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Written by: Priscilla Ng Best Bites in Orange County

Sometimes, eating at home can become a drag, and going out to your usual restaurants can get mundane. With so many options here in OC, it can be incredibly overwhelming, we get that. So here are some fantastic new options that we’ve narrowed down for you to try, just to make your life a little easier. Think of it as a checklist: we have everything from grass-fed burgers to steak and lobster to savory beach-bumming sandwiches. Take a look at these new Orange County bites and let us know what you think.

Forest Mushroom Risotto
Winner: Best tableside preparation
Andrea,  Pelican Hill‘s elegant fine dining restaurant boasts risotto that is prepared tableside in a massive aged Parmigiano-Reggiano wheel. And each time the dish is prepared, the center of the cheese wheel becomes larger, giving you a large dose of cheesy goodness for every dish prepared from it!
22701 S Pelican Hill Rd
Newport Coast, CA 92657

True Food Kitchen
The Bison Burger
Winner: Best burger

This savory umami option contains your favorite mushroom, onion, mayo and watercress buckled down in a parmesan and flax seed bun. How does that sound? It’s one of the most flavorful burgers you’ll ever take a bite out of, and a taste that’ll be hard to forget. True Food makes their flax dough in-house daily as well. One of the great things about dining here is that even though it’s in the OC, you’ll feel like you’re in LA hanging out on an open-air patio deck, just without all the bad air and pollution. If you don’t believe us, go see for yourself!

451 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660


Red O Restaurant
18 oz. Prime Cowboy Ribeye
Winner: Best steak

If you’re ever feeling classy, check-in to Red O for the best steak and seafood in the county. Something almost everyone gets here is the Prime Cowboy Ribeye. This hunk of meat is grilled to your tastes and comes with fried sweet plantain, crema, traditional black beans, spicy adobo butter sauce, and half of a Maine lobster tail. This dish contains so much love and detail in it, we guarantee each bite will be worth the price.

143 Newport Ctr Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660


Board and Brew
Winner: Best sauce

Board and Brew has been slowly taking over the OC with their famous fresh-as-the-sea beach sandwiches. Aside from their runner-up sandwich, the Chicken Club, their Turkado sandwich is the healthiest beach bite that will completely re-energize you with new spirit. The secret sauce is what makes it, so if you’re ever feeling down on a bright Sunday morning, stop by Board and Brew and their breakfast sandwiches will cheer you right up.

5701 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd
Anaheim, CA 92807


Sandy’s Beach Grill
Seafood Layered Cocktail
Winner: Best view

You can’t come here without seeing just about everybody else ordering this one dish. It looks more like a seafood dessert than anything, which is even more appetizing. Layered with lobster, shrimp and avocado placed on a splash of orange chili sauce, this little bite will have you reaching for your phones to snap a picture. You’ll also be tempted to take photos of the breathtaking view this restaurant offers, because right outside is a million dollar view of the Huntington Beach Pier. Aside from the view, the taste of this dish is just as unforgettable and leave you coming back for two more.

315 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA 92648


Taco Maria
Prix Fixe Menu
Winner: Best tacos

Chef Carlos at Taco Maria is a Mexican food genius. He’ll pair foods with spices that you’ve normally never seen together, but still experience as heaven. Come here for an anniversary dinner, or just to celebrate an amazing five-star meal. Taco Maria is always throwing the most unique gourmet combinations at you, so there isn’t one particular dish to name here. However, just know that once you have your first bite of their tacos, there’s no going back.

3313 Hyland Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Mama D’s Italian Kitchen
Pink Sauce
Winner: Best pasta

Honestly, forget every kind of Italian pasta you’ve ever tasted, and try Mama D’s pink sauce. It’s out of this world and completely in its own because it’s nothing like the marinara you usually get, or the alfredo: it’s actually a perfectly balanced ratio of both. The best part is the endless garlic bread that you get and the dimly lit setting of the restaurant. If you’re trying to plan a nice date on a budget, this is the perfect spot to catch bite.

3012 Newport Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92663


Beach Hut Deli
Surfin’ Bird Sandwich
Winner: Best sandwich

One bite out of this sandwich, and nothing will taste as good as that moment. If you’re a wheat bread-lover, try to opt out of that urge for now and go for the regular bread. It’s seriously amazing and will make all the difference in your experience. The Surfin’ Bird comes with turkey, avocado, bacon, mayo, mustard, dill pickles, tomatoes, red onions, Greek peppers and more. With that many ingredients in one mega-healthy concoction, this sandwich will be hard to miss. All the sandwiches here are so huge, the bread can hardly hold everything together.

19025 Beach Blvd
Huntington Beach, CA 92648


SHOR American Seafood Grill
Scallops and Sea Bass
Winner: Best seafood

Come here and get Newport Beach’s freshest seafood. Located in the Hyatt Regency hotel, SHOR American Seafood Grill cooks up this sea bass dish that is an absolute must-have. Order some scallops to go with it too, because they’re both made to perfection. The seafood here is so fresh, SHOR will have you tasting the bottom of the sea. To go with the amazing food, you’ll feel like you can go on vacation right down the street because the Hyatt resort will whisk you away to a faraway island resort.

1107 Jamboree Rd
Newport Beach, CA 92660


Sea Legs Wine Bar
Filet Mignon and Chorizo Hash
Winner: Best dinner

We guarantee you that the dish to try here is the filet mignon; everyone goes crazy for it. It comes with a mashed potato cake, grilled asparagus and a shiny red wine demi glaze. You can also order the chorizo hash, which is served in a cast iron skillet with pork chorizo, fingerling potatoes, roasted corn and gooey white cheddar topped with a fried egg. Everything about the look of this will have you grabbing for a bite.

21022 Beach Blvd
Huntington Beach, CA 92648