The 2nd Annual Golden Foodie Awards ceremony was held Sunday, September 29th at the luxurious Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach. Celebrity guests, top chefs, and bon vivants walked the “Gold Carpet,” honoring the crème de la crème of Orange County’s  gastronomical sphere of influence.

The brainchild of the Orange County Restaurant Association, led by Pam Waitt and Tricia Cook, the event is a showcase and celebration of the county’s vibrant and burgeoning epicurean scene.

Honorees and guests indulged in a lavish array of cuisines from renowned restaurants; sipped on crafted cocktails; and were regaled by the award show’s hostess, comedian Frances Dilorinzo.  Celebrity chefs like Duff Goldman (Food Network’s Ace of Cakes), food industry bigwigs like Neil Saavedra (KFI AM 640’s Fork Reporter), and television personality Vicki Gunvalson (Bravo’s Housewives of Orange County) presented awards in 26 categories for excellence in a variety of fields.

Fullerton was well-represented with nominations in the categories of Best Mexican Food; Best Pizza; Best Beer Line Up; Best Cocktails; and Best Mediterranean Cuisine. We proudly snagged two Golden Foodie statuettes with wins for Best Mexican Food and Best Cocktails. Well done, Matador Cantina and HopScotch Tavern!


The Golden Foodie Awards 2013 Nominees and Winners:

Mexican – Where do you get the best Mexican food?
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen
Matador Cantina
Sol Cocina
Winner of Best Mexican Cuisine: Matador Cantina

Vegetarian – Where do you go to get your favorite vegetarian cuisine?
118 Degrees
True Food Kitchen
Winner of Best Vegetarian Cuisine: True Food Kitchen

Pizza – An all time favorite. What restaurant or chef makes the best pizza?
Il Dolce Pizzeria
Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana
Pizzeria Ortica
Winner of Best Pizza: Pizzeria Ortica

Beer – What restaurant or bar offers the best beer line up?
Hopscotch Tavern
Provisions Market
Slater’s 50/50
Winner of Best Beer List: Provisions Market

American Cuisine – Whether it’s Classic or New American Cuisine, who makes the best?
The Ranch Restaurant
Savannah Chop House
Winner of Best American Cuisine: The Ranch Restaurant

Cocktail – What eatery, bar or restaurant offers the BEST in libations?
320 Main
Hopscotch Tavern
Uva Bar
Winner of Best Cocktail: Hopscotch Tavern

Italian – What restaurant or chef serves the most scrumptious Italian food?
Anaheim White House
Bruno’s Trattoria
Winner of Best Italian Cuisine: Antonello’s

French – What restaurant/chef makes the most divine French cuisine?
Brasserie Pascal
Marche Moderne
Pinot Provence
Winner of Best French Cuisine: Pinot Provence

Steak – Who makes the best?
Maro Wood Grill
Steakhouse 55
The Ranch
Winner of Best Steak: The Ranch Restaurant

Wine List – What establishment or restaurant offers the most superb vino selection?
Sea Legs
The Ranch Restaurant
The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar
Winner of Best Wine List: The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar

Bartender – Whether you call it; Bartender, Bar Chef, Cocktologist or Mixologist it really does not matter. All we want to know is, who is your favorite?
Dave Castillo, 320 Main
Forrest Taylor, Scott’s Restaurant & Bar
Koire Rogers, Arc Food & Libations
Winner of the Best Bartender Award: Dave Castillo, 320 Main

Indian Cuisine – Where do you go to get your favorite Indian Cuisine?
Clay Oven
Royal Khyber
Tamarind of London
Winner of Best Indian Cuisine: Clay Oven

Burger – Possibly the most iconic dish in America. Who makes your favorite burger?
Mick’s Karma Bar
Slater’s 50/50
Winner of the Best Burger Award: Mick’s Karma Bar

Asian – The best Asian Cuisine in Orange County is ? Tell us your favorite.
Anqi by Crustacean
Bamboo Bistro
Winner of Best Asian Cuisine: AnQi by Crustacean

Mediterranean – Tell us who you think makes the most delish Mediterranean food.
Kentro Greek Kitchen
Winner of Best Mediterranean Cuisine: LUCCA

Californian – It’s fresh and colorful! Who makes the best?
Tabu Grill
Winner of Best Californian Cuisine: SeaLegs

Superior Service Award – You know it when you receive it. What eatery consistently offers Superior Service?
Anaheim White House
Villa Roma
Winner of the Superior Service Award: Villa Roma

Seafood – What restaurant/chef serves the most fantastic seafood?
House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer
Wildfish Seafood Grille
Winner of Best Seafood: Slapfish

Sushi – Who has the best sushi in town? We need to know!
Bluefin Sushi
Riptide Rockin’ Sushi
Sushi Noguchi
Winner of Best Sushi: Sushi Noguchi

Tacos – These tacos are so great, they have serious cravability. Where do you get them?
Mi Casa
Sol Cocina
Winner of Best Taco: Sol Cocina

Most DELICIOUS Dessert – Sweet endings, who has the best?
Maro Wood Grill – Banana Bread Pudding
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – Beignets
LUCCA – S’mores in a Jar
Winner of the Most Delicious Dessert Award: Maro Wood Grill – Banana Bread Pudding

Happy Hour – Where is your favorite place to get happy? What eatery offers the best Happy Hour menu?
Mozambique Restaurant
Wildfish Seafood Grille
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Winner of Best Happy Hour: Wildfish Seafood Grille

Best OC Food Writer – You just can’t get enough of reading this food writer’s articles.
Anita Lau
Cathy Thomas
Minerva Thai
Winner of Best OC Food Writer Award: Cathy Thomas, Cathy Thomas Cooks

The 2013 Golden Chef Award
Chef Yvon Goetz – The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
Chef Alan Greeley – The Golden Truffle
Chef Michael Rossi – The Ranch Restaurant
Winner of the Golden Chef Award: Chef Alan Greeley, The Golden Truffle

The 2013 Golden Pastry Chef Award
Chef Rachel Marie Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery
Chef David Rossi of The Ranch Restaurant
Chef Amelia Marneau of Marche Moderne
Winner of the Golden Pastry Chef Award: Chef Rachel Marie Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery

Best New Restaurant Award
Bruno’s Trattoria in Brea
SeaLegs Wine Bar in Huntington Beach
Arc Food & Libations
Winner of the Best New Restaurant Award: Arc Food & Libations 

Visit for more info and to keep abreast of next year’s event.

All photos by: Brian Feinzimer of Feinzimer Photography

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