Neighborhoods: Spiffed Up Shopping in Irvine

Han’s Oriental Market
Refrigeration cases brim with Asian specialties, including kimchee, dumplings, and buns. But the real draw is at the meat counter: fresh-cut shabu shabu beef and pork ($7 to $20 per pound), ready for the hot pot. 14210 Culver Drive, 949-552-6924

Think of it as Japan’s dollar store, where handy items such as kitchen tools and desk supplies share space with bizarre trinkets (plush frog cellphone holders!) and porcelain tea sets. And everything is $1.50, unless otherwise marked. 14280 Culver Drive, 949-786-1302

Don’t try to choose between the fresh gelato-filled mochi ($2) and Beard Papa’s flaky cream puffs ($2.25), pumped full of sweet custard. Get one of each—a green tea mochilato and a classic vanilla bun—because they’re both too good to miss. 14310 Culver Drive, 949-559-1116

It’s worth the effort to find this restaurant, tucked in the corner of the mall, for its generous Indian lunch buffet ($10) and a la carte dosas, huge rice-and-lentil crepes stuffed with potatoes and peas ($10 to $12). 14450 Culver Drive, 949-651-1144,

Photographs by Priscilla Iezzi

This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue.

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