Eat This Now: Bò Kho at Song Long Restaurant

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Photo by The Mexican
An edible hug

Sometimes, when you're young and find yourself in Little Saigon, you don't want to go to a crawfish joint, a shaved ice spot, to Afters or any of the other hotspots second-generation Viets opened in the past five years. Sometimes, you just want to hang with the elders and do it old-school. Sometimes, you just want a bowl of bò kho at Song Long Restaurant.


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Eat This Now: Pork Belly Poutine at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Categories: Eat This Now

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Kristine Hoang
Poutine: not mainstream enough for hipsters

Unlike the poutine typically served in Québécois hockey arenas, cabanes à
patates
(roadside chip wagons), and cantines ("greasy spoon" diners), the poutine at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations is, quintessentially, an American-hipster remix. Instead of the dish's traditional ingredients (fries, cheese curds, and gravy), Bosscat's take features thin slices of Duroc pork belly, potato wedges, gravy, and a duck-fat fried egg on top. It's just as carb-heavy as the Canadian original, but terrifically fattier -- err, American.


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Eat This Now: El Desperado at Soho Taco

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Photo by The Mexican
Shoot 'em up!

Every month, Soho Taco chef Gabriel Zambrano offers a new creation as part of his lonchera's taco of the month. Sometimes, he goes regional: the awesome chilorio taco from a couple of months back was a specialty from Sinaloa. This month, Chef Gabe has leapt into the chile world with the appropriately named El Desperado.


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Eat This Now: Bristol Day Boat Scallops at Leatherby's Cafe Rouge

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
We're going to need a bigger boat.

While some South Coast Plaza restaurants have pre-theater set menus designed to feed you quickly and have you out the door before show time at SCFTA, Leatherby's Cafe Rouge is a restaurant that was expressly designed to be the dinner part of your "dinner and a show".

If you didn't know already, Leatherby's is only open during performance nights, which is often, but not necessarily every day. As such, you don't go to Leatherby's unless you have your show tickets bought and were already going to brave that labyrinthine parking structure anyway. And that's a shame, because its located in the beautiful undulating structure of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, next to the lawn--one of the most scenic venues in Costa Mesa in which to enjoy a meal. But most of all, it's a shame because Ross Pangilinan--its chef for at least the last five years--is a whiz.


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Eat This Now: Cheese Rolls from BREAD Artisan Bakery at Santa Ana Farmers' Market

Categories: Eat This Now

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Photo by The Mexican
Cheese roll of the gods

When the SanTana Farmers' Market opens Thursday afternoon, as it does every Thursday, be there at 4 p.m. More specifically, be at the basket of BREAD Artisan Bakery that's holding the cheese rolls. Do not be any later than 3:59--DO NOT. If you do, best of luck-actually, shame on you, because by then the hordes would've probably already cleared out the Farmers' Market breakout star: BREAD's cheese rolls.


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Eat This Now: Katsu Curry at Curry House CoCo Ichibanya

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
A curry beachhead.


At Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, curry is the lifeblood, the fuel, the liquid of choice. They have oceans of it ready in different spice levels, in shades that range from bright gold to caramel brown, but it all essentially comes from the same formula--a punchy blend of cumin and other spices that hints of India, but is all Japanese.

I ate here when it first opened years ago and wasn't initially impressed by the service. It took forever to get an order. But things have changed since then. They have electronic server-summoning buttons at the tables. This time, I didn't need it. The food came out quick, plentiful, and still roiling hot.

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Eat This Now: Potato Tacos at Taquería El Zamorano

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Photo by The Mexican
The reason for the season

It's Lent for us papists, which means meatless Fridays. And while the gabacho Catholic ritual of fish frys are good, far better is what us Mexicans cook: capirotada and arroz de leche for dessert; chile rellenos floating in potato soup for breakfast; and the small miracle called tortas de camarones that find shrimp powder transformed into the shape of tater tots and dunked in a cactus-chile broth.

Taquerias also get into the mix, which is where Taquería El Zamorano comes in.


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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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