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Global Diner Recap


PHOTO by PRISCILLA IEZZI / ORANGE COAST

The good eats for Orange Coast Magazine keep on coming. There’s ramen in the column’s future, but here are three recent looks at Orange County’s ever-fascinating international food scene.

First, grab a slice of pizza-like manakeesh in Anaheim’s Little Arabia. Then belly up to a bowl of bibimbap, the Korean rice classic. Finish up with the constellation of Indian small plates called a thali.

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Leftovers: Jay Bharat

A Little India standby for the District:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

Twenty years into its venerated tenure, Jay Bharat is still stuck halfway between a snack shop and a restaurant. A stretch of lilac lights illuminates one specialty: a display case filled with a rainbow of sweets, some shaped like tiny watermelons, others like shrunken slices of pie. The kitchen, however, focuses on thalis, diverse, compartmentalized meals divided into seven or eight separate tastes. Tradition connects the sweet and the savory here, but Jay Bharat continues to anchor Artesia’s Little India because it expertly prepares the best of those two Gujarati worlds.

Gujarati cuisine, the predominantly vegetarian fare from India’s western, Pakistan-bordering state of Gujarat, is well represented on Pioneer Boulevard. Yet none of Jay Bharat’s peers offers quite the same variety. As excellent as Surati Farsan is, it’s best at small bites and take-away snacks. Rajdhani, meanwhile, is defined by its all-you-can-eat thalis, endless meals that litter its tables with constellations of steel cups. Jay Bharat strikes the ideal medium.

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Leftovers: Udupi Palace

Ripping through dosas in the District:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

Pioneer Boulevard stutters to a stop only a block or two past South Street, the Sunday traffic tangled together in a clog of cars so dense it’s impossible to angle your way out. On Artesia’s side streets, more cars spill from parking structures meant for only the most compact among us. Even the sidewalks are stuffed—it takes a couple contortions just to break through the first few feet of people. Supermarket doors are frozen open from the flood of customers; smoke twists its way up from cramped outdoor grills. And down in the distance is a corner lit up in a rotating rainbow gradient, teasing out multicolored memories of those prismed pylons outside LAX. But at Udupi Palace, a South Indian anchor in Little India’s ever-expanding center, things are as peaceful as ever.

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