Northern Café | Westpark Plaza
Xiao long bao – juicy, steamed pork dumplings known as XLB – date back two centuries and are known the world over for their 18 folds and tasty broth. Northern Café marks 20 years serving XLB as its signature snack with a new second location in Irvine. The menu offers a dozen steamed and pan-fried dumpling styles, and dozens more pancakes, stir-fries and cold appetizers.
Hanshin Pocha | Quail Hill
The fare at this Korean soju pub is saucy, spicy and in some cases famously messy. The signature spicy chicken feet require gloves and beer or soju, a Korean rice wine. Ditto the do-it-yourself rice balls. The whole golden-fried chicken – served in a hot cast-iron pot at your table – is gloves-free and popular, too. Korean celebrity chef Baek Jong-won created the menu.
Paris Baguette | Woodbury Town Center
This bakery-café turns out pastries as diverse as mini-croissants, crabmeat croquettes and matcha-mochi doughnuts, as well as sandwiches, salads and caramel-pecan souffle cheesecake. Given the quality of its baguettes and croissants, it surprises many to discover it is based in South Korea. It is, in fact, that nation’s No. 1 bakery, with locations around the world, including Paris. Another Paris Baguette is set to open soon at Campus Plaza.