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Monday, March 13, 2006

Los Corales - Preliminary Report

Location: Somewhere near the Fountain Valley/Santa Ana border.

This place comes closest to making me feel the most unwelcome. I don't know if they were actually unwelcoming but they were very thrown off by the white boy coming in. I couldn't have been the first but they sure acted like it. I never knew about this place until I was getting a new stereo installed in my car. While waiting I figured I'd get some dinner so I went to Los Corales (I'm not even sure that is the name of the place; I saw their name listed three or four different ways and "Los Corales" was usually part of it so that's what I'm using here) two or three shops down from the auto sound store.

The waitress started out by asking, "What would you like to drink? We have Coke, we have . . . "

"Do you have Jarritos?" (I pronounced it properly with the first letter sounding like an 'H' rather than a 'J.')

"Uh, no, we don't have burritos." (The waitress said it in a bemused way, as if she was thinking, "Poor gabacho thinks we are like Taco Bell and assumes we have burritos.")

"Do you have Jarritos?"

"No, we don't have burritos."

"Okay, I understand you don't have burritos but do you have Jarritos, you know, Jarritos brand soda?"

"No, we don't have burritos."

So I pointed to where it showed on the menu that they have Jarritos brand soda and the waitress said, "Oh, Jarritos. What flavor would you like? Orange?"

"Maybe, what other kinds do you have?"

"Orange, toronja, and tamarindo."

"Okay, I'll have tamarindo."

"Tamarindo? Are you sure?"


"Uh . . . okay."

When another waitress brought out my Tamarind Jarritos she pointed at the label and asked, "Is this really what you want?"

"Yes, that's really what I want."

The waitresses were actually very nice; it's just that they had trouble comprehending that some people might know what they are talking about.

They had some very nice paintings on two of the walls that I wanted to take pictures of but I would've felt very weird taking my camera out. Will have to try again sometime. The Camarones Envueltos I ordered were very photogenic as well but that photo opportunity was also missed. When I went back to the Auto Sound store to pick up my car I asked the guy there (another gringo) if he ever goes to the Mexican restaurant at the end of the strip and he said, "No. Well, sometimes I get food from there but I have one of the guys pick it up."

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