Anaheimlich Maneuvers, OR Cuatro Gueros Locos, OR Four White Guys with a Hyundai
August 22, 2011 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Going to Anaheim for a convention, need suggestions on things to see, buy & ingest in the evenings.

Four programmers with a rental car and time to kill. Similar questions have cropped up before, but the answers have been sparse; maybe by adding some specifics we can improve the information.

0. We're only there for weekdays (as far as I can tell, this rules out the Bruery taproom.)

1. We are from the high plains, so I am pushing to get us down to the ocean at least once. Assume we only get one evening to try to make it to the beach; what's our best option for an all-in-one toes-in-the-sand-plus-cocktails experience?

2. Any oddball or really nice museums?

3. Gastropubs? I found the "Bruery Provisions", which looks interesting (and the little blips on Google Maps suggest it's sitting in the middle of a strip which might support some bar-hopping food action).

4. Microbreweries other than (or instead of) Noble Ale Works, Anaheim Brewing or Bruery?
posted by Rat Spatula to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You will be closest to Huntington Beach for a really nice cocktail and toes in the sand kinda evening. Check out the Huntington Pier. Duke's is right on the sand and pretty much exactly what you're looking for or for the ultimate tiki experience, Don the Beachcomber.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:46 PM on August 22, 2011

Best answer: Not sure what kind of vibe you're looking for, but Downtown Santa Ana (aka the Artist's District) is pretty cool. There are some neat galleries there, and it's close to the Bower's museum. Quite a few restaurants, but the feel is kind of young and hip.

Along the beach route, I'd recommend going to Taco Tuesday at El Ranchito. They have beach side locations in Newport and Huntington Beach.

Finally, you may want to check out Steel Head Brewery in Irvine. I haven't been there, but I always meant to when I was living in Orange County.

Good luck!
posted by too bad you're not me at 2:05 PM on August 22, 2011

Best answer: Haven Gastropub in Orange sounds like your cup of tea.
posted by shesbookish at 3:55 PM on August 22, 2011

Best answer: If you like seafood, check out The Fish Company in Los Alamitos. Other good eateries in the Los Alamitos/Cypress area include The Katella Deli and Sweetee Thai (ignore the cutesy name).

The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana frequently has interesting special exhibits.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:16 PM on August 22, 2011

Best answer: If you're headed down the beach anyway, you might want to check out Huntington Beach Beer Company while you're there. (Hint: If you're looking to save a little money too, HBBC usually has a deal running on for gift certificates.)
posted by platinum at 5:25 PM on August 22, 2011

Best answer: Nthing Huntington Beach for your seaside destination. As a downtown HB local, I can recommend Duke's and Sandy's Beach Grill (Sandy's is literally steps away from the sand). Tuesday night is "Beach City Nights" (aka Local's Night). Main St. is blocked off to cars between PCH and Palm and becomes a street fair/market scene with musicians and other cool things to see. All the Main St. restaurants (something like 25 of 'em) are open, so if you cant get into Sandy's, you'll have lots of other choices, including an El Ranchito. HB Brew Co is excellent and usually has a lively crowd.

A little closer to where you'll be staying is Downtown Disney and Anaheim GardenWalk. Downtown Disney is free to get in, just remember to get your parking validated at Brennan's, Storyteller's or the Napa Rose Restaurant (highly recommended). Anaheim Gardenwalk is smaller, but without the crowds.

Good luck, have fun and welcome to the beach!
posted by Cookbooks and Chaos at 7:52 PM on August 22, 2011

Best answer: Also, The Olde Ship in Santa Ana is a gastropub worth the drive.
posted by Cookbooks and Chaos at 8:59 PM on August 22, 2011

Best answer: I heartily second Haven Gastropub. I've heard good things about Bruxie in Orange.

Downtown Santa Ana is a gem.

You have a couple of options for food/drink and mild OC gentrification at the Crosby, Lola Gaspar, or my favorite, the Gypsy Den. All these are within walking distance of each other and lots of parking. They all are around the Santora. If you are there on the first Saturday of the evening, you will have the downtown Santa Ana arts walk. This is to me, the closest OC gets to approximating Downtown Los Angeles.

I also recommend King's Harbor Seafood. This is a Chinese restaurant in a Vietnamese neighborhood in Garden Groove. Order the House Special Lobster over yee-mein. Please don't tell anyone else about this place. In fact, forget what you just read.

Slater's 50/50 - Burgers by design. The house patty is made from half beef and half ground bacon. Holy mother bacon was that a tasty burger. Also, delightful beer menu. (Protip: Get your burger wrapped in lettuce so you can drink a large beer (or two) with less carb guilt.

I also recommend heading to Matt Haughey (and my) home town of Placentia to visit the Bruery - which usually has a food truck parked in front of it in the evenings. Go taste beer and eat food from a truck, all while in a bland commercial office park. It is more interesting than it sounds. Usually, because local beer enthusiasts will be around.

Further down the 57 North, you can find Taps Fish House in lovely Brea, This is a chophouse that also brews many fine beers.

I really hope you like beer, as I read the above, there is a definite skew.

Also, Mexican food.

I recommend two places:

El Farolito Jr. - this place is a taco bar. During the day its a regular Mexican restaurant. The magic happens at 5pm. Their tacos are the best in the area I've found.

The original El Farolito, on Bradford and Center in Placentia. I rarely go because if I am in Placentia, and I want home style Mexican food, I go to my mother's - but many of those who are Mexican-motherless will often be seen waiting outside El Farolito, and it is evidently worth the wait.

Placentia's legitimate, taxable economy may entirely hinge on this one restaurant. Granted it is a small town, but go one street over (Main and Center) and note all the 2 and 3 story houses that restaurant has built for Sandoval family. The Sandovals acknowledge this with a charming sign in the El Farolito main parking lot.
posted by psergio at 12:30 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I really should have read your question before I wrote out all of mine. I'm glad you dudes like beer.

Recommend Karl Strauss in Costa Mesa for more beer loving.

My beer loving little brother is constantly raving about Bootlegger's Brewery. It is open on Thursday and Fridays 4pm to 9pm.
posted by psergio at 12:36 AM on August 23, 2011

Response by poster: My stein runneth over. Thanks a million you guys.
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:57 AM on August 23, 2011

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