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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Nancy Puebla - Review #1

1221 E 1st St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Listing on Yahoo! Local

Listing on's Citysearch

No known official website.

Appetizer: Chips, Beans and Salsa
Entree: guilotas en mole
Drink: Jamaica Jarritos

Nancy Puebla's Restaurant Exterior
The view from outside

In an effective example of Orange County synergy I found out about this restaurant from the O.C. Weekly and arranged to meet there with Omar Chatriwala from SqueezeOC. As I was looking for Nancy Puebla's while driving down First St. I realized I had driven past it so in an attempt to get back I drove around the block and as I turned the third corner I saw somebody walking in the same direction I was headed. I wasn't sure if it was Omar or not but I didn't want to get to the restaurant and have the same guy walking in who I had just driven right past so I rolled down my window and asked, "Are you Omar?" Turns out it was him. So he hopped in and we drove the rest of the way together. Before meeting him then the only clue I had as to his appearance was the picture of him on his blog.

Nancy Puebla's Restaurant Interior
Every day is somebody's birthday here

Nancy Puebla's Menu Board
Menu Board

I had read in the OC Weekly article about Nancy's quail but couldn't locate it right off the bat on their menu board. We asked some people there if they had quail and they kept thinking we were asking for "pollo." We had to say, "No, it's a different type of bird." Finally we saw guilotas on the printout of their takeout menu and I remembered that as the Spanish word for quail.

Nancy Puebla's Restaurant Interior
Just like with Willy Wonka's chocolate factory you can lick the walls here and taste Mexican food

I ordered the guilotas and Omar ordered a veggie burrito and while we were waiting the owner brought us a plate of chips with refried beans. When my order came it was absolutely smothered in mole. I made a big mess picking each part out of the sauce and trying to get the meat off, and while the meat tasted good and smoky and full-flavored there just wasn't that much of it in comparison to how much bone there was. I did the best I could however and afterwards realized I hadn't even touched the hot tortillas they had brought, so I used some beans and rice from my plate and made a couple little burritos.

Nancy Puebla's Salsa Bar

Nancy Puebla's Restaurant Guilotas
guilotas en mole

Nancy Puebla's Restaurant Exterior
Now you know better what Omar looks like

Here is what Omar had to say:

Well, though the paintings were nice, I'd say the location and ambience were sub-par. And my burrito, though not bad, didn't stand out. They did have a lot of variety and, letting your enjoyment of the quail (though meat was sparse - as I suppose is the nature of the dish) influence me slightly, I'd say a 3 out of 5.

Recommended for those seeking an authentic Mexico feel, some knowledge of Spanish strongly suggested.

Nancy Puebla's Restaurant earns a three and a half Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

Side Note #1: As I was winding my way back to the 5 freeway I noticed a place that called itself "China-Mex." I don't know if I should be scared or not.

Side Note #2: Omar said SqueezeOC is looking for people to volunteer as bloggers on their site. If you think you can write about a particular niche of Orange County life then let him know. It would not be for pay but there may be some perks involved.

Side Note #3: Omar has cross-posted about our experience at his SqueezeOC blog. As he points out, if you look at this place in the Yahoo! Local or Citysearch listings it is referred to as "Tacos Ruben y Mulitas."

Other Nancy Puebla entries:


Anonymous said...

Hi Christian - Synergy, huh? LOL! You won't believe how often I hear that's the buzz word of choice for so many....what ever happened to "paradigm shift"....:o)

By the way, if it's Mexicali style Chinese it might be interesting. Mexicali is home to the largest population of Chinese in Mexico, and even has a Chinatown...I'm hoping to make it there one day. I've heard the food is interesting, and different.

ChristianZ said...

I'll try to use "paradigm shift" in my next entry.