10 Essential Garden Grove Restaurants

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Laila Derakhshanian
Drink up, then eat up!
Garden Grove has too many of my favorites. It took me a few days to chop my first draft of this list down to the ten you see below. If you hadn't noticed, Garden Grove is that Venn diagram sweet spot where O.C.'s own Korean District overlaps with Little Saigon.

What's left are the 10 restaurants and eateries that make Garden Grove one of the best eating towns in our county...or the state, even.

Do you agree? Disagree? Have your own 10? Participate in the discussion and put in a comment, won't you?

Brodard

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Edwin Goei
Secret sauce not pictured...

The nem noung rolls that made Brodard famous are still the ones against which all others are measured. The protein at the fulcrum is a ruddy concoction which isn't quite a sausage and not really a meatball, but a harmonious fusion of the two. A slender piece of it is grilled then wrapped tautly inside transculent rice paper with more vegetables than you probably had all week. And don't forget that secret dunking sauce--a substance whose recipe is better-guarded than nuclear launch codes. But you can still see them make the rolls on their assembly line; and then munch in their newly remodeled dining room. Brodard doesn't look like a dolled-up high school gymnasium as it used to, but it's still behind a 99-Cent-Only store.

Cham Sut Gol

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Charles Lam
Right now, your stomach is just as hungry as your eyes

You can't do much better at an all-you-can-eat than Cham Sut Gol. It remains one of the most popular and consistent Korean BBQ's in Garden Grove's Korean District. Their supply of panchan is good enough to fill up on, constituting a hearty meal on its own if you eat it with rice. It includes one of the most delicious potato salads found on Earth. But it's the bulgogi, the kalbi, and the spicy pork you're after. You don't even have to stand up to get more meat; they bring it to you, along with a steamed egg custard pot that, yes, functions as filler. But you should eat anyway. It's deliciously airy and worthy of the any stomach left unclaimed by all the animal flesh you'll sear and eat.

Joe's Italian Ice

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Edwin Goei
Edward Hopper, eat your heart out!

Joe's sits in a lonely hut on its own tiny lot, along a dark stretch of road just outside the border of Disneyland's tourist enclave. In the night, the luminous stand looks like something straight out of an Edward Hopper painting, a refuge for the desolate, bathed in light. Its specialty is authentic Philly-style water ice in permutations too numerous to recount but include those named Razzamatazz and Bananadana. Made in the store with fruit and just the right dosage of sugar and food coloring, the best way to consume it is as a Joe-Latti. A waxed-paper cup is filled by teenage employees with the Italian ice of your choosing, then topped with a dollop of a rich, soft-serve vanilla ice cream of an ultra-dense, calorically concentrated East Coast character.

Go Goo Ryeo

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Edwin Goei
Meat feast!

The best part about Go Goo Ryeo is that it's a do-it-yourself Korean barbecue joint where everything is done for you. But to experience the full splendor of the service, come on a Friday, or better yet, a weekday, during which the ratio of restaurant staff to diners will be stacked in your favor. They'll tend to the meats sizzling on your tabletop grill, turn over every piece of beef to check if it's properly seared, and snip the bacon into bite-sized swatches with scissors. Then they'll transfer every freshly grilled morsel to your plate one-by-one and answer in limited English how to eat it. There's a supply of mouthwash in the restroom in case you have some place to go afterward.


Location Info

BRODARD - CLOSED

9892 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

Cham Sut Gol

9252 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

Joe's Italian Ice

2201 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA

Category: Restaurant

Go Goo Ryeo

8851 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

Myung In Dumplings

8911 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

Peking Gourmet

9092 W. Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

The Red Pot

12119 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

Thai Nakorn

12532 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

The Globe Belgian GastroPub

12926 Main St., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

Warung Pojok

13113 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant


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