The master grillers and stir-fryers of East Winds Asian Cuisine craft a medley of Asian flavors with a menu boasting a variety of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes. Having so many influences and cuisines coming out of one kitchen lets the restaurant please picky palates with dishes such as honey-walnut shrimp, barbecue spareribs, and japanese vegetable curry. The friendly wait staff can make informed wine and sake recommendations and answer questions about dishes or the history of the chopstick versus popsicle-stick pop-art era.
Pan of Asia introduces the vibrant colors and intense flavors of beloved dishes from across China and Southeast Asia. Like the cafeteria at the United Nations, Pan of Asia’s menu spans a continent’s worth of delicacies, from spicy-sweet Thai basil with tender morsels of tofu and chicken, to exotic Malaysian curries, to several crowd-pleasing Chinese dishes. Guests can sink their teeth into salt and pepper shrimp, citrus fried chicken, or spicy garlic eggplant. And for dessert, Pan of Asia finishes meals with green-tea or mango ice, or sweet dim sum.
The decor of Habiba Abdi’s restaurant, Gendershe Cuisine, is not ostentatious—she tries to impress the four senses besides sight. The aroma of all-halal meats marinating in signature spices tints the air, heralding Somali entrees such as the hilib ari, a goat dish that OC Weekly deemed "gamy and glorious." Mango lassis cool the tongue with a mix of almond milk, fruit pulp, orange juice, and vanilla. Pieces of bur—somali fry bread baked onsite—engage the hands, encouraging patrons to soak up lingering sauces with their dough instead of a friend's shirtsleeve. All the while, guests absorb the sizzling sounds of salmon and tilapia being sautéed in the kitchen's special "mother sauce."
Named after the Somalian city where Abdi’s father grew up, Gendershe Cuisine is an outpost of a kind of cooking rarely found in the United States, much less Orange County. Even so, Somalia’s rich culinary tradition—influenced over the years by Italy, India, and surrounding East African cultures—means that many dishes may look familiar even to the uninitiated. Crispy, triangular sambusas are relatives to indian samosas, ethiopian injera pops up beneath stews of beef, chicken, goat, or fish, and spaghetti and lasagna lie under sauces subtly spiked with Somali herbs and spices.
The Flame Broiler founder Young Lee found himself eating out of paper bags quite often. His career required a great deal of travel during the day, which made eating from fast food restaurants a habit. Unfortunately, his options for healthier, quick-service fare left him craving something different. In 1995, he took matters into his own hands and opened the first Flame Broiler location, serving Korean-style slices of beef and chicken that were free of dairy, trans-fat, HFCS, and added MSG. He didn't just take away harmful ingredients, though?he also added his signature Flame Broiler marinade and sauce, beds of white and brown rice, and slices of crisp vegetables. This more nutritious take on fast food caught on, as diners can now eat at 135 Flame Broiler locations in four different states and two parallel universes.
Settle down with delicious dumplings and other Chinese favorites at Forbidden City in Long Beach. You won't find any low-fat fare here, though, so leave some room to indulge. With Forbidden City's wide selection of refreshments available, you can tap into the drink menu early in the evening. Got kids? No problem at Forbidden City! The restaurant is a fantastic spot for families to dine together. For your next big bash, consider hosting at Forbidden City, a great space for big groups with a private room to boot. The patio tables outside of Forbidden City are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
Forbidden City welcomes laid-back diners, so there's no pressure to throw on heels or a tie. Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too. The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Forbidden City to your next party or event.
Parking is available in the adjacent lot, as is valet.
Prices tend towards the moderate side, with the average tab at Forbidden City running under $30 per person. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
If you're craving tasty Chinese cuisine, China Star Express in Long Beach is sure to hit the spot. Whether you're gluten-free or just health-conscious, China Star Express serves a number of dishes that are good for the diet. Have a few picky young eaters in the family? Not a problem at China Star Express, where the food and ambience are perfect for family dining. China Star Express' outdoor seating is available during the warmer months.
Casual dining at its best, China Star Express customers are free to enjoy themselves in jeans and a T-shirt. If you're hoping to make a smashing impression at your next soiree, you can also have China Star Express cater for you. For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your grub to go.
The super-affordable fare at China Star Express will definitely make your budget happy too — prices are almost always under $15.