14. "Not Pa' Ella" at Anepalco

Dave Lieberman
Es mío, todo mío... ¡not pa' ella!
We're reaching the end of 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

"Not Pa' Ella" is a silly play on words that means both "not for her" (though women are, of course, encouraged to order it) and "not paella". And it isn't; like most things. It's a jumble of seafood and Jidori chicken atop a round of creamy rice floating in a pool of velouté. Though it's a mass of textures and sizes, each piece is cooked exactly as it should be; the rice barely supports the meat's weight in its lightness, and there's exactly enough velouté for one surreptitious last swipe with the fork at the end.

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News Flash: The Line at Halal Guys is Long

Categories: Really?!?!?

Edwin Goei
So close but so far away.
As I entered the parking lot on Halal Guys opening day, I knew the line would be long, but not this long. The queue of bodies literally wrapped around the building. I hadn't seen anything like it since Din Tai Fung opened in South Coast Plaza and the early days of Kogi. Unlike DTF and Kogi, I did not stand in it. Instead I circled back around and left.

Later, I read on Facebook and Twitter reports of a 4-hour wait that day, and that they eventually had to cut off people from waiting around 7 p.m., so that they could still close at their regular time at 11 p.m.

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Blinking Owl Distillery Breaking Ground in Santa Ana TODAY

Hold your horses everybody, you still have to wait to drink, but a little bit of an update for you: Today, ground has broken on what could be Orange County's only distillery. The Blinking Owl, based out of Santa Ana, broke ground today, with an opening target of February 2016.

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15. Trout At The North Left

Anne Marie Panoringan
Sharing is caring

We're reaching the end of 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

A restaurant with a backstory (plus award-winning pastry chef) is a combination worthy of visiting. The North Left's menu is a modest selection of modern tastes, aimed to satisfy a specific range of diners. Those familiar with the county's culinary scene are pleasantly surprised when they discover an attitude towards their meal that's both relaxed and refined in Downtown Santa Ana. That's what we discovered the first time we dined there.

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On the Line: Brian Doherty Of Fairmont Newport Beach, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by Dustin Ames
Disneyland dad

We wrap things up in Newport, digging further into Brian Doherty's past and what shaped him to be the chef he is today.

Our interview with Chef Doherty began yesterday. Why don't you check it out?
The rest is found below.

What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
I have always enjoyed astronomy. I always joke with my wife if I wasn't a cook I would be a Theoretical Physicist, I enjoy going to lectures when I have the time.

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Baja Beach Cafe Replaces Garlic Jo's in Newport Beach

Garlic Jo's on 2332 West Coast Hwy has now closed and been turned into the second location of Baja Beach Cafe, a San Diego County outfit that has its original location in Pacific Beach.

They're open for breakfast, serving pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos, and skillets washed down with Bloody Marys and ice-blended Mexican coffee. For lunch and dinner, fish tacos, surf-n-turf burritos, fajitas and nachos are offered. There's also prime rib specialties and sandwiches and burgers, such as a "Grilled Mahi Sandwich" or "Tsunami Burger".

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Burger King's A.1 Halloween Whopper Finds the Grinch in Ryan Cady

Photo by Ryan Cady
The only picture you really need to see

You're probably only reading this because you want confirmation of the rumors, huh? Well, fine, let's get it out of the way - we've gotten to know each other pretty well over the years, readers, so I don't have much to hide from you. You know many, many disgusting things about me, so why should I hesitate to add one more item onto the list? Alright. I'm here to confirm your greatest fears.

The Burger King A.1 Halloween Whopper does, in fact, turn your poop green.

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Fusion Tea Bar in Fountain Valley Closes

Categories: News

Anne Marie Panoringan
The sign they had when they were opening in Tustin :'(

When Fusion Tea Bar closed its Tustin location, its local fans found solace in the fact that it was at least still around in Fountain Valley (and Cerritos, too--but that's farther). But the Fountain Valley location has permanently closed, which means no more Coco Berry slushies, their delicious Chrysanthemum white teas, and fruity teas filled with pieces of fruit. Are y'all okay with more trips to Cerritos? (If so, might as well stop by Crispy House while you're there.)

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Restaurant Roll Call For September 2015

Halal Guys' Facebook page
Now in Costa Mesa: garlic breath.

As we head into pumpkin spice season, it's time for another restaurant roll call as we say goodbye to another month gone by. Herewith is our a list of open-and-shut cases for September.

But let's not kid ourselves. This last month was all a lead up to the only opening that seemed to matter: Halal Guys in Costa Mesa. Though it officially opened on October 2nd, we wrote about it breathlessly in September.

And if you're at the restaurant waiting to get in while you read this, it will feel like you've been in line since September.

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On the Line: Brian Doherty Of Fairmont Hotel Newport Beach, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by Dustin Ames

Recently, I attended the American Liver Foundation's Flavors of OC at Fairmont Newport Beach. While there were many talented, well-known local chefs present, I knew nothing about one: Fairmont's own Brian Doherty. I was assigned to his table, and experienced a dinner that blew me away. From his experiences at other locales to their adoption of Drake's Farm goats and work with Backyard Bees, chef had stories to tell.

What's the one thing people didn't tell you about working in a restaurant?
How much satisfaction you receive when others enjoy your food.

You're making breakfast. What are you having?
Every morning on my first day off, I cook breakfast for my family - fresh sliced fruit and berries, biscuits, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and my youngest daughter usually chooses one her favorites: banana pancakes, french toast, waffles, blueberry muffins, or homemade cinnamon rolls.

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