Long Beach Lunch: The Promenade Café

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Sarah Bennett

Going to the Queen Mary just to eat lunch these days is a hassle. It used to be that you could park the car, walk onto the ship and sit down at your chosen eatery as if it were any restaurant in any strip mall in any town. Buying tickets to board was a chore reserved for those who wanted to pay for tours, special events or see the exhibits on the historic hunk of steel.

The powers that be, however, realized at some point in the last few years that certain scumbags (not this one) were wandering onto the moored vessel for free and not spending money, but instead raising hell, which pisses off tourists and doesn't do much good for profits.

So today, parking will run you $17 unless you get your ticket validated, in which case it's $6 (don't lose the ticket or it'll be $38). Then, in order to even get on the ship, you have to stand in a winding ticket line in the parking lot and pay $15 up front for a non-refundable voucher that can be redeemed for food or drink anywhere on the ship (this doesn't apply if you buy a tour or something).

Then, and only then--with promissory notes in hand--are you allowed to take the elevator to the upper decks and dine at the best value on the whole ship: the Promenade Cafe, a restaurant with food and a view that's thankfully worth all the inconvenience.


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The Best Things to Drink in Orange County (And Long Beach), 2014

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Photo by Cleo Tobbi
Orange County is where these people live, after all

Alcohol isn't the only thing to drink in Orange County (though it's pretty nice). OC all up in that juice crave and can serve a pretty mean cup of coffee. Then again, booze runs the world, so we have for you now a list of the best things to drink in Orange County, from coffee to more coffee to Vietnamese coffee to beer and cocktails.

'Cause eating is nice, but I've never seen anyone shotgun some brussel sprouts.

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Coming Soon: New Locations for Zov's and Slapfish and Some Pacific City Speculation

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Now you see it. Now you don't

Some of us have parking karma. We've got restaurant karma. We are occasionally privy to establishments in the works--whether that's by formal announcement, coincidence or otherwise.

Recently, we heard about a trio of joints looking to open up shop. And since we are such generous Forkers, it's about time we shared the news. You ready?

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Geeking Out: Making Zombie Sound FX With Food

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We won't look at cantaloupe the same way again. Ever.

The last place we expected to find food blog inspiration was at a Game Stop. Standing in line, waiting to trade in some used titles for Madden NFL 15, it actually found us.

While we normally tune out everything around us (expect for the cashier saying "Next"), this particular instance had us zoning out by viewing what was on the monitor. Imagine our surprise when the topic was all about creating and editing zombie-eating noises. Eeep!

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Civic in Santa Ana Re-Opens After Fire!

Categories: Now Open

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Photo from http://eatcivic.com/
Hot dog! They're open again!
Civic--the SanTana restaurant that Gustavo Arellano described as Primo-Mex ("the kind of mashups Mexican cousins do every carne asada Sunday to show off")--had a fire in July and had been closed ever since.

Now it seems everything is finally in order for a grand re-opening.


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Crazy Chi-Mac: Finger-Lickin' Great

Categories: Now Open

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Photos by Dustin Ames
Yum!

Crazy Chi-Mac has a lot going for it--a doting Korean mother-type who'll ladle the soup into bowls for you until its 2 a.m. closing time on weekends--but there are only two things that should convince you to go, like, right now: the beer and the fried chicken.

As with Zoomak Asian Bistro in Buena Park and the Past Memories in Garden Grove, Crazy Chi-Mac is a Korean tavern where Hite, OB and Cass come out in big pitchers and the customers don't get loud until about 9 or 10 p.m. But it may be the first Korean pub around these parts to specialize in fried chicken. You only need to have been paying attention to the miracles Korean purveyors such as Kyochon and Pizza & Chicken Love Letter have done with fried chicken over the past decade to know this natural progression of things is very, very good.


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TAPS Fall Beer Dinner THIS THURSDAY

Categories: Hops to It!

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Photo by Kevin Lara/OC Weekly
Chef Manny is ready for autumn

When our 2014 Best Seafood Restaurant schedules their Fall Beer Dinner, it's the best of both worlds. Five seasonal courses by Manny Gonzalez paired with unique tastes by their brewmaster. It's worth fighting the afternoon commute for.

For $60 (before tax and gratuity) and one 6:30 reservation, we've got your TAPS menu. First course: Corn and Spanish ham fritters accompanied by their Pumpkin Ale. So delicious, we wrote it up as a Drink of the Week a while back. To view the rest of your dinner service, keep reading.

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Eat This Now: Pork Chop Rice at Popcorn Chicken

Categories: Eat This Now

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Edwin Goei
Pork pork. Chop chop!

The new restaurant called Popcorn Chicken doesn't serve just those spice-dusted morsels of fried poultry you chomp in between sips of boba milk tea. The popcorn chicken is just a springboard to all manner of fried things the restaurant has behind its glass display case--things that include calamari hoops, fish, yam fries, fish cake, but also good ol' corn dogs.

If you want chicken, you can have just about every part--leg, skin, wing, butt, gizzard, heart, cartilage--some already skewered on bamboo sticks, the rest eaten by spearing them with one. To the Taipei transplant, these are snacks and quick bites common Taiwan's lively night markets, but Popcorn Chicken is essentially the equivalent of a county fair vendor like Chicken Charlie setting up a permanent, year-round shop.

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Five OC Food Courts that Dish Out Restaurant-Worthy Eats

Categories: Five Great...

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Photo by Ray Bouknight
Banish the thought!

Let all your preconceived notions about food courts go: they're not all filled with fast food, neon signs and lukewarm, unpleasantly chewy Chinese takeout. In fact, Orange County boasts a few food courts that put actual restaurants to shame with the quality, quantity and value. Below, we've compiled five OC food courts to work into your lunch rotation.


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Dosa Place in Tustin Closes; Moves To Its Original Location In...Tustin

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Photo by Kimberly Valenzuela
Is that all you got?

There was once only one Dosa Place in Tustin, the one on Redhill. Then there were two, when the 17th Street restaurant opened in 2010. Then, somewhere along the way, the Dosa Place on Redhill became Dosa Express. And so, there was technically only one Dosa Place in Tustin, the one on 17th Street.


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