Off the 55: Four Spots to Visit in Santa Ana

Two newcomers and two local institutions make this busy intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Main Street in Santa Ana worth a stop.

  We’re blessed with a wide variety of customers, from locals who have been coming here for generations to people who visit each time they’re in town.” —Ralph Dibernardo, owner of Rafael’s Pizza

rafael’s pizza
Diners at this cozy Italian restaurant dig into pizzas made with hand-tossed dough, such as Rafael’s Special, with pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, red onions, green bell peppers, and bacon ($8.30 for an individual pie). Other options include antipasto salad ($6.75) and meatball subs ($6.75). 128 W. MacArthur Blvd., 714-751-6474,

Braizen Sexy Sandwiches
The name grabs attention, but the sandwiches keep customers coming back to this restaurant, which opened in February. Try the Belly Banh Mi ($11): pork belly glazed with a sweet soy sauce, with pickled radishes, carrots, jalapenos, and cilantro. 31 E. MacArthur Crescent, 657-900-2040,

south coast barbershop
Barbershop chairs along a wall of mirrors give the place an old‑fashioned quality, while polished concrete floors, high‑beamed ceilings, and pendulum globe lights make it feel modern. Walk-ins are welcome, barbers are friendly, and the price is right: Most cuts are $20. 118 W. MacArthur Blvd., 714-760-4225

clemente seafood
It’s not fancy, but this local favorite earns raves for its Latin American seafood dishes, which range from shrimp in garlic butter to fish tacos to spicy shrimp quesadillas ($12). Don’t miss the house specialty: ceviche tostadas, made with shrimp, octopus, imitation crab, or a mix ($10 to $11). 124 W. MacArthur Blvd., 714-556-2815

All photos by Melissa Valladares

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