The HKA office is lucky enough to be located in one of the tastiest towns in Orange County: Tustin (near Old Town, specifically). Not only is Tustin graced with an incredible chili cook-off once a year, we happen to have access to a world of culinary adventures all within a 5-minute drive from our little office on Yorba street. Whether we’re craving Mexican, Indian or Japanese cuisine, we’ve got it at our fingertips.
There are so many great spots to eat around here, but I’ve rounded up only a handful. (Okay… there are eight. This is as far as I’m able to narrow it down, and even then I’m having to split it up into two posts!)
I drove by it countless times and put it on my list of lunch places “to check out,” but it wasn’t until Linda developed a legitimate addiction to Full Moon’s tempura udon that I actually stepped inside. Full Moon is everything I look for in a Japanese/sushi lunch joint — delicious, excellent quality AND affordable.
My top picks: the poke bowl (tuna marinated in a spicy dressing over rice), and the unagi (freshwater eel) bowl. Mari‘s (and actually everyone else’s) top pick: the poke bowl. Seriously. We are all addicted now.
This is another place we suspect sprinkles addictive substances on its dishes. Naan & Kabob serves up super flavorful Persian grub. Nicole and former HKA-er Anika probably frequented N&K at least weekly for its fish kabob and chicken barg (marinated grilled chicken skewer) lunch specials. My fave? Either the the chicken barg or the chicken koubideh (ground chicken and spices). It’s hard to decide, so the soltani is usually a good call (you get a skewer of each!) with rice pilaf, naan and a roasted tomato.
Alberta’s is your typical Mexican hole-in-the-wall, except it’s not a hole in the wall — it’s a standalone establishment. With a drive-thru. Maybe it’s not so typical.
Anyway, Alberta’s has been a go-to Mexican lunch spot for HKA-ers for years. Emily usually goes for a classic plate of taquitos and guacamole, while Hilary is a fan of the carnitas tacos. Personally, I’m hooked on Alberta’s super quesadilla — steak or chicken, sour cream, guacamole, beans and cheese all melting wonderfully together in a homemade flour tortilla. Apparently, the super “chips” (aka nachos) are also “lay-your-face-in-the-platter-good,” according to Emily.
And now for probably the healthiest lunch spot in this round-up: Ivy’s is mind-bogglingly delicious because its food is so GOOD, yet incredibly simple and healthy. I’m not exactly sure what it is about Ivy’s egg salad sandwich (with jack cheese, avocado and sunflower seeds) or chicken walnut sandwich that keeps me coming back for more. Fresh ingredients must be the key.
Robyn‘s top pick: 1/2 chicken walnut sandwich and 1/2 chicken and rice soup. Hilary’s: roasted chicken breast sandwich on wheat with sprouts.
More to come on HKA’s favorite places to spend our lunch hour in part 2!