Stiff drinks, red meat, and twice-baked potatoes in a scruffy, windowless location with no visibility—a successful formula since 1958. This is one of the only places that still includes soup and salad with the entree and still has semi -reasonabe prices for meat and fish dishes.
2652 N. Tustin St., Orange, 714 282-1274, thetartanroom.com
O.C.’s second-oldest German restaurant offers sauerkraut, wurst platters, grilled elk, and potato pancakes. Popular for Schwaben breakfast omelets, too.
2525 E. Ball Road, Anaheim, 714-5209500, jagerhaus.net
Trabuco Oaks Steakhouse
Hefty, mesquite-grilled steaks in the county’s remaining wilderness, resisting change since 1968.
20782 Trabuco Oaks Drive, Trabuco Canyon, 949-586-0722, trabucooakssteakhouse.com
Taiko Japanese Restaurant
Packing them in since the 1980s, the proprietors are known for asking reviewers to ignore them, lest the lines get longer.
14775 Jeffrey Road, Irvine, 949-559-7190
Before there was Laguna Woods, there was Leisure World and homey breakfasts at Snooty Fox. No booze, no Wi-Fi.
23028 Lake Forest Drive, Laguna Hills, 949-770-7761