excellent; they're not very much more expensive than the schifo they serve at Quiznos, and they're orders of magnitude better.

4. Potzol den Cano

The love I have for the enfrijoladas at Potzol den Cano--thick tortillas dipped in bean sauce and wrapped around chicken, then topped with cheese and chorizo--is deep and abiding. I love the pozole too, which comes a close second to the family pozole recipe. I even love the tortas, simple as they are. What I love most about Potzol den Cano, though, is that it's a metaphor for Santa Ana: authentically Mexican without pandering. If you haven't been, you need to go right now.

Location Info

Paninoteca Maggio

304 Main St., Santa Ana, CA

Category: General

Potzol Den Cano

1003 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA

Category: Restaurant

Break of Dawn Restaurant

24291 Avenida De La Carlota, Laguna Hills, CA

Category: Restaurant

THE RANCH Restaurant and Saloon

1025 E. Ball Road, Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

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