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4 Insider Eats

Emma Reith | January 2, 2018 | Feature Features

O.C.'s top chefs serve up the scoop on their favorite under-the-radar restaurants.
Puesto executive creative chef Katy Smith favors Japanese fare.

1. Cafe Artist Restaurant
The late Dr. Anthony Nguyen introduced Vaca’s Amar Santana to this cafe in Garden Grove, “a little hole-in-the-wall that is so good” for Vietnamese Cajun-inspired fare. Don’t miss the Artist Steak—a rib-eye topped with toasted garlic. And then there’s the spicy-crunchy chicken gizzards. 714.839.2200

2. Izakaya Hachi
The Costa Mesa eatery is a steady stop for culinarian Daniel Hyatt of Juliette Kitchen + Bar. “Izakaya has so many options [that] I can always find something I am in the mood to eat,” he says. You’ll find him ordering the adventurous motsunabe—beef intestine with cabbage, nira chives and noodles. 657.231.6566

3. Izakaya Honda-Ya
It’s all about authentic Japanese cuisine for Puesto executive creative chef Katy Smith, who heads to the Tustin izakaya for homestyle comfort dishes. Dan dan noodles, seafood yakitori and the Niku Mix Special tickle her taste buds every time. 714.832.0081

4. Three Seventy Common
This Laguna Beach watering hole is a must for Harvest’s Kyle St. John. There, you’ll find him sipping an Old-Fashioned and buying his brother a drink via the in-house chalkboard system. Insider tip: Snag a seat at the bar overlooking the kitchen to chat with the chefs and catch a view of all the action. 949.494.8686


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