24601 Raymond Way
Lake Forest, CA 92630
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No known official website.
Went with James, Lori, and Thomas a couple weeks ago to a place they recommended and knew how to get to but couldn't remember the name of. Described by James as "a hole-in-the-wall but a big hole-in-the-wall" it ended up being Tacos Ensenada in Lake Forest. Better brush up on your restaurant Spanish before coming here since you won't see anything in English once you arrive and chances are the person taking your order won't know English. If you really don't know any Spanish though don't be scared off because many of the menu items are pictured on the wall (good for people like me who like to see what they are ordering before it arrives at the table).
In my continuing quest to come up with a concrete, authoritative definition of what makes Mexican food authentic, or inauthentic as the case may be, one conclusion I have come to is that a restaurant's authenticity goes up when they sprinkle cinnamon onto your horchata after you order it (as opposed to just having it in the mix), or dumped on as was the case here:
And, no, I didn't put Tapatio in my horchata.
Lori ordered the chile rellenos platter which is really two chile rellenos and exclaimed how spicy hot they were. James, who has a higher tolerance for spiciness, then tried a bite and said it was almost too hot even for him. So, if you like really overtly spicy chile rellenos then this is the place to get them from.
Two-year old Thomas didn't complain about his quesadilla kid's platter being too spicy hot:
I went for the parillada de mariscos ($13.95), an artfully presented seafood dish with halibut, scallops, oysters, shrimp (some with the eyes still attached), and octopus, as well as avocado and orange slices:
As mentioned above, I like to see pictures of dishes I'm thinking of ordering before I order them and when I saw the picture of this seafood platter on their wall I was sold. The taste matched the image with everything fresh, nothing too tough and chewy (as octopus can tend to be), and big enough to share.
Tacos Ensenada earns a four Speedy Gonzales rating: