December 16, 2009
“I don’t know how many tons,” he says pensively, this big, solid man dressed all in black, with jet-black hair and silver, longhorn-shaped bolo tie. “Near six tons — and that’s just prime rib.” Six tons. Just prime rib. And he’s describing just what he’ll sell during the holiday season. The man is Calvin Free, and the place is the Beef Palace. This meat-worshiper’s mecca has been in Huntington Beach for 40 years now, opened by Free’s dad, the legendary butcher Melvin Free.
January 27, 2005
John Volo My buddy Sean (an infomercial fanatic) and I recently went to Kung Pao for lunch. If there were a late night infomercial for Kung Pao, it would probably go something like this: "How much could you expect to pay for a plate of orange flavor beef and fried rice? $6 or $7? What if it also came with an egg roll and a couple of cream cheese wontons? Seven, maybe eight dollars? But wait, there's more: as an additional bonus, we'll throw in tea, a cup of soup and a small dessert.
October 6, 2005
Knowing blue tortilla chips couldn't satisfy the hunger built up during a five-hour flight from Boston to Long Beach, I picked up my starving parents and whisked them to lunch at East Coast Italian Deli. Located near the corner of Magnolia and Garfield, East Coast Italian Deli serves a scrumptious variety of hot and cold hoagies, as well as grilled panini, inventively dressed all-beef hot dogs, savory homemade soups, and freshly made potato chips.
December 14, 2000
Where once you may have wandered through the Fountain Valley Garden Nursery selecting plants and flowers, you now enter The Mandarin restaurant to select authentic Chinese dishes. A blooming red chile pepper plant at the entrance and a bamboo tree tied with tiny red bows remind you of the former occupant. It's a large place (seats 225) with vaulted ceiling and exposed beams filled with tables where servers in dark pants and brocade vests are ready with a pot of hot tea and menus in Chinese and English.
May 18, 2000
At Vien Huong, nothing is what it seems. The food at this excellent vegetarian restaurant -- on Magnolia Street and Garfield Avenue in the Kmart center -- is meatless, but the "duck" is so good, you won't believe it's soy bean and wheat gluten. You positively bloom with good intentions while eating your vegetables and relaxing your soul in the calm atmosphere and pleasant service, as we did on one visit. But when the restaurant becomes busy and there is an inexperienced serving staff, as happened another time, it is a different story -- service is slow and servers are unfamiliar with the menu.
March 2, 2000
If you bypass table service when dining Japanese style, you have four ways to go. There's sushi with its picture-perfect raw creations, teppan grill with the tossed knives and juggling chef, cleverly packaged dim sum, or the hands-on approach of shabu-shabu. The latter is the most fun. With shabu-shabu, you are not a spectator, but a participant cooking your own meats and vegetables in a pot of boiling water. California Shabu-Shabu, at Brookhurst Street and Garfield Avenue in Fountain Valley, is one of the best places for such cuisine.
May 9, 2002
Mary Furr There is something impressive about taking mother to the dining room of a big hotel like Hotel Huntington Beach for a Sunday champagne brunch. The lovely, low-ceilinged room is bright and airy with upholstered benches around the edge and tables in the center. Along the northern windows, chef Guillermo Plascencia checks the lavish buffet of waffle and omelet stations, ham and beef carving stations, covered steam trays and a tempting assortment of fruits, salads and desserts.
March 13, 2008
Since St. Patrick’s Day is Monday, I did a little scouting for a friend who is Irish and loves to celebrate his heritage. I went to Killarney’s Pub & Grill on Main Street. The pub has an inside and an outside. The inside is adorned with large plasma televisions, a long bar, and tables and chairs. The outside has five patio-style tables. There are no heaters, though, so it might get a bit chilly at night. The menu features a Galway Bay prawn cocktail and an Emerald Isles steak sandwich.
May 31, 2001
We have the Taste of France, the Taste of Napa and now all the way from Spokane, Wash., comes the first in California -- Top of China, at Bolsa Avenue and Edward Street in Huntington Beach. It's fresh, bright and very busy with five steam buffet tables, a small sushi bar and chef-directed barbecue grill. A huge picture in lights of a riverboat hangs near the entrance, and down a hall, is a small dining room with lovely crystal chandeliers. An enclosed garden forms one wall.