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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This Wu-Tang Clan Pop-Up Dinner Was Nothin’ to F#!K With

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I’ve been looking forward to Chef Linh Nguyen’s Wu-Tang Clan pop up at Mesa Lounge since he announced it earlier this summer. I grew up listening to the Wu, Shaolin’s finest rap collective, and can still rap the entirety of the song “Triumph”—though a few lines get a little hazy these days.

The same goes for Nguyen, who might as well have come from the 37th Chamber. His love for these beats and rhymes goes back to when he was 10 years old. Inspired by music and memories, Nguyen—along with Ashley Guzman, his former cohort at the North Left, and current Pastry Queen at Irenia—delved deep into their catalogue to deliver 6 fresh cuts complete with drink pairings.

Nguyen, who is Foodbeast’s house chef, told us he’s about to become Executive Chef again somewhere in Santa Ana. If this is the kind of creativity he’s producing, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Orange County next.  … Read more…