Orange Coast Magazine



Pig, Glorious Pig

From snout to tail, the tastiest dishes in Orange County


Do these golden curls dipped in fiery mayo taste like crunchy bacon or chewy chicharrones? Either way, chef Craig Brady deliciously transforms ear leather into a snack you can’t quit. Haven Gastropub, 190 S. Glassell St., Old Towne Orange, 714-221-0680,

Dense with flavor but meltingly tender from gentle smoking, these jowls earn howls of joy thanks to chef Daniel Hyatt’s genius for teaming them with seasonal complements. Juliette Kitchen & Bar, 1000 Bristol St. N., Newport Beach, 949-752-5854,

Intrepid chef-owner Dave Emery's dark sugar-cane cure makes this indisputable pig candy, and the aromatic bourbon sauce adds simpatico caramel notes. Sol del Sur Bistro, 31115 Rancho Viejo Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949-487-5225,

Butterflied pork butt, rolled with fresh rosemary, fennel, and garlic, then roasted and sliced into fluffy ciabatta makes a sandwich that has no equal in O.C. One bite delivers an indelible culinary moment. Paninoteca Maggio, 195 E. City Place Drive, Santa Ana, 714-426-8095,

Complex and rich, this marbleized Iberico cured ham hails from Spain’s prized black-footed pigs. Chef Steven Mary lets it shine in thin rosy slices on a deluxe charcuterie platter along with other meats and cheeses imported from España. Catal Restaurant, Downtown Disney, 1580 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 714-774-4442,

Okinawans do the pig proud, so this twee hole in the wall offers many porcine delights. The softened trotters swirled with chewy soba in rich, salty broth are hard to resist. Habuya, 14215 Red Hill Ave., Tustin, 714-832-3323


Inspired by the success of Haven Gastropub’s whole roasted suckling-pig meals, executive chef Greg Daniels thinks big with his new six-course Head-to-Tail Dinners. The feasts offer locally grown organic seasonal ingredients for what Daniels describes “an exciting adventure.” Pricing starts at $125 per person, requires two weeks’ notice, and a party of eight or more.


Read our 2013 Best New Restaurants here

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue.

Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here.

More on 'Center of the Universe'


CRIME: O.C. Confidential

Our "Center of the Universe" story about seduction and a serial killer is being read all over the world right now. Click here for the story.

 For more true crime coverage, check out:
  • Murder, Love & Redemption Everyone knows how Manson girl Susan Atkins helped take lives. But few know the story of the life she helped save. 
  • Sandy Murphy's Complicated Life Convicted of murder in 2000 and branded as Las Vegas’ most notorious femme fatale, she resurfaced a decade later as the happily married owner of a Laguna Beach art gallery. 
  • Murder. Just Because. One of the most loathsome killers in Orange County talks. Without remorse. And that’s the scariest thing of all.
  • The Private Struggle of a Public Woman To Orange County society, Debbie Simon had it all—beauty, wealth, family, friends, and a landmark Newport Beach address. But in the desperate months before her death, she lost what mattered most.

California has more national parks than any other state: nine. Use our guides, outlines below, to plan a memorable visit.

READ NOW: Serial Killer Seduction

Our "Center of the Universe" story is being read all over the world right now. Click here for the story.


Who Did Randy Kraft Seduce?

Current photos of author Jay Roberts.


A Fact-Checker's Journey to a 1980 Afternoon

Our intrepid intern tracks down the details in Roberts' story.


Why Isn't Randy Kraft Dead?

Our original piece on one of California's deadliest and most depraved serial killers. 


Editor's Letter, October 2013

Our editor considers "Center of the Universe" to be compelling—and incredibly frightening. Click above to find out why.