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Monday, October 27, 2008

La Cocina de Ricardo - Review #1

La Cocina de Ricardo
23532 El Toro Rd, Ste 11
Lake Forest, CA 92630
(949) 586-1477

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Here's a place that numerous people have recommended to me. I even had a certificate for them from (which I found out about from frequent guest writer Johnny Automatic and from where you can get $25 restaurant gift certificates for $10 or sometimes even less) printed out and sitting on my desk for a while before finally making it there with James and Lori and Thomas a few weeks ago.


A family-run business, La Cocina de Ricardo opened in the mid-1980s and has two other OC locations and a location up north in Mountain View. Their recipes come from Grandma Juana, who, according to their website, "was the main chef of her town [Mixtlán Jalisco, México] and would prepare the food for small and large events, from parties to weddings, making every occasion memorable. This tradition of thoughtfully prepared recipes was passed to Mamacita Alicia (the current chef and Owner)."


James got a burrito which I think was a Chile Colorado burrito:


Lori got the Carnitas Los Gordos, "Roasted lean chunks of pork, garnished with onions jalapeños, cilantro & guacamole," which is generally for two people but you can order it for one person, as she did:


I had a hard time choosing from their extensive menu and after much deliberation I finally narrowed it down to five choices and when the waiter came to take our order I just blurted out that I wanted the Pollo en Mole:


This was excellent stuff, deep, rich, bold, smoky topped with onions, avocado slices, and sesame seeds (I can never get enough sesame seeds).


The desserts were a highlight, with a silky, yet not cloying, flan garnished with cinnamon, an orange slice, and a cherry, and a large dish of buñuelos served with whipped cream and honey.


La Cocina de Ricardo earns a four Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

Our blog friend, Melissa O. from Alosha's Kitchen, has reviewed La Cocina de Ricardo at Yelp. Check out her review here.

Click here to see the complete album (11 photos) at .


Captain said...

I went to high school with Ricardo Beas, and he's the real thing. I remember when he was a lowly waiter at Olamendi's in Capo Beach. He's come a long way over the years. I'll be filing a review of his San Juan location one of these days.

This Lake Forest location used to be in Mission Viejo, at Los Alisos & Jeronimo, if I recall correctly.

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the info. Comments like this always increase the value of the review. And, yeah, we want to cover all their locations. I've driven past the San Juan location a bunch but haven't been in yet.

Captain said...

When I do finally get around to trying his SJC location, that'll be the 4th different restaurant I've eaten at in that building since 1960.

San Juan Cafe
Pete & Clara's Cafe
Harry's Cafe (aka Harry's House of Heartburn)

History lesson over.

melissa said...

Oh yay, you went somewhere I know! I always rely on you to learn about new places, and I think this is the first time I ate somewhere before ya. I also gave it 4 out of 5 stars (on Yelp). My first visit was just okay, when I got a la carte tacos (fish, carne asada, carnitas) but my second visit bumped it up for me. I got the mojarra and it was awesome. Also great fresh vegetables, salsa, guac and chips.

I don't like the rice and beans here though. Did you?

I need to go back. Thanks for the reminder!

ChristianZ said...

Seems like I remember the rice and beans being kind of neutral. Thanks for reading. I've got all sorts of interesting content coming. Might track down your Yelp review and link to it.

melissa said...

Thanks for the links, Christian. That's very kind of you. :)

HB Livin' said...

OMG that looks so friggin good!

we'll be checking it out soon.

ChristianZ said...

Tell 'em who sent ya!

Anonymous said...

I drive by their place everyday and have been meaning to try it. Now I know I should!

ChristianZ said...

Yeah, give 'em a try.