Eat This Now: "Original" Pork Cutlet Sandwich at Mr. Katsu

Categories: Eat This Now

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Kristine Hoang
My god...

If you could do anything to a pork katsu cutlet, what would it be?

Would you slather it with habanero aoli and pesto, or would you stuff it into your grilled cheese? Or... are you more of a curry type (and hence would bath it in that) who also wouldn't mind sandwiching it with yakisoba? Welp, the dreaming ends here, baby.

For years, OC-based katsu-cravers have flocked to places like Curry House and/or Coco Ichibanya for Japanese katsu dishes--namely, traditional curry with rice. But it's 2015, which means the age of the Japanese katsu sandwich has finally come. And there's no better place to try it (in all of those crazy concoctions above, too--mind you) than at Mr. Katsu in Fullerton.

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Eat This Now: Super Nachos at Kelly's Korner Tavern

Categories: Eat This Now

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Photo by The Mexican
Nachos dark because I was drunk on Underbergs

At this point in the Reconquista, even the most gabacho bars have nachos on their menus--after all, drunkards need cheesy Mexican plates to soak up all the booze. They're almost universally bad, because again: drunkards need cheesy Mexican plates to soak up all the booze.

Then you have the Super Nachos at Kelly's Korner Tavern in Placentia, where the beers flow all night and the OC Pop Quizzes Thursday trivia nights are ruthless (all hail No Ma'am!).


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Eat This Now: The Original Cut Burger from The Cut

Categories: Eat This Now

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Photo by Cleo Tobbi
It's Cut

Few fast-food establishments -- or even full-fledged restaurants -- capture the euphoric bliss of a well-balanced burger quite like the Original Cut from the Cut, one of Orange County's newest food trucks. Humble in presentation, with no need for bougie ingredients, the burger is already one of the best in OC -- and in the land of In-n-Out, Rider's Club, and TK Burgers, them's fighting words we're more than happy to brawl over.

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Eat This Now: $4.99 Pho at Pho Bac Ky

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Edwin Goei
Take me to Slurpy Town!

Pho Bac Ky's $4.99 bowl of pho is probably not the cheapest meal you could have in Tustin, but it sure seems like it. The stenciled sign on the window that says "$4.99 + tax for Pho (Rare Steak or Brisket) or Rice with BBQ Chicken" has been there forever. A few years ago, the going rate was actually a dollar less. But even at $4.99, it's such a bargain that you'd have to troll the back alleys of Little Saigon to find a better one. And it's not some sort of Happy Hour deal, either. The price is offered for dinner on weekdays (3 p.m.-9 p.m.) and all day on the weekends, which is when you want to eat it anyway.

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Eat This Now: Bola-Bola Siopao at Chowking

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
Pillowy.
Steamed buns filled with meat can be found throughout Asia. The Philippines is no exception. What is exceptional about the Filipino version called siopao is that it used to be exceptionally hard to find here in OC. Outside of Pinoy-dense neighborhoods like Artesia and Cerritos (which are just outside the OC border), there are just a handful of places where you can find siopao, including that corner of Anaheim at Euclid and Crescent we've occasionally referred to as OC's unofficial Little Manila. Now that Seafood City in Irvine opened with a few food vendors, there's even more siopao options, such as the ones Valerio's sells out of its steam boxes.


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Eat This Now: The Benedict Omelette From Egg Cracker

Categories: Eat This Now

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Hangover cure?

The folks over at Fullerton's Egg Cracker serve with a simple message: "Good friends just trying to make good food." Above greasy spoon status, their clean, well-lit space works for group outings seeking not quite standard grub. And by not quite, we mean wild boar meatloaf, hot browns and campfire pancakes.

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Eat This Now: Filipino Egg at EATS Kitchen & Bar

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
Flip that egg!

EATS Kitchen & Bar--the revamped restaurant at the Hotel Irvine that recently hired Jason Montelibano from Chapter One: the modern local--is participating in Irvine Restaurant Week. It's offering a 3-course prix fixe dinner from a selected subset of their regular menu for $25 per person. Sounds like an excellent deal, right? Well, not exactly.

If you went there, like I did, then asked for the restaurant week deal, then afterward proceeded to look at the prices you would've paid had you ordered each course a la carte, you'd realize that the person who set up the prix fixe was bad at math or hoping you were. It turns out that even if I'd chosen the most expensive options, the restaurant week deal was still a dollar more expensive than ordering the same meal from the regular menu. It would've been worse if I'd taken the burger as the main course: I would've paid an extra $4.50.


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Eat This Now: Salmon Skin Hand Roll at Gatten Sushi

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
Crunchtastic!
Since Gatten is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant--arguably one of the most successful kaiten sushi chains in Southern California--Travel Host Andrew Zimmern's credo of "if it looks good, eat it" can be applied. There are the rainbow-tempura-crunch roll usuals, yet also other, more advanced sushi morsels such as sea urchin roe gunkan maki and natto. But the best thing to eat--the salmon skin roll--you have to order off the menu.

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Eat This Now: Chicken & Waffles at Mrs. Bea's

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
Fingers, prepare to be licked.
There are probably a number of reasons why Mrs. Bea's Louisiana Chicken and Waffles isn't as well-known as Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Anaheim. Yes, there's the fact that even before the Roscoe's in Anaheim opened, the brand was already an L.A. cultural icon.

Mrs. Bea's, on the other hand, has only been open less than two years. But another reason is the location. It's in La Habra, my hometown, a city often forgotten by the rest of OC because it's traversed by no freeways and really, no reason to visit unless you have a term paper to write about Richard Nixon.

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Eat This Now: Hummus at Gogo's Pizza and Kabab

Categories: Eat This Now

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Photo by Charles Lam
Hummus in its natural habitat

Pizza gets top billing at Gogo's Pizza and Kabab, which is a little weird to me because their pizza is just so-so. No, if you ever find yourself at that weird little take-out counter in Costa Mesa, you want to be ordering from the "kabob" [Gogo can't decide on their preferred spelling] half of the menu.

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