Hungry for Culture

2012-06-15 17:03:11

Pizzas, burgers and subs are always welcome, but there are days you just have to push yourself to explore a little. Expand your food and dining horizons with these ethnic options, which we investigated with the help of Yelp and the written opinions of Orange County diners themselves.

Armenian
Jack’s Bakery
10515 McFadden Ave. Ste. 107, Garden Grove
Jack’s Bakery is the perfect place to find true home-style Middle Eastern cooking. Even though the interior is small with minimal seating, ordering a couple kebabs and baklava to-go will keep you coming back for more.

Indian
Punjabi Tandoor
327 S. Anaheim Blvd. Ste. A, Anaheim
714.635.3155 :: punjabitandoor.com
Cooking up flavors from Northern India, Punjabi Tandoor is embraced by guests for its cultural sincerity. The restaurant is touted for reasonable prices and its helpful and friendly staff. Whether you are a novice to Indian cuisine or a veteran, it would be a mistake to not give Punjabi Tandoor a taste.

Brazilian
Agora Churrascaria
1830 Main St., Irvine
949.222.9910 :: agorachurrascaria.com
Agora Churrascaria is ideal for a meaty Brazilian meal. Literally. With all-you-can-eat Brazillian barbecue, guests are given a double-sided card to signal when to stop the meat or to keep it coming. There is also a full salad bar to balance out the infinite flow of sophisticated flavor.

Thai/Laotian
Vientiane Thai Laos
10262 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove
714.530.7523
Vientiane Thai Loas is a fusion of Asian flavor. This restaurant attracts visitors from all over for its honorable approach to Laotian food. Pad Thai? Yes, please.

Ethiopian
Tana Ethiopian Restaurant
2622 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim
714.229.1719 :: tanaethio.com
It would be a shame to miss out on this down-to-earth, mom-and-pop restaurant. Tana Ethiopian Restaurant will save you the drive to Little Ethiopia in Los Angeles and bring you the same ethnic flavors in your Orange County backyard.

Cuban
Habana
2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa
714.556.0176
Looking for a vibrant night out? Habana, located at The LAB in Costa Mesa, is loved for its ambiance and innovative Cuban dishes. Mojitos and plantain-infused entrees are only a couple of the cultural favorites you will find.

Peruvian
Casa Inka
8610 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley
714.847.7555 :: casainkarestaurant.com
Casa Inka is the place to go to experience a bit of Peru. The Loma Saltado is highly recommended by Yelpers for the tender meat and juicy flavors while the fresh ceviche is nothing to pass up. The live music on Saturday nights and happy hour also make Casa Inka ideal for an evening dinner.

Latin/European
Lola Gaspar
211 W. 2nd St., Santa Ana
714.972.1172 :: lolagaspar.com
Lola Gaspar is one of those restaurants with the faultless combination of dark lighting, small plates made from scratch and an eclectic pub atmosphere. The late hours every night of the week makes Lola Gaspar a bit of a hotspot in the center of Santa Ana’s Artists Village.

Mexican
Anepalco's Cafe
415 S. Main St., Orange
714.771.2333 :: anepalcoscafe.com
Although reviews warn about the limited parking and how busy Anepalco’s Cafe can get, they swear this is not a place to avoid. With more than 600 reviews, most come for the brunch and the chilaquiles. What is the secret to exquisite Mexican food? Easy, Anepalco’s Cafe.

Taiwanese
A&J Restaurant
14805 Jeffrey Rd. Ste. D, Irvine
949.786.3585
A&J Restaurant is as authentic as it gets. The spicy beef noodle soup is the dish of choice.

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