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!
Locating a better-than-average brunch menu can be difficult in a city historically known for chain options. But when a restaurant not only recruits the right chef, but gives him some creative freedom, delicious things tend to happen. In this case, a kitchen executive incorporated some of his culture into the menu at EATS Kitchen inside Hotel Irvine.
Served during Sunday brunch service, Jason Montelibano’s homestyle entrees give a nod to his Filipino heritage. Chicken adobo over steamed rice is sweet, salty and comforting, yet so simple. Silog (breakfast combo) choices are either steak or pork, accompanied by that familiar sunny egg that you want to break over a mound of garlic fried rice. If hot soup in hot weather appeals to you, order the lugaw— a ginger and scallion flavored broth containing soft-boiled egg, bits of fried garlic and pulled chicken. But be sure to arrive closer to 10 a.m. than 2 p.m., as families start rolling in after Sunday service.
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
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.