4 Spots for Multicultural Barbecue in O.C.

Spots serving Asian and Asian fusion barbecue are on fire.
Photograph courtesy of Heritage Barbecue

Heritage Barbecue has been O.C.’s gold standard for Texas-style barbecue since its 2020 debut. An open secret: off-menu barbecue specials such as brisket bánh mì, pastrami torta, and pork-belly musubi. The outdoor spot’s recent collaboration with Khói BBQ brought brisket pho and burnt-ends panang curry—both using pitmaster Daniel Castillo’s preferred white-oak-smoked Creekstone Farms Black Angus Prime brisket. There was also bánh xèo pulled-pork sizzling crepes and a line around the block. 31721 CAMINO CAPISTRANO, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, heritagecraftbbq.com

Kyung Bok Kung, the first outpost in the U.S. of a luxury South Korean chain, showcases Korean barbecue and stellar meats served by a personable staff in elegant digs; patrons come dressed up. Grilled options include galbi and Miyazaki A5 wagyu chuck flap. Several tiers of Han-jeongsik, elaborate feasts of a dozen or more courses with marinated short ribs and other grilled meats, are available with one-day notice. 7801 BEACH BLVD., BUENA PARK, 714-888-4948, kyungbokkungusa.com

Kra Z Kai’s BBQ, inside the Rodeo 39 food hall, presents the area’s only Laotian-style barbecue. It pairs chicken wings or thighs, short ribs, and “beef jerky”—thin strips of marinated, deep-fried beef—with sticky rice intended to be eaten by hand and a soy-sesame or papaya salad. Star of the show: Lao sausage, made with pork, onion, scallion, and lemongrass. The chile-cilantro-lime sauce is killer, too. The BBQ Mix includes all but the beef jerky. 12885 S. BEACH BLVD., STANTON, 714-379-7026

Trendsetter Tsuruhashi opened nearly 20 years ago. The Japanese barbecue hot spot, a family-run post in a strip mall, attracts loyal fans for grill-it-yourself dinners featuring elevated meats such as USDA Prime and Miyazaki A5 wagyu ribeye. Four styles of the popular tongue and American Kobe beef are offered. Family combos with ribeye, skirt steak, boneless short rib, and marinated chicken are served on weeknights. Expect a line any night—or reserve the day before. 18798 BROOKHURST ST., FOUNTAIN VALLEY, 714-593-8393, tsuruhashirestaurant.com

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