Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our photos on flickr • We pay $10 per published guest review; E-mail Blogger for info.

SPECIAL TOPICS: Taco TuesdayDisneylandMenudo

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Original Olamendi's - Review #1

Date of Visit: January 13, 2007
Original Olamendi's
34660 Pacific Coast Hwy
Capistrano Beach, CA 92624
(949) 661-1005

Listing on Yahoo! Local

Listing on Ask.com's Citysearch

Official Site
Yahoo! Maps
Enter starting address:
Address

City, State and/or Zip


Olamendi's - Exterior


Olamendi's -

Due to being in the middle of another horrendous backlog again of reviews to write I am just going to post the Olamendi's photos for now and add my remarks on the place as my schedule allows. Not only is Olamendi's a feast for the mouth but for the eyes as well. Managers John and Gloria Olamendi Haney kindly allowed me to take pictures of their family-run restaurant which has been a favorite for 33 years now of both Republican politicians (Richard Nixon being the most famous; his last visit was about a month before he died) and Hollywood celebrities and the Dana Point locals. Many from all three categories are featured in the numerous photos adorning the walls

Olamendi's - Interior

Some of the celebrities spotted at Olamendi's include:

  • Anthony Edwards
  • Kevin Bacon
  • Courteney Cox
  • David Arquette
  • Oscar de la Renta
  • Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora
Olamendi's - Interior

The childrens' part of the menu at Olamendi's is called "Christian's Speedy Gonzalez Menu." Most readers of this blog will recognize how appropriate that is. The dishes on the childrens' menu are named after other Olamendi grandchildren.

Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior

From out front the restaurant looks small but it really opens up as you head towards the back.

Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior

Olamendi's has three other spinoff restaurants run by various family members; all locations are in the South County coastal area and may be covered here later.

Olamendi's - Day of the Dead Decorations
At Olamendi's every day is Day of the Dead


Olamendi's - Chips and Salsa


Olamendi's - Guacamole
"Shark fin" guacamole

I was having a hard time deciding between all the different breakfast entrees that they had that looked so good so at Gloria's suggestion I got a half-and-half plate with Huevos a la Mexicana and the Huevos Olamendi (scrambled eggs with chorizo):

Olamendi's - Breakfast Platter

What I especially liked about the chorizo was that it was perhaps the least greasy chorizo I've ever had and with just the right amount of spiciness. I took some of each entree, stuffed them into my tortillas and made some of my own custom ultimate breakfast burritos.

I also got a bowl of Huevos a la Tia Lucha, a sort of breakfast soup with a poached egg swimming a red sauce with avocados, peppers, sour cream, and pimento olives.

Olamendi's - Huevos a la Tia Lucha

Olamendi's earns a four and a half Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

Here are some more shots of the interior:

Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior


Olamendi's - Interior

31 comments:

Chubbypanda said...

Dude, I've totally been grooving on the photo-heavy posts.

ChristianZ said...

Lately I've been to several places that have given me free rein to take pictures (the next two reviews after this one will be the same way). I feel much better about doing it that way than clandestinely. And, personally, I always like to see plenty of high quality color photos of a restaurant and its food before I go there. Good to know the photos are helping others.

elmomonster said...

That's like the busiest restaurant I've ever seen. And when I say "busiest" I mean in terms of decorations...this looks like my kind of place!

ChristianZ said...

It's pretty busy alright. Maybe there's even hidden Mickeys in there.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Dude! Those decorations are wild. Love it!

ChristianZ said...

Sometime you have to experience the full effect by going there to eat.

Anonymous said...

I've been going to Olamendi's for 18 years and today was the worse service I've ever had anywhere! Don't go to the Dana Point Olamendi's unless your part of their family! You just get ignored! There is no front end..no greeting at the door, you have to put your own name on a list, then get ignored at your table! We had to ask for a server, ask for chips n salsa (3 times) and ask for refills on water 2x! Go to the one in Laguna beach they're a real restaurant, it's clean friendly and always a great experience. Love the food but family service sucks!

Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I've been visiting Olamendi's for over 15 years, since I moved to Orange County and frankly it is one of the best Mexican restaurants I've ever been to. I read the comments of 'anonymous' and 'eddie' and completely disagree with their ignorant and baseless comments. The Olamendi family has treated me and my family every time I visited like I was part of the family. Their home cooked meals are better and more authentic than in Mexico. Their decorations are uniquely vibrant and their service is excellent. I know most of the family members and they always treat me and thier customers with appreciation and with the utmost respect. Reading the negative comments posted earlier, made me angry and therefore I had to respond. They are absolutely baseless, childish and frankly disrespectful. The Olamendi's love their customers and are always glad to see when we visit them. I've been to other Mexican restaurants and their food, service and decoration are nowhere near nor half as good as Olamendi's. The previous two negative comments were problably fabricated by their competitors, which ironically enough, copy the recipes and the decoration of Olamendi's. Again, WE LOVE OLAMENDI'S!!!!!! Without a doubt it is the most authentic and best Mexican Food. If you dont believe me, then go in for yourself and experience it personally rather than believing those immature, baseless and completely incorrect comments made by 'anonymous' and 'eddie'. The owner of Olamendi's is my personal friend and he always treats me and everyone else with respect.

ChristianZ said...

Thank you for offering a counterpoint to some of the harsh comments others have left here. I've never been to any restaurant that is absolutely perfect in every way but when some people leave totally slanderous comments about a place I do have to wonder if they are made up. I can only do so much as the blog owner though so it helps to get other comments from visitors.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ChristianZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maximilian Olamendi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ChristianZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChristianZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ChristianZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eddie said...

Dateline: SUNDAY 17/MAY/2009

This morning I made the mistake of listening to a few locals who raved about Olamendi's in Dan Point. The service was deplorable- over 40 minutes to deliver a simple breakfast plate. The prices closely resembled an upscale New York City hotel menu. The coffee contained numerous floating objects that looked upon first inspection to be bugs, but I have convinced myself that they were indeed grounds. Had I not added cream I probably wouldn't have noticed all the floaters.

I was served a basket of chips and salsa before I was even presented with a menu. I didn't order the chips and salsa, nor did I request the two following refills of the same. However, when the check arrived (after an additional 3 requests and 15 minute delay) there was a $9.00 charge (plus tax) for 3 baskets of chips and salsa. I would hardly call it a "basket" since I could count all of the chips on my fingers without even using my toes.

The food was NOT, I repeat NOT a "HUGE" serving. The reviews elsewhere mentioning "Huge Servings" obviously don't distinguish between plate size and food content. The plates are over-sized YES, but the food contained on the plate was less than what you would get for $3 from Carl's Jr. on the dollar menu.

EVERY Entree on the brunch menu was $11.50, whether you wanted a simple egg or an omelet. I ordered the Olamendi's slop fare (can't remember the actual name but the word Olamendi's was part of the description). The eggs were totally overcooked and dry beyond belief. And the enclosed onions and veggies were undercooked. Keep in mind that this is after a 40 minute wait in a non busy restaurant, and after 3 rounds of chips and salsa. When my meal was served I requested the sour cream that was part of the meal description, but little did I know that I would be charged an additional $2.00 (plus tax) for what I thought was already supposed to be on my plate.

The final bill, for 2 simple breakfast entrees and a single cup of crappy cinnamon flavored coffee in a Mexican Hole in the Wall came to $43 before tip. I found this to be outrageous. It was fake Mexican food and in no way resembled anything near a decent Mexican breakfast.

If I was of Mexican decent I would probably find the decor to be appalling, a mix of Mexican trailer trash with a heavy dose of Night of the Dead. The same decor you might find in a joint in Tijuana and never patronize. There is also a prominently displayed picture of Tricky Dicky (Richard Nixon) and dated Summer of 1974. Apparently the owners are clueless and don't know that is the same timeframe when Tricky Dicky was disgraced and had to resign from the Presidential Office (for also screwing the American people) !!!

Leave this place for the tourists to rave about. Californians should stay away. Stay Far Away !!!

Maximilian said...

Webmaster, I am Maximilian Olamendi. Why did you not post my comments? I noticed that you post other comments, especially the negative ones, so similarly you should post my comments. I find it very surprising that you have no problems posting a comment with 'from behind by mexican gangster' in it yet you dont put my comments which describes our restaurant accurately.

ChristianZ said...

Hi Max, I did post your comment and then when Eddie reposted his comment with the line about "Mexican gangsters" removed I then when back and deleted every comment (positive, negative, or neutral) where "Mexican gangster" was mentioned.

Please feel free to repost your positive comment.

Anonymous said...

Olamendis has great food, one of a kind. Hard to find this kind of food at any other place. The place is colorful, the staff friendly and the family is very kind and always happy to see us. Definately recommend it to everybody. Olamendis is awesome, best in Orange County.

ChristianZ said...

"definitely"

Anonymous said...

Rarely do I go into a place where the owners are there on a daily basis, but at the Original Olamendi's in Dana Point both Jorge and Maria Olamendi are always there ensuring that the food is homemade and that their customers leave happy. Great food and great times, plus it helps to serve the best margaritas in town!

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the comment. Have you seen our other Olamendi's coverage here?

Anonymous said...

Olamendis is the best Mexican place in town! Dont mind the haters that try to player hate on that place. Their food is awesome and their place is one of a kind. If you are a player hater, thats too bad. You cant hate on the best so you can all stop now. Olamendis is the best, bar none. Try it for yourself and see!

Maximilian Olamendi said...

I am Maximilian Olamendi, and I completely disagree with the previous postings based on unfounded negativity about my place. Olamendi's is the best and most authentic food. Our cooking style is often duplicated but never replicated. Also many times, such as in the previous posts, people make up bulloney to make it sound like we're not a good place, but this is completely false. Those negative comments come from negative people that wouldnt know a great meal from a cattle call, so their completely biased opinion is in fact baseless. When you've been making the greatest food for over 38 years, negative and baseless posts are meaningless. The proof is in the pudding and at Olamendi's the proof is their great history, finest food and a whole lot of other good stuff waiting in store. So Christian, dont forget to add this one to your comments my friend. Hasta luego and Dont forget, for the best and finest of Mexican cuisine, Olamendis.

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the comments, Maximilian. I think the issue with the negative comments was resolved a while back.

Sylvia said...

I sure do love all these pictures.. it really gives an accurate description of the pictures (plus your lovely captions). I wish you would come to Texas and showcase all the awesome Mexican (well, Tex-Mex) restaurants here..
-Sylvia
Top 10 Cigars

Anonymous said...

I love the Original Olamendi's in Capistrano Beach. Its without a doubt the first and best of all the locations. Someone earlier posted a comment that the laguna location is better but thats a big joke and everyone knows that and probably the laguna beach employee posted that. Original Olamendis in Capo beach is the first and the best of not only all the Olamendis but of all mexican restaurants in california. No other mexican restaurants compare to the originality and excellence of the original location, (nice try laguna beach :)., just worry about yourself and mind your business) Try for yourself and see the world of difference between what is real and what is 'not so real'.

CreditScoreExpert said...

I love this place. It's expensive but good. I've had to wait a little bit but the place is popular. What do you expect? A great experience. We were treated like family even though we are not locals and do not typically frequent the place.