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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mario's Fiesta Maya - Review #1

Date of Visit: September 10, 2006
Mario's Fiesta Maya
17221 Beach Blvd
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 375-6292

Listing on Yahoo! Local
(listing contains full menu)

Listing on Ask.com's Citysearch

No known official website
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Appetizer: Chips and two types of salsa
Entree: Chipotle Red Snapper
Drink: Horchata

Mario's Fiesta Maya - Coupons
Coupons!

UPDATE: Mario's  Fiesta Maya has closed.

In the Orange County Register's recent 13th Annual Best of Orange County newsmag Mario's in Huntington Beach was mentioned as the hidden gem amongst Orange County Mexican restaurants. They mentioned the location on Springdale and Edinger that opened in 1969 and the location on Main St. in the Five Points Shopping Center that opened in 1975. But they failed to mention Mario's Fiesta Maya near Warner and Beach Blvd. that opened, I am told, in 1994. So I like to think of Mario's Fiesta Maya as the "hidden gem's hidden gem."

Mario's Fiesta Maya - Exterior Shot #1
You have to give him the password to gain entrance

When I arrived they asked if I wanted to sit inside or outside. I asked for outside seating so I could take some pictures of their nice open air patio, but they seated me at a table right next to the only other people out there, a young couple in love who looked like they wanted some privacy, so I took a couple pictures then moved to a table inside.

Mario's Fiesta Maya - Exterior Shot #2
Built in the ruins of an ancient Mayan temple

In addition to their heavy Mayan theme clearly evident inside and outside the premises, Mario's Fiesta Maya has a decidely more seafood-oriented menu than the two standard Mario's. I pikced the red snapper chipotle dish, a fish filet smothered in chipotle sauce, red and green peppers, mostly tender and flaky but crisp around the edges, selecting Mexican mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables as sides in place of the typical rice and beans.

Mario's Fiesta Maya - Open Air Seating


Mario's Fiesta Maya - Open Air Seating #2

Mario's Fiesta Maya has an extensive menu (check it out at their Yahoo! Local listing linked to above; it's slightly outdated but not very much) with plenty of appetizers, children's menu items, hamburgers if you're in a non-Mexican mood, breakfast selections, etc.

Mario's Fiesta Maya - Ceiling Painting #1

The presentation was a little on the sloppy side but I'm thinking it was a fluke since everyone around me was getting very nicely presented dishes (and it all goes down the same):

Mario's Fiesta Maya - Chipotle Red Snapper


Mario's Fiesta Maya - Ceiling Painting #2

As I finished up my own meal I ordered a traditional tostada as takeout to drop off at my mom's place. She raved and raved about it, especially pointing out that it was the best rice and beans she ever had. Now I'll have to get the rice and beans the next time I go.

Mario's Fiesta Maya earns a four Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

UPDATE (September 23, 2006):

Went back two weeks later and took a few more pictures:

Mario's Fiesta Maya - Interior Shot


Mario's Fiesta Maya - Painting
Actual hi-res photo of the owner


Mario's Fiesta Maya - Camarones de la Sinaloa
Camarones de la Sinaloa


Mario's Fiesta Maya - Carnitas Taco


Mario's Fiesta Maya - Mayan Decorations


Mario's Fiesta Maya - Ceiling Painting #3

5 comments:

Chaz Lamrusco said...

Interesting. Notice the initials
MV on the exterior decor. Obviously
for the founder Mario Valenzuela.

ChristianZ said...

Hmm, never thought about that.

Anonymous said...

the Taco's are now $ 4.59 dollars each, ala-carte. Buy a combo plate/with rice beans, it 2 taco's for $9.95. That's some serious dough with a tip.

Anonymous said...

This used to be the Liquor store/taqueria next door where the drive through Subway is now located. Fiesta Maya has a "secret menu" for those who are in-the-know and order to go. The same al a cart items Burritos, tacos, etc are available on that menu at nearly half the price!! NOW YOU KNOW :)

ChristianZ said...

So, the secret menu is that you can get certain items half price?