Niyaz’s Top 20 O.C. Dishes of 2016

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My top food moment of 2016 … Zov winning the Golden Foodie Award for 2016 Chef of the Year!

It’s been a great year for Orange County foodies.

We have Lobster Fries, Spaghetti Pizza and Churro Loops; Top Chefs in the kitchen and new openings at such a rapid pace it’s hard to keep up. There’s been a lot of delicious dishes to try, and while I couldn’t get to them all, I did manage to enjoy my fair share of awesome plates.

Here’s the 20 best things I ate and drank this year!

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Vice Munchies on Chef Daniel Godinez’s Modern Mexican makeover at Anepalco

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Vice Munchies‘ writer Javier Cabral penned a piece recently on Chef Daniel Godinez’s Modern Mexican restaurant Anepalco, calling it “One of the best Mexican restaurants I’ve dined at in recent memory.” Godinez recently unveiled his new menu, which eschews the French-Mexican fusion he is known for to delve headfirst into Modern Mexican cuisine.

Godinez uses the techniques of today’s kitchen to recreate traditional Mexican dishes including chilaquiles, mole and more, while Head Bartender Cesar Cerrudo pours drinks that are as impressive as the food coming out of the kitchen. Cabral’s reporting goes deep into the different styles of Mexican cuisine in this highly-informative read:

“This kind of Mexican restaurant—one that breaks the mold of a typical Mexican joint—is called acocina de autor, a restaurant style that originated in Mexico when native cooks refused to follow their fancy French predecessors in order to focus on redefining what Mexican food can be. The soft-spoken Godinez has successfully achieved this at Anepalco in a way that no other Mexico-born chef has done before—and of all places, in Orange, California, just a few steps from the Interstate 5 freeway.

This kind of approach is not to be confused with the other Mexican food movement currently building steam in Southern California, known as Alta California cuisine (a term that dates back to 1822, when California was the territory of Mexico). Alta California cuisine evolved into a mix of traditional Mexican food, American comfort food, and the flavors and produce of California made famous by USA-born Mexican-American chefs like Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria just a few miles away, Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, Eddie Ruiz (formerly of Corazón y Miel), and Wesley Avila of Guerrilla Tacos.”

Click here to read Vice Munchies story on Anepalco in Orange.

Anepalco
3737 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange, Ca 92868