OC’s Greatest Destinations to Eat 2020

Chinese food items in Orange County comes in many guises, from the Beijing-influenced cooking at Peking in Westminster to the tongue-numbing, chili and peppercorn-laced hot pots of Sichuan Perception in Tustin or Meizhou Dongpo in Irvine. In the meantime, there’s a purveyor of American-type kung pao rooster and sweet-and-sour pork in just about every single community. And when Irvine is the epicenter of OC’s assorted Chinese food items universe, there are excellent options all all-around. These are the 10 best Chinese restaurants of 2020. And fittingly for the pandemic period, all of these sites also give takeout or shipping.

1. Peking Restaurant

Hope the support to be bossy but sweet. Chef Jerry Chen’s Beijing-inspired foodstuff comes out quick and warm: beef-and-scallion pancakes, honey walnut shrimp, country rooster, pan-fried dumplings, and inexperienced beans with minced pork. 8566 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, 714-893-3020.

Pan-fried dumplings at Peking Cafe in Westminster (Picture by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

2. Din Tai Fung

Even though it was established in Taiwan in the 1950s, Californians have extensive regarded as this chain to be 1 of our possess, and the place at South Coastline Plaza is easily one of the brand’s swankiest outposts. People can’t get ample of DTF’s Shanghai-design soup dumplings termed xiao lengthy bao. The shumai dumplings are remarkable, too, as is the chicken noodle soup. South Coastline Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714-549-3388, dintaifungusa.com

Pork xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung in Costa Mesa (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Pork xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung in Costa Mesa (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Sign up/SCNG)

3. Meizhou Dongpo

Sichuan has turn out to be the dominant theme in the area Chinese foodstuff scene, and there is no superior trafficker of mouth-numbing peppercorn and throat-searing chilies than Meizhou Dongpo. If you like it extremely-spicy, purchase the royal hot pot — a boiling cauldron of shrimp, beef, mushrooms, quail eggs, lotus root and Spam. On the tamer side, the dan dan noodles are the finest instance of Sichuan avenue-type noodles in Orange County. 15363 Culver Travel, Irvine, 949-433-5686, meizhoudongpoca.com

Country style pork at Meizhou Dongpo in Irvine (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Place model pork at Meizhou Dongpo in Irvine (Photograph by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Sign up/SCNG)
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4. J Zhou

Lunchtime here is exactly where you’ll locate the most effective dim sum in O.C. The beef cheung enjoyable (steamed rice paper roll) is wonderful. And you won’t locate much better sesame noodles than this large heap. Arrive dinnertime, the menu shifts towards household-design feasts with choices these types of as full Peking duck, total soy-sauce chickens, roasted suckling pigs and much more. The District, 2601 Park Ave., Tustin, 714-258-8833, jzhouorientalcuisine.internet

Pan-fried noodles at J Zhou in Tustin (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Pan-fried noodles at J Zhou in Tustin (Image by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

5. Sichuan Perception

Start with the cumin toothpick lamb. Then transfer on to the “finger-licking spicy crab,” which comes with plastic gloves. The tea-smoked pork ribs are fantastic, as well, buried beneath a flurry of fried garlic and dried red chilies. And there is virtually nothing a big bowl of Leshan-model beef soup won’t treatment. 13816 Crimson Hill Ave., Tustin, 714-505-9070, sichuanimpressions.com

Cumin toothpick lamb at Sichuan Impression in Tustin (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Cumin toothpick lamb at Sichuan Effect in Tustin (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Sign-up/SCNG)

6. Yang Ming Back garden

The entrepreneurs closed their unique cafe in Orange last 12 months and moved to a lesser place (much much less extravagant) in Villa Park, opening proper ahead of the pandemic hit. The menu even now focuses on vintage California-design and style Chinese. The crispy Sichuan beef with broccoli is excellent, as is the beef chow exciting. 17853 Santiago Blvd., Villa Park, 714-998-9500, yangminggarden.com

Crispy Sichuan beef, string beans and garlic spinach from the new Yang Ming Garden in Villa Park (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Crispy Sichuan beef, string beans and garlic spinach from the new Yang Ming Backyard in Villa Park (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

7. Ta Chen

The indication in the window advertising and marketing “Szechuan and Mandarin cuisine” predates the present-day Sichuan trend by 30 or 40 several years, so really don’t come below looking for mouth-numbing warmth. In its place, aim on the house specialty “dry braised beef,” a sultry mix of sweet and savory with a thin, nearly-brittle texture as opposed to something you are going to find elsewhere. The mu shu pork rolls are as large as burritos. 6082 Chapman Ave., Backyard garden Grove, 714-892-6994, tachenrestaurant.com

Kung pao chicken, fried rice, egg rolls and snow peas from Ta Chen in Garden Grove (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Kung pao rooster, fried rice, egg rolls and snow peas from Ta Chen in Backyard garden Grove (Image by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

8. China Moon

No one particular else will come close to China Moon when it comes to legitimate, heartfelt hospitality, which is what genuinely sets this place apart. The kitchen area serves common Taiwanese American delicacies – sesame rooster, salt-and-pepper calamari, crispy egg rolls with spicy mustard — that’s greater than most. 30001 Town Heart Drive, Laguna Niguel, 949-249-6868, chinamoonrestaurant.com

Spicy eggplant, sesame chicken and New York style egg rolls (takeout) from China Moon in Laguna Niguel (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Spicy eggplant, sesame rooster and New York fashion egg rolls (takeout) from China Moon in Laguna Niguel (Picture by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Sign-up/SCNG)

9. A&J

Most people today know A&J as the spot that will make the very best Taiwanese beef noodle soup in Orange County. Pre-pandemic, men and women would stand in line for hours for this soup, even in summer months. Also, just as fantastic as the beef soup: Taiwanese dan dan noodles with peanut sauce and minced pork. 14805 Jeffrey Highway, Irvine, 949-786-3585, aj-cafe.com

Tawainese-style dandan noodles at A&J Restaurant in Irvine (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Tawainese-design and style dandan noodles at A&J Restaurant in Irvine (Image by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Sign up/SCNG)

Brenda J. Quinlan

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