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Asian Fusion Invades Santa Ana


By Bobby Navarro

In the melting pot of food culture that is Southern California, Asian-fusion fare has become increasingly popular, taking over many Orange County neighborhoods. The breeding ground for this dominating food trend is none other than Downtown Santa Ana, the home of many joints that are blowing up the OC food scene.


Owner Tommy Vu wanted to keep to tradition alive at this joint located at the McFadden Public Market on Main Street. Bonestock serves up the one-stop traditional Vietnamese cuisine done up a little bit. You can find the street food standards such as spring rolls and pho. Some dishes here are done with a twist, however, like their Spring-ception, which is a pork/shrimp blend with a variety of mushroom, carrots, and onions along with a Vietnamese house sauce, all wrapped in a spring roll, and, their Pho-tine, an Asian twist on the Canadian comfort standard, served with a Pho gravy, brisket chunks, and queso fresco.

McFadden Public Market, 515 North Main Street, Santa Ana. 657.232.3338.

En Tu Boca

Carlo Castaneda, a one-time chef under McFadden Market owner Leonard Chan, ultimately wanted to start a joint where he could create his own menu. Carlo’s Filipino heritage was his inspiration for En Tu Boca concept. The spot’s menu includes tacos, burritos, bowls, and nachos done the traditional way with Carnitas and Carne Asada or infused with Filipino fusion items such as Adobo Chicken and Pork Belly. Boca also takes traditional Hispanic sauce, crema, incorporating Filipino flavor like Calamansi, a citrus flavored by orange and lemons.  

McFadden Public Market, 515 North Main St. in Santa Ana. 657.232.3338


Red Envelope

Located at the 4th Street Market, Chef Michael Pham takes the Vietnamese tradition he grew up with and incorporates with the American and Mexican traditional comfort food. The shaken beef nachos fuses the traditional Mexican dish with Asian flavor with seared diced Angus beef and wonton chips served with standards like sour cream, avocado, and pico de gallo, along with the shaken beef cheese melt, that incorporates the American favorite Philly cheesesteak with Vietnamese and Mexican flavors.

201 E 4th St. in Santa Ana.  

Dos Chinos

For any foodie living in Orange County, this name should be really familiar. Starting off with their artistic looking food truck, they now have multiple brick and mortar locations at 4th Street Market and Trade Food Hall in Irvine. Dos Chinos took Asian fusion by storm by incorporating Vietnamese and Filipino cuisine inside tacos, burritos, and nachos, as well as on top of fries, including their ever popular stoner fries stacked with carne asada, chorizo fried rice, bolsa roasted pork, Monterey Jack cheese, Southeast Asian verde sauce, all topped with a fried egg.

201 E 4th St. #139 in Santa Ana. 714.564.0527.

Yojiie Japanese Fondue

Co-founder Mendrick Leelin wanted to incorporate an art gallery and restaurant into one at this hit Shabu Shabu joint. Since opening its doors in 2007, Yojiie has been serving up traditional Japanese Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki, also known as Japanese Fondue. Guest are given fresh ingredients, which includes thinly-sliced beef, all which can be dipped into a broth of your choice.

Downtown Santa Ana at 303 N Spurgeon St. (4th and Spurgeon). 714.204.0604.

Ninjas with Appetite

Starting off originally as a food truck, Ninjas with Appetite does more than just show off their ridiculously good looking food concoctions on their social media pages. While Ninja’s Asian/Mexican fusion blends have become a common presence in the downtown Santa Ana area, their portion sizes help them stand out. Such items like the teriyaki burrito, loaded with crispy garlic fried rice, grilled sliced steak loaded in teriyaki sauce, topped with lots of melted cheese, has attracted customers with heavy appetite.

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