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The Eat Index: 10 OC restaurants to wine and dine your out-of-town guests

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Main Course

Lobster paella at BluSky Restaurant & Bar in Anaheim (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)


Every holiday season, Brad A. Johnson’s inbox fills with emails from readers asking him where they should take their out-of-town guests.

This year, Brad has compiled 10 restaurants that define dining in Orange County right now. Get ready to eat, drink and be merry!


Eat of the Moment

Nabeyaki udon at Meiji Siemen in Costa Mesa (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)


Noodling around

Costa Mesa’s Ramen Row is obviously known for ramen, but Brad found a great udon place in the same neighborhood. He says he’s mesmerized by the noodles at Meiji Siemen.


Co-owner Ed Lee says Tableau Kitchen and Bar in South Coast Plaza will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu will emphasize seafood and the chef’s popular desserts and pastries. Seen here, Ed Lee, at the Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Costa Mesa. (File photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)


Giving back is on the menu

Tableau Kitchen and Bar is slated to open in South Coast Plaza this month. The restaurant will be a team effort by Ed Lee of Wahoo’s Fish Taco, John Park, chef of Toast Kitchen + Bakery in Costa Mesa, and business partner Don Takahata. Like its sister restaurant Toast, Tableau will have built-in programs to help those in need.


Laura Cahill had a successful career in marketing but gave it up to start a deli out of her home kitchen with a music theme. That side gig, Gewl, now has a storefront in Costa Mesa and she’s catering to rock bands. (Photo by Aubrey Lao, courtesy of Gewl)


A chef’s backstage pass 

Laura Cahill had a successful career in marketing but got furloughed during the pandemic. She pivoted and started a deli out of her home kitchen with a rock music theme. That side gig, Gewl, aka “Good Eats With Laura,” now has a storefront in Costa Mesa.


Anaheim Hills uncle and niece team, Daniel, left, and Delilah Flores, right, are set to appear on Thursday’s finale of “Top Chef Family Style.” (Photo by Smallz & Raskind, courtesy of Peacock)


Home team in the finals

Anaheim Hills uncle and niece team Daniel and Delilah Flores have come a long way on “Top Chef Family Style.” They’ve been competing in episodes that began airing in September on Peacock. Now, they’re set to appear on the finale, which begins streaming on Thursday, Dec. 2.


Restaurant chains often offer gift card deals around the holidays. (AP File Photo/Pat Wellenbach)


Time for deals

If you want to score deals on gift cards for chain restaurants, this is the time of the year to do it. Many chains offer some kind of bonus when you purchase a certain amount in gift cards. Here’s a list of restaurants offering gift card deals this year. Don’t forget to check the fine print.



This Week’s Recipe

Leftover turkey can be used as an ingredient in Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup. (Photo by Carl Tremblay, America’s Test Kitchen)


Still dealing with turkey leftovers? Have no fear, Cathy Thomas is here with a recipe for a wild rice and mushroom soup where you can toss in some of that turkey. Enjoy!

Related Articles

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Recipes: These holiday appetizers can make a meal

Anaheim Hills team will compete in finale of ‘Top Chef Family Style’

Recipe: Have leftover turkey? Use it in this soup


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