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Friday, June 23, 2006

El Conejo - Review #1

January 24, 2008: El Conejo has closed down. Read more here.

El Conejo
14715 Jeffrey Rd
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 559-1176

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El Conejo Exterior

Went to lunch at El Conejo the other day using a coupon that shows up in the Thursday edition of the Irvine World News. The most recent coupon is for a torta with your choice of meat for $3.79. El Conejo has another location in Santa Ana and a third location in Lake Forest called El Conejito. There may even be a newer location in Laguna Hills now but I have yet to confirm that. This Irvine location is in one of the area's oldest shopping centers (south-west corner of Jeffrey and Walnut) and the parking lot was obviously designed before everyone bought SUV's. If you go during the lunch rush prepare for some serious congestion and tight squeezes and people rolling down their windows to yell at each other. The inside seems much like the outside: old and cramped. I presented my coupon and asked for a torta with al pastor pork as my choice of meat then had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: And I'll have some bunuelos.

Employee #1: We don't have bunuelos.

Me: You mean you're out of them today?

Employee #1: Yes. But we have cherry burritos and flan.

Me: Okay, I'll try the flan.

Employee #1: We also have apple burritos.

Me: Well, I'll get the flan.

Employee #1 to Employee #2: Can you get him a flan?

Employee #2: We don't have flan. We have bunuelos.

Employee #1 to Me: We don't have flan. We have bunuelos.

Me: Okay, I'll have the bunuelos.

So, there you go. I got the dessert I originally asked for. I've never reviewed bunuelos for this blog yet but they are simply flour tortilla strips fried up then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Simple yet delicious. Of course I had to eat my torta first. Filled with marinated al pastor pork, guacamole, onions, and cilantro this Mexican sandwich filled me up and left just enough room in my innards for half my dessert. It didn't even matter that they forgot to give me my free chips and salsa.

El Conejo Exterior
Don't throw the coupons away

El Conejo Exterior

El Conejo Exterior

The food is decent, they get a half Speedy Gonzales for having Orange Bang! to drink but then lose half again for being a tad on the dumpy side. Not awfully so but they could use a little renovation. Overall, El Conejo earns a three Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales


joy said...

Ha ha -- love the exchange with the clueless server!

I thought that bunuelos were more like sopapillos. Or is that a regional variation?

ChristianZ said...

I guess they are pretty similar but sopapillas are puffier.

elmomonster said...

That's hilarious. Sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit.

I've been to this place. And always because of a coupon.

ChristianZ said...

Yeah, I felt like I was stuck in an SNL skit:

"Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger."

And pay attention to the coupons that come in the mail before you throw everything away. You can get a lot of good deals and find out about places you didn't know about before.

Anonymous said...

the laguna hills location has good fast food, friendly employees who care about their customers and they've always taken good care of me and my friends/dates. BTW, i've been patronizing this "newer location" since 1980. sometimes i use the coupons, sometimes i don't-either way, i still get the same great food and the same great service. many of my friends and their families are regulacustomers of this eatery and i have heard nothing but praise from them. swimmerbob

Anonymous said...

I agree with Swimmerbob. Laguna Hills location is the perfect little spot for good Mexican food, to go or dine in.