The Local List

Hungry girl looking for the next adventure.

For my 100th post I give you the best restaurant in OC – Il Garage

Yes, you read that right.  Il Garage is the best restaurant that I have eaten at in OC.  While I can think of a few places that are as tasty (or tastier), this place brings something that other places don’t have – a garden.  Tucked in the middle of nowhere Stanton (yes that is in OC), Il Garage is hard to find.  In fact, you have to drive along Beach Blvd and then keep driving.  Once you have found Park Ave restaurant, you must walk through it into the backyard.  Then, and only then, will you find this treasure.

And with a heavy heart I introduce to you…Iron Press

I really wanted to like this place.  Very badly.  Every time I visit The Mix, or OC Mix Mart, or SOCO, or whatever the hell that place is called, The Iron Press is always packed.  So on one sunny Saturday, I was stoked when there were tons of seats for my friends and I to sit down and grab some lunch.  I had been waiting months to have some chicken and waffles.
A piece of fried chicken and a waffle

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Let’s get this weekend started!

It has been awhile since I told you about weekend events in Orange County…so here it is.

1.  Bowers Museum has an exhibition called A Quest for Beauty: The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels.  With over 200 pieces to view- watches, jewelry, and precious accessories – you can spend an afternoon pretending you are a Queen in Paris, or a billionaire shopping for his wifey. (Sorry don’t know the guys version of dressing up.)

2.  On the Second Saturday of February, the city of Anaheim hosts an Art Walk downtown.  The street is full of live artists, food trucks, galleries, classic cars and some live music.  Parking and admission is free.  Starts at 6PM.

3.  I have mentioned lots of restaurant weeks lately.  Well the County of Orange has its own Restaurant Week starting February 23-March 1.  But that is besides the point.  On February 22, Newport Lexus is hosting the Launch Party.  It includes a dozen restuarants, four wine bars, cocktails, scotch tasting, and of course some coffee so you can drive home.  Everything is free, its just a $45 admission fee if you get from TravelZoo (normally prices are $95.) 

4.  Don’t forget the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics starts tomorrow night! Grab some pizza and have your friends over for a fun night!

What did you do this weekend?

Weekends are always too short.  This past weekend was the first time that I got to stay in Orange County for an entire Saturday.  (Wedding season is the worst for travel.)  Being local meant lots of new adventures.

ramen, Ajisen Ramen, Japanese food
Ramen, Fried Tofu and Cutlet Curry

Dinner time at Diamond Jamboree
For anyone who has visited this shopping market, you know that it is like Disneyland for Asian food.  Parking is a nightmare, so try the parking structure first before you battle for spots in the lot.  One of the best restaurants in that area is Ajisen Ramen.  It has ramen (duh), sushi, udon, and rice dishes.  They also have boba for you die hards.  The ramen comes out within minutes of you ordering and is so large that you will not need to eat for the rest of the day.


haven gastropub, beer, orange
Mac n Cheese, Beer flights, and Burger and fries

Drinks at Old Town Orange
This area is probably one of my favorites in OC.  It looks like it came straight out of a movie, with the roundabout and “main street’ walking areas.  There are lots of great restaurants in the area that I must try, but Haven Gastropub has been talked up so much I finally had to stop in.  The food is supposed to be unreal, but I was only there for the drinks.  The draft menu changes often and the wine list is almost two pages long.  I will definitely be coming back here for the mac and cheese though.  It smelled unreal!

Clementes seafood
Fish tacos, shrimp ceviche, fish in Ranchero dressing

The best “hole in the wall” seafood joint
When I find a meal that leaves me speechless I always have to ask myself if I am just starving or if the food is really just that good.  I can say with full confidence that Clemente Seafood was the best hole in the wall Mexican food that I have found in Santa Ana, let alone all of the OC.  It is some of the freshest fish that I have had, and the sauces and breading that they cook the fish in is so flavorful.  The shrimp ceviche is their best seller, but the fried fish tacos were my favorite.  I already told the owner they should expect me to be there at least once a week.  This place should be a must try on everyone’s list, seriously people…

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