Anaheim's 369 Chinese Replaced By Wafting Fragrance Noodle House

Dave Lieberman
It says "Wafting Fragrance" in Chinese. Otherwise it's just any old noodle house.

I was at 99 Ranch today buying lime leaves and lemongrass for a friend in Florida who doesn't have any good Asian markets nearby, and it was lunchtime. I couldn't bring myself to go to Jollibee or its brethren, I can't stand the service at Ten Ten, and I didn't want a Lee's sandwich.

As I was about to pull out of the parking lot and go find something else, I saw that 369 Restaurant, the Shanghainese place that faces Crescent, had been replaced. The only English signage for the newcomer simply says "Noodle House"; the name Wafting Fragrance comes from the Chinese name for the place, 飘香 (piao xiang).

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The Playground Burger Is Going Away... For Now (They're Opening a Burger Place)

Photo by Niyaz Pirani
Pictured: The Hatch Version

We really enjoy the Playground's burger here at Weekly World, so imagine our fear when we heard over Instagram that the restaurant will no longer be offering it after this Saturday.

Shock, horror, grief.

And then I read another two sentences, and it turns out they're discontinuing it because they're opening a burger joint.. very soon.

Read on for details.

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Masterlink Sausage & Meats Celebrates 50 Years Tomorrow!

Categories: Local Eats

Photo by Josue Rivas/OC Weekly
Joe Martin and Mike Pease of Masterlink

It was a year-and-a-half ago that we found our way to Masterlink's factory in Fullerton and sat down with Joe Martin and Mike Pease, two hardworking guys promoting their meaty product. Now, we're proud to report that the company--which provides sausages to nearly all the great OC sausage restaurants--is celebrating their 50th anniversary TOMORROW.

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Interview with A La Minute's Executive Chef Ryan Berk

Scoop it up!

I sat down with A La Minute's executive chef and owner Ryan Berk at his new location in the Orange Circle to literally get the scoop on what all of this liquid nitrogen buzz was about. As we began to chat in the vintage farmhouse-esque creamery, Berk graciously made sure every flavor was brought to our table. It was like the clouds opened up and there was the answer to all of my hot summer day's prayers.

How'd you get started?

I've always been passionate about food. Running around in the yard, growing strawberries and tomatoes as a kid. I really liked the ideology of food and where it was coming from! I got started in the industry when I was 14 at a little Thai restaurant in my hometown, Redlands. I started as a dishwasher and sort of made my way up to a cook position. I was the only white kid in the kitchen getting trained by all of these Thai ladies. That's where I really gained a respect for culture and where the food was coming from.

Did you always know this was something you wanted to do?

I think it just evolved. I would save up every year to travel somewhere around the world. Right when I turned 16 I would go somewhere whether it was, India, West Africa, or South America. I would just leave and experience a bit of culture. I've always wanted to understand where different food was coming from. I don't know where the passion came from, but I've always just loved food.

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The "World's Hottest Chile" Served At Clay Oven in Irvine

Categories: Local Eats

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Photo by Kenneth M. Ruggiano
Geeta Bansal
Remember a few years when the Bhut Jolokia (a.k.a. the Ghost Pepper) was purported to be the hottest chile in the world? Well not so much anymore. It's not even in the top 5 these days. Depending on what you read or who you believe, the current hottest chile pepper in the world is either the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion or the Carolina Reaper.

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Elbows Mac n' Cheese Opens To Much Hype in Brea--But Is It Good?

Categories: Local Eats

Courtney Hamilton
When Pigs Fly at Elbows Mac N' Cheese

For a restaurant that specializes in just one thing, Elbows Mac n' Cheese is busy in every sense of the word. On a Friday night, the downtown Brea, fast-casual restaurant is so packed that people prowl around patrons finishing their meals, waiting to pounce on soon-to-be empty chairs.

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This Weekend: Supatra Thai 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

Categories: Local Eats

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Party on!
10 years is a lifetime in the restaurant biz. That's exactly how long Supatra Thai has been in business in Yorba Linda, which isn't (at least the last time I checked) any sort of Thai Town. But I suppose this makes the milestone even more momentous.

To celebrate, the restaurant will throw a party of sorts this Saturday, June 21st, 2014 from 1 to 4 p.m. The event will feature live music, cooking demos, a martial arts demo, a balloon artist, prizes and games. And oh yeah, there will be complimentary appetizers and 30% off the rest of the food.

Why are they just offering a discount and not giving away the entrees for free? Well, you want them to stay around another 10 years, don't you?

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Support The PIE-NOT Kickstarter Campaign!

Categories: Local Eats

Photo by Eleonor Segura/OC Weekly
Workin' hard to pie hard

I loved the PIE-NOT concept from the beginning. Savory, handheld meat pies are as good as it gets with to-go meals. A working lunch with one true Aussie taught me to dab a little ketchup for tasty flavor bombs. Pair that with a cuppa Bun coffee, and I'm good for hours. It's no wonder they made my top five last year. Now, they're looking to expand.

For those not familiar with Kickstarter, it's a way for businesses and individuals to fund projects they otherwise wouldn't have the money for. Provide bucks to a creator, and you're considered a backer. Even a dollar is better than no dollar. And it's more than giving your hard-earned money-- it's helping a dream become a reality. In a nutshell, it's a badass way of making things happen.

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Costco in Tustin's The District Will Sell More Poke This Weekend!

Categories: Local Eats

Edwin Goei
Costco's spicy tuna poke.
If you read last week's post about the Costco in Tustin selling real Hawaiian poke, you weren't the only one. The post garnered nearly 3,000 likes on Facebook and because of this the warehouse store was overwhelmed. They reportedly ran out of poke by Saturday.

They're going to be more prepared this weekend, and every weekend in the foreseeable future. The woman giving the thumbs up in the photo you see below said so. In a comment she left in that original post, she said:

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Juicing Comes To the Circle: Growl Juice Pub in Orange

Dave Lieberman
The sampler from Growl Juice Pub
I've been hearing a lot about Growl Juice Pub in Old Town Orange. At first, I just rolled my eyes, as I do whenever someone gushes about how juicing is going to save the world. I consider juicing to be an expensive fad aimed at rich people looking for another way to consume kale.

A funny thing happened, though. Chefs and bartenders whose taste I respect were perhaps the biggest proponents of Growl. I couldn't talk to anyone in the inland OC food industry without hearing about how they go to Growl and get juice by the six-pack.

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