10 Essential Anaheim Restaurants

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John Gilhooley
This list is not for the Disney tourist who's content to secure a seat at Bubba Gump's or Joe's Crab Shack. This list is for travelers (and us locals) who want to explore Anaheim beyond the resort green zone--a.k.a. the real Anaheim. Yes, thrown in the mix is one solitary eatery on Disney property (because we love Disneyland, too). Also know that this list is not complete by any means. Because it is limited to 10, the gut-filling German cuisine of Jägerhaus, the lamb feast at Olive Tree, and even the humble teriyaki bowls of Mos No 2 weren't included (all of them OC Weekly favorites). It just goes to show that Anaheim is a big, wonderful, diverse and exciting food city...which just happens to have two theme parks.

1. Bistro Bleu

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Edwin Goei

For his own restaurant, David Kesler, the former executive chef of the Cellar, is most interested in decoupling the exorbitance from French cuisine. You can have a three course lunch with bœuf bourguignon as the main course and chocolate mousse for dessert for about $16. His escargots--served simmering in a mini-Dutch oven--is presented as a stew in a style indicative of Provence, with garlic, tomato, mushrooms, parsley, white wine and a splash of creme fraiche, and is about $8 right now. There's no need for those metal shell-gripping contraptions or even a tiny fork. In fact, there's no table setting. Silverware here is crammed in mason jars, napkins are paper, and when you order wine by the glass, they fill it to the brim. And for dessert, at $7 (as of this writing), the chocolate soufflé automatically distinguishes itself as the most reasonably priced in the county, as is this restaurant.

2. Blake's Place


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Edwin Goei

Still thinking of barbecue in the way the Food Network does when it crams it down our throats during sweeps? Well, then get your brisket-and-baby-back-lovin' self to Blake's Place, a mom-and-pop that's actually owned by Blake's mom and pop. Don't expect kitschy Southern theming or anything frivolous on the walls. Located in a stark industrial area, it is as serene a temple to what we Americans call barbecue as you'll ever get in OC. The brisket is fork-tender and pink in the middle. The homemade sausages snap. Everything is served on Styrofoam plates like your most recent picnic in the park.

3. Cortina's Italian Market

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Amanda DeFrancis

Try the sausage sandwich, in which fat, subtly spiced homemade links are split in half lengthwise and layered four slices thick with more of those near-liquefied sweet peppers. It's the kind of messy, overstuffed sandwich that disintegrates if you hold it wrong. Order it anyway. Also try the Fireball. It has a wad of spicy cured capicolla harboring a low-frequency hotness, as well as a not-insignificant amount of whole peperoncinis. The hotness layered itself one on top of the other. Or heck, try any sandwich, then rejoice that the original and legendary location in Anaheim has now reopened after last year's devastating fire.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Bistro Bleu

918 S. Magnolia Ave., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Blake's Place

2905 E. Miraloma Ave., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Cortina's Italian Market

2175 W. Orange Ave., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Myung Dong Kal Guk Su

1000 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Papa Hassan's Grill

882 S. Brookhurst St., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Slater's 50/50 Burger By Design

6362 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Tana Ethiopian Restaurant

2622 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

THE RANCH Restaurant and Saloon

1025 E. Ball Road, Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar & Tangaroa Terrace

1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Zankou Chicken

2424 W. Ball , Stes. S-T, Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
David Childress
David Childress

I don't know about all the choices here I have eaten at half of them including the ones pre and post "devastating fires." I would cut this list in half because the ones I have been to suck, the other half I don't know yet. Isn't Gustavo a food critic? If these are your food choices then stick to bashing ignorant gabachos on your day job, senor.

Gregory Soave
Gregory Soave

Nice to see mostly west Anaheim, and not Anaheim hills. I've ate at most of these places and they are pretty damn good. Some other places I would mention: Olive Tree Punjabi Tandoori Matiki

bchgrl1212
bchgrl1212

Michael Jordan left the Ranch at the end of summer last year.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Last we checked, we're a newspaper with a website—so what's the deal-io?

Linda Noni Gal Knight
Linda Noni Gal Knight

Joe's Crab Shack... rumor has it we are getting one in Albuquerque... Hope so. We did get a BJ's... but I love Joe's

Rina Gonzales
Rina Gonzales

Thank you Lisa Cherry & Brandi Martinez Carreon!!!

Christy Adam Moskovitz
Christy Adam Moskovitz

Yay! If you're a carnivore, Blake's is THE place!! There's one in Los Alamitos, too.

Stacy Mohler
Stacy Mohler

I was JUST thinking the same thing the other day when I attempted to read another "restaurant" article from them!!! It's impossible!!!! UGH!!!

Don Mexico
Don Mexico

Dear OC Weekly - Why do you do stupid shit like this on your site? I'm not flipping through pages like I'm reading a fuckin' newspaper! It's a fuckin' website, so put that shit all on one page so I can just scroll down. Thanks, An Innerwebz Thug

Lisa Cherry
Lisa Cherry

Rina Gonzales some more Anaheim eateries :)

mannylegacy
mannylegacy

Punjabi Tandoor is Fantastic!!.........I absolutely love that place. Plus it doesn't hurt that Anaheim Brewery is right across the street. I usually get my food to go and go across the street and enjoy a good beer & good food out on the patio..........Cheers!

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