20 best Chinese restaurants in OC (2018 OC register list)

It’s a much better list in terms of South OC not representing the majority of the list.

Irvine is starting to attract some better restaurants. But there is still a lot of room for growth. Wonder why there are so many new Chinese restaurants going to the Westside but not into Irvine? There are a lot of Chinese and Asian people in general to support more restaurants.

  • kids going to school and young people eat out more?
  • density of population?

Uhh. I’d eat in Irvine over WLA anytime. There are dozens of good Chinese restaurants In Irvine. I don’t think there are one dozen throughout the Westside. Irvine is running out of Chinese restaurant space. Every shopping center has Chinese restaurants–doesnt Orange Tree Plaza have like 10? They’re overflowing into Tustin now.

Sorry meant to say OC not Irvine. Irvine is so vast and they’re are a ton of Chinese restaurants. It feels like you’re passing by multiple cities spanning from Jeffrey/5 to places like J Zhou/Szechuan Impression.

North OC is kind of a wasteland for Chinese outside of ok places like Super Juicy, Mas Islamic and Noodle St. We are 15-20 minutes away from Rowland Heights, Industry and ESGV but on weeknights it’s an impossible journey.

What are your favorite places right now in Irvine that are maybe under the radar?

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Lots of Chinese places in Cerritos.

Plus you have Garden Grove, Fullerton, Westminster, and surrounding environs which are already dominated by SE Asian and Japanese cuisines.

So, it’s pretty dense with Asian ethnic focused eats as it is.

Gotta go south.

Never been that way for Chinese. Anything good? The closest I’ve been to that area was for Renu Nakorn. Not including the time I bought a Civic from Norm Reeves back in 2001.

We go to GG/Buena Park for Korean and Westminster/Fountain Valley for Vietnamese so no complaints there.

Cerritos/Artesia is good enough to keep the locals from having to drive to the SGV. There’s even a branch of Omar’s there. And it’s been a cradle of Chinese dessert places who have branched out to the SGV.

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Canaan, Omar’s, Northern Cafe, Tasty Noodle House, Shangjie, May’s, Szchwan Noodle, Quest Yes, Kim Tar, Ho Ho, Class 302, etc.

And of course @chandavkl’s favorite, Ooak Kitchen.


Thanks. Didn’t know there was a Tasty Noodle House. It’s been on my list.

I guess since I’m kind of equidistant between Cerritos and ESGV I’ve been going to Hacienda/Rowland Heights because I’m more familiar with that area. Will give Cerritos a test drive.

Perhaps also time for a new Honda. Been 17 years.


As you know Irvine is home to many of the usual SGV suspects and affiliates thereof. Unfortunately my favorite unknown place, Kashgar Grill which served Uyghur food, closed down. At this point, probably Rainbow Bridge.

Thanks for listing Canaan first, man.

Hi @chandavkl or anyone else that wants to chime in. I have been looking for a go-to Chinese restaurant around me, but Irvine is close enough. Nice atmosphere, wine and beer- not a strip mall place.

I tried Capital Seafood a few weeks ago and was disappointed. Was craving won ton soup. Their broth wasn’t good, fried rice was inedible and a beef dish was just ok. It’s too bad because we thought we might have a winner there.

I’ve been to a few of the places on this list and I loved DTF. There is a restaurant right near me in Dana Point that sounds good too.

Any help for this non-Asian guy looking for traditional Cantonese dishes (at least that’s what I think I’m looking for)?

I’m no expert like @chandavkl or @ipsedixit but I think Tasty Garden might fit the bill. They are a mini chain with Cantonese style dishes
orange chicken
honey walnut shrimp
kung pao
beef loc lac
beef chow fun
string beans
lots of fried rice varieties
It’s not going to knock your socks off but I think you’ll get some solid food.

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Thanks. That’s the kind of places I’m looking for.

I think if you were disappointed with Capital you’re not going to be any happier st Tasty Garden.

For wonton in Irvine try Capital Noodle Bar, descended from LA Chinatown pioneer Kim Tar. Other Canto spots include China Garden, Sam Woo and SW Seafood

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You guys realize Cerritos and Artesia are in Los Angeles County, don’t you? :wink:

Capital Seafood was the first time in my life that I didn’t take the leftovers- that rice was nasty.

Thanks @chandavkl. I haven’t been to Sam Woo in years since I worked nearby. Will check out the others.

Traded up for a Odyssey. Drove all the way to Carson for 0.9% APR and $0 down.