|El Toro Bravo Tortilleria|
745 W 19th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
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Walking the Costa Mesa beat, guest reviewer Shelly Borrell checks in with her review of El Toro Bravo on 19th St.
El Toro Bravo Tortilleria is tucked back in the corner off 19th Street in Costa Mesa, near Wallace Avenue. You'll never see it just driving by. Although I live right down the street, Christian had to tell me about it and I'm glad he did. They make and sell their own chips and tortillas on the premises, which you don't see too often. The Tortilleria is set back in a small strip mall near Jugos Acapulco and Smart & Final, both of which are visible off 19th Street. Once you see those locales you'll be getting warmer.
El Toro Bravo has two doors—You enter on the left, curve around, then exit on the right. The system works well. There is no dining inside. As you make your way through the line, you'll first see prepared dishes with various meats in sauces and enchiladas. Then as you curve around to the right, you'll see the meat choices that are listed on the hanging menu, ready to be chopped up and added to a taco or sold alone to make your own.
This visit I tried 3 different meats, Barbacoa (Beef), Carnitas (Pork) and Pollo Rostisado (Chicken). I had 3 tacos with rice and beans, which is a good way to taste a sampling of flavors. All meats were fall off the bone good, but they do just chop it up all together, so you might want to inspect your taco before diving in. I had to pull a couple cartilage pieces out of my chicken taco, but after that I enjoyed it very much.
The Tortilleria goes through a lot of corn making its own tortillas, chips and tostada shells. It's fun to get a glimpse of the process while progressing through the line. I should add that the portions are very generous. My 3 taco combo must have weighed about five pounds. And those ordering the meat and fixins on the side also received a sizeable portion of all. Overall, I think it's a great place to purchase tasty cooked chunks of meat for a party. I think your guests would appreciate it. They'll also deliver or cater upon request. I'm glad it's in the neighborhood and I finally made it over there.
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