Check out this piece I wrote for Anaheim/OC’s blog OC Up Close. It covers some of the unique doughnut shops throughout Orange County. I haven’t had a chance to try any of these places yet, but they are all on my list now.
190 S Glassell St
Orange, CA 92866
Mon-Fri 11am-2am / Sat & Sun 9am-2am
With items on the menu such as a Charcuterie Plate for an appetizer or Wagyu Beef Cheek Poutine for a main dish, Haven Gastropub was slightly out of my norm. Although everything on the menu I had seen or heard of in my quest for foodie knowledge I do not normally frequent places that offer such things. Now before I hype them up too much Haven Gastropub, although offering some “fancy” dishes such as BBQ Pork Belly flat bread or Pig’s Face, foundationally they are a pub serving up craft beer, cocktails, and classics, like burgers, tacos, and fries. Before I dive into what I got to try, Haven Gastropub can be summed up as trendy enough for young people with well-made food to attract those with a more trained palate. It is nice enough to bring a date and laid back enough to come to with friends.
I came here as an office outing for the end of the year. Thanks to that I got to try a lot more things than I normally would. For appetizers they ordered House-made potato chips, pommes frites (French fries), deviled eggs, and fried pig ears. Strangely enough the item I feared the most from the appetizers ended up to be my absolute favorite. The fried pig ears, although strange looking, were crunchy, and salty, and addicting! If you are a pork fan, you will love these. The house-made potato chips were hot, fresh, crispy, and not greasy at all. The pomme frites, as they were thin fries, which I am normally not a fan of, were very well prepared. Despite their thin cut, they still managed to be crispy on the outside and maintain some sort of potato fluff on the inside. Lastly, the deviled eggs – these were not normal deviled eggs, with a kick to it, this was deviled eggs taken to the next level. Another must try.
For my main course I kept it simple. I ordered their Haven Burger. The burger comes with pickled red onions, roasted red bell peppers, wild arugula, st agur cheese, and their awesome pommes frites. This burger was huge and despite the fact that I over did it on appetizers, I devoured the whole thing. The meat was juicy and cooked perfectly and all of the flavors melded perfectly.
I look forward to possibly going back to try some of their other dishes, and more pig ears, but I do have one complaint. Their service was horrible. I must say they were busy and we were a large group (about 10 of us), but it took them over an hour to get us our food and they weren’t checking up on us or apologetic at all. We were just left alone. This may have been an off day and the food was good, so I won’t hold it against them too much, unless it happens again.
Truck based out of Orange County
I have only tried one item from the Kala Truck and it was quite phenomenal and I cannot wait to check them out again. I tried their Patron Tacos – steak marinated in tequila and lime, pico de gallo, guacamole, and queso fresco. When the tacos were handed to me I picked at the meat as I found a good place to eat. The meat alone did not appeal to me at all and I was fearful; luckily the overall taco’s flavors worked perfectly together. Meat and all, I would not change a thing. The tacos had a surprising kick, a nice heat, but the guacamole offered the perfect balance to make the heat enjoyable. The Kala Truck is a must try, especially if the rest of their food is as well balanced as their Patron Tacos.
2021 Foothill Blvd
La Verne, CA 91750
Sun 11am-9pm / Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm / Fri & Sat 11am-11pm
I have very mixed feelings about this literal hole in the wall. The food was good, not great, the décor and atmosphere was pretty damn awesome, like the kind of bar best friends hang out in sitcoms, but family friendly, the prices were more than I was expecting, but not bad enough to complain, and service SUCKED. All that combined I am not really sure how I want to feel about Pizza Barn.
I have been getting my hair done at Ricciolos Salon, next door to Pizza Barn, since middle school and have always wondered what lay behind the giant door under the pizza sign, but have never ventured in until recently.
Upon walking in I was more than thrilled at what lay ahead of me. The exterior gives no clue to the size, set up, and atmosphere to what lies inside. Not that it is anything to really brag about just really cool. Not sure how to put into words, you’ll just have to check it out. My nephew couldn’t stop talking about it.
We ordered a small pizza and an order of fries. I don’t remember what the total cost was, but it was $1 or $2 more than I was anticipating. Like I already said, nothing to really complain about, but what did suck was the wait. It took close to 30 minutes to get our food, and when it arrived the pizza was sloppy.
As far as quality goes the pizza was good; hot, nice crust, and good cheese. The fries although hot, seemed like nothing more than frozen fries you could prepare at home. To top things off the waitress was a tad rude and inattentive, although she did seem very nice to those I would assume were more liked regulars. She wasn’t so rude I would refuse to go back, but bad enough I wouldn’t necessarily chose to go there again.
211 W Center St
Anaheim, CA 92805
Sun-Tues 8am-10pm / Wed-Sat 8am-11pm
**Also located in Santa Ana**
Since I have started working in Anaheim I have not given myself much of an opportunity to try the local spots, but I’m slowly breaking myself out of my San Gabriel Valley bubble and beginning to try more and more of what Disneyland’s home (and the surrounding area) has to offer.
Gypsy Den is one of the first places I have had the opportunity to try, and it was no disappointment. The other members of my lunch party ordered their radish, dill and fennel salad and a caprese sandwich with chips. I had half a roasted turkey sandwich and Cesar salad.
Although I am not a huge sandwich fan, I normally don’t find much to say about them, the Gypsy Den’s roasted turkey sandwich was quite satisfying, but besides that their Cesar salad was to die for. Best Cesar salad I have ever had and I can’t wait to go back for another. The lettuce was super fresh, the salad was perfectly dressed, and it had amazing flavor.
Besides the fresh and refreshing food, Gypsy Den has amazing charm! Large wood benches outdoors allow a nice place to people watch and enjoy a meal, while insides tables and chairs of all different sizes, a wall of books, and deep colors make you feel right at home.
With all the options Anaheim’s Center Street has to offer, the Gypsy Den is definitely a top contender.
I apologize for disappearing again, but my laptop decided to stop turning on taking all my blog photos with it. Luckily the Geek Squad was able to save it and just yesterday I got her back, so stay tuned new posts coming shortly…I promise!
733 N Placentia Ave
Fullerton, CA 92831
Mon-Sat: 11am – 9pm
I do not have a lot of experience with Hawaiian food, and the knowledge I do have consists of fast food joints such as L&L and L’ua Hawaiian BBQ. Now I can add Ola Hawaiian BBQ, which is quite similar to both.
Located right down the street from Cal State Fullerton, Ola Hawaiian BBQ is a great option for a hungry student on a budget. The portions are large and prices are good.
I ordered their chicken katsu and my friend ordered their lemon pepper chicken with an order of musubi. Both the chicken katsu and lemon pepper chicken came with rice and macaroni salad. I am normally not a fan of mayo slathered macaroni salad, but theirs was really good, not overly dressed and very well-seasoned. A nice balancing factor, both chicken dinners game with veggies, refreshing on what could be a heavy dish.
The katsu was really crispy, well-seasoned, and a huge portion. I tried the katsu with their katsu sauce and their teriyaki, both complemented the chicken well.
I did not get to try the lemon pepper chicken or the musubi, but they looked very good, and my friend was very happy with it all.