Orange County Business Journal

Fifi Chao is a chef, lecturer, author, educator, radio personality and publisher of Chao's Dinesty, a private subscription restaurant, wine and travel newsletter. She has been reviewing local restaurants for the Business Journal since 1990.

Recent Stories

Chef Built Beloved Restaurant on Natural Talent

Mixes Ethnic Food Smarts, Hunger for Better Dining

Our now legendary Orange County lady chef and restaurateur Zov Karamardian set out to introduce the dining public to Mediterranean food 27 years ago.

Upscale Bars Offer Comfort, Sociable Dining Alternative

Claim Center Stage With Inviting Decor, Food, Drink

Having a glass of wine with friends is no longer the cutting-edge trend. We are now having cocktails.

Ode to Local Pioneer; New Twists in Familiar Places

Larry Cano Left Stamp On Ever-Dynamic Food Scene

We recently lost Larry Cano, a true icon not only in Orange County dining but a major player in introducing America to sit-down Mexican dining and cuisine at a sophistication level way above the familiar taco genre.

New Option at Spectrum, Old Standby in Anaheim

High Marks for Del Frisco; Jägerhaus Back on Radar

Del Frisco’s Grille opened recently at Irvine Spectrum.

Take It From Tommy Bahama: Follow-Up Matters

Take It From Tommy Bahama: Follow-Up Matters

This tidbit about a restaurant doing it right, doing what hospitality is really all about, seems like such a good way to start the column.

Upscale Dining Weekend, New Eateries on OC’s Plate

Famed Italian Chef Stars At Festival This Weekend

There’s a very special event happening at the end of this week.

OC’s First Din Tai Fung and Other Worthy Food Adventures

Chinese Dumpling House Delights With Each Morsel

Din Tai Fung, the famed Chinese dumpling house, opened two weeks ago at South Coast Plaza (entrance on the upper level next to Sears). I surmise that, having heard the buzz about its international reputation, the crowds will flow.

Café Tu Tu Tango Still Tempts Taste Buds for Less

Spanish Menu Served Up in Boho Indy Style

People always ask restaurant journalists: “What is your favorite restaurant?”

Dining on the Latin Side Vibrant, Tasty, Unexpected

Traditional, Progressive Eateries Serve Up Magia

This is the first time I have rounded up a group of Mexican or Latin-themed restaurants for Fifi’s Best. There are lists of the Best Tacos, the Best Margaritas, the Best Mexican Restaurants, and more in so many publications and online. I’m taking another avenue.

Recent Changes Stir Orange County Fine-Dining Pot

Some Very Good, Another Remains to Be Seen

Restaurants keep opening, many of them good, but when we spent time at the new Watertable in the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Hotel & Spa, we realized dish by dish that there are still culinary frontiers being conquered and ways to set the bar much higher. It has been one of the most eye-opening, palate-pleasing forays into fine dining on a comfort-food level that I’ve come across in a long time.

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