Orange County Lunch - Recs Needed

Irvine, CM, SA area. Was at Pueblo recently, very good. Anything from sushi to bistro to new american/small plates type. Big plus if corkage is cheap and/or good craft beer selection.

Taco Maria tacos are always good

VACA is even better than Pueblo. Corkage is absurd though at $25 for 2 and then $10 for each subsequent. To their credit they do have a nice very well priced Spanish list.

Taco Maria in the same center as Pueblo is excellent for haute Mexican like you’ve never had before in LA. It’s been a while so I don’t know their most current corkage policy. But it was very generous when they first started. Go Wed-Sat for the 4 course menu. (dinner rec)

Kasen is still the best in quality for sushi. Shunka the best for variety.

Marche Moderne is also very good with a nice wine list and corkage policy. Get the langoustines if available.

Kitakata ramen for excellent ramen without that heavy tonkotsu broth. Ask for the noodles extra chewy or it will be on the soft side. My current favorite ramen in town (including LA).

J Zhou for high end Cantonese seafood. Highly recommended for both dinner and dim sum.

Casa Inka for excellent Peruvian food. Especially the arroz con mariscos, seco de carne, and chupe camarones.

El Porton for Colombian food. Try their tamales.

Da Hawaiian for lau lau.

101 noodle express for dumplings

Social does a half pig head and has a very good craft beer/cocktail program. Go early if you want to avoid the scene. (think dinner only)

Jong Ro Shul Lung Tang for killer pork neck stew.

Bella Cuba for excellent Cuban food. Far better than the Versailles branches in LA. Arroz con pollo and the rabo never miss.

Istanbul Grill California for a great lunch special. 3 courses $9.99. Kofte kebab is superb.


Shuck Oyster Bar doesn’t have a corkage, if I recall correctly.
I always enjoy a meal at Din Tai Fung.

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Correct, and they have a selection of oysters for $2 during their happy hour Mon-Wed 1pm-6pm.

Thanks. Great recs. It’s lunch, a few of these may not work out. I heard Taco Maria is not ideal for lunch, only al la carte? Forgot we did do HH at Shuck before Pueblo.

I take my clients to Cucina Enoteca all the time. We get excited for trips to Irvine just for that. Extensive wine list.