Tag Archives: breakfast

Global Diner: Anepalco’s Cafe’s Chilaquiles


The October issue of Orange Coast marks the debut of my new column, Global Diner. Each month I’ll be examining an outstanding international dish among Orange County’s vast expanse of mom-and-pop and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. This time, it’s the spectacular chilaquiles at Anepalco’s Cafe in Orange:

Chef Danny Godinez’s dish is a marvel: The fried mass of tortillas is formed into a thin cake, topped with a fluffy omelet and dressed with avocado mousse, pico de gallo, crema, and sprinkles of cotija cheese. It’s surrounded by a pool of brilliant brick-red sauce that tastes of smoky, toasted chilies. The tiny Main Street cafe serves an equally good second version, chilaquiles verdes, made with a tomatillo-based sauce and sprinkled with a scattering of pumpkin seeds. Both iterations are precisely prepared, their contrasting flavors and textures balanced in every bite.

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Leftovers: Uyen Thy

A French-inflected breakfast in Little Saigon for the L.A. Times:


In Little Saigon, modest fortunes have been made on spring rolls alone. Entire legacies have been decided by the buttery crunch of a warm baguette. Diners anoint only the most exacting items: fresh-pressed sugarcane juice with muddled kumquats, whole baked catfish with skin caramelized into candy. Here, restaurants are immortalized in the details.

It’s with that diligence that Uyen Thy Bistro so often succeeds. This is a restaurant innately aware of its strengths even when the immensity of its menu sometimes indicates otherwise.

Uyen Thy is predictably secluded in a sliver of space at the bottom of a three-story strip mall behind a 7-Eleven. But the restaurant isn’t easily eclipsed — it’s the namesake of Uyen Thy, host of a well-known Vietnamese cooking show on the Garden Grove-based Saigon Broadcasting Television Network.

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Leftovers: LB Hangover Helpers

Big breakfasts for the morning after from the District:


It always seems like a good idea at first sip, a dehydrating desire born under that dim barroom light that can make anything (or sometimes anyone) seem doable. It isn’t until your head starts wobbling under its own drunken weight and your tab rolls well over the double-digits that you even reconsider the first few beers. But however steely your stomach, that path is one that will lead you nowhere except to a brain-busting hangover.

There are dozens of varyingly irrational ways to cure a hangover (a morning shot of Maker’s isn’t an option in the real world), most of which are derived from inexplicable and dubious origins that nevertheless possess near-medicinal reputations. But because there’s really no perfect prescription, the best bet for a quick fix is something far simpler: a big, bestial breakfast.

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