Behold the beginning of our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2016 listicle! Every day through the publication of our Best Of 2016 issue (and sometimes, twice a day), we’ll be bringing you our favorite dishes across Orange County, leading up to the best in the land. Enjoy!
Jose Piaggio is to meat in Orange County what Garret Anderson is to baseball: nationally overlooked, locally unappreciated, but forever consistent and secretly great. Whether it’s his hefty Tres Amigos burritos, his perfect choripan, flaky empanadas—all of it—the entrees served from his Piaggio on Wheels luxe lonchera always satisfy yet are somehow humble about it.
Consider the chimichurri fries. All it is is fries, meat, a bit of sauce, and chimichurri. But here is something where the sum of its parts are technically greater than the whole, yet together transform into something even better. The fries are the vehicle to Piaggio’s meats: fatty pulled pork, luscious steak. Then comes the chimichurri: not too oily, strong on the parsley, addictive and sprightly. I usually don’t care for fries, but Piaggio’s chimichurri fries makes me eat five trays of the stuff…to start.
80. Torta Cubana at Cancun Juice
81. Adobo Bowl at Irenia 
82. Garlic Noodles at Krave Asian Fusion
83. Broccolini at SeaSalt WoodFire Grill
84. Spicy Tuna Roll at Yard House
85. Amber Roll at Orange Roll and Sushi
86. Frito Chili Cheeseburger at Burger Parlor
87. Maui Sunrise at The Original Banzai Bowls 
88. Meals from The Performance Kitchen
89. Pizza-Sized Quesadilla at Los Sanchez
90. Filipino Brunch at EATS Kitchen And Bar 
91. Mexican Chocolate at the Pie Hole 
92. Biscuits at James Republic 
93. Mushroom Flatbread with Kale and Kumquat Salad at Lemonade
94. Mexican-Style Gelatins from Santa Ana’s Gelatina Goddess 
95. Hot Pastrami Caesar Salad at Bruxie 
96. Jalapeño Pupusas at Las Cazuelas 
97. Meatball Sliders at Fresh Brothers 
98. Buffalo Cauliflower at Mead’s Green Door Cafe
 99. Raindrop Cake at Sunmerry Bakery
 100. Doughrito at Surfin’ Donuts