A recent trip to Anaheim provided an opportunity to sample the wonderful variety of ethnic places just west of the food desert that is the Disneyland resort area. I mostly focused on Vietnamese, Mexican and Syrian and they were spectacular. The large expat communities provide support for restaurants that are regional as opposed to generic and dumbed down. I ate for four days what a single meal at Ruth’s Chris would have cost and met some wonderful servers and cooks that took great pride in their food. Like my native Toronto (and suburban DC), the best food is in the suburban strip malls that cater to the local emigré community, but the scale of Los Angeles dwarfs what Toronto has. I wish my adopted home of Boston could equal this. Here is where I ate other than a Langer’s Pastrami sandwich on my way from LAX.
Forn Al Hara Lebanese 512 S Broadhurst: The highlight here were the mini-pies (cheese and zaatar, spinach and cheese) and the sweets filled with cashew, dates and pistachio.
Ben Ngu (Garden Grove Blvd) This was a highlight serving Hue cuisine and so great to have food from this region of Vietnam. I had rice flour dumplings filled with shrimp and pork served on crispy rice cakes
KoKo Chicken and BBQ 9732 Garden Grove Wings were fine but the fishcake soup with winter melon was excellent
Tacqueria Los Gueros 1900 W Lincoln Ave: This was an excellent place,lined up with families getting dinner. I had Tacos al pastor, cerveza, and chorizo ($1.50 each).
Birrieria Guadalajara 1750 W Lincoln Ave Excellent Jalisco cuisine with large braised goat tacos