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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Roundup #20

I haven't done one of these roundup entries in a long time. In fact since it's been almost two years it's time again to mention some things related to Mexican food in Orange County that don't fit neatly into a traditional restaurant review.

Mexican restaurants I've been to for non-review purposes since the last roundup entry include: Sharky's, Cancun Fresh, Taleo, Del Taco, Tacos El Chavito, Rubio's, Fresca's, Azteca (Garden Grove), Cocina Cucamonga, Tacos & Co., Taco Rosa, Wahoo's, La Sirena Grill, Mario's, Little Onion, Gammy's Cafe, Taqueria el Granjenal, El Pollo Loco, Taco Bell, Jalapeno's, Rollie's, Las Barcas, Azteca's (Fountain Valley), La Sirena Grill and Cantina, Sol Cocina, Chronic Tacos, Pena's, Las Fajitas, Alberto's, Carnitas Los Reyes, Baja Fish Tacos, La Salsa, Taco Mesa, El Cholo, Alexa's, Mario's Fiesta Maya, Rancho del Zocalo, La Sirena Grill and Cantina, Los Cotijas, Rodrigo's, Pedro's Tacos, La Capilla, Tia Juana's, Las Brisas, La Cocina de Isabel, Alebrije's, La Nueva Reyna de Michoacan, Cancun Juice, Matador Cantina, Cafe Maiz, El Toro Bravo, Blue Agave, Gabbi's, Señor Campos, Amorelia Mexican Cafe, Super Mex, Taco Factory, Ostioneria Playas de Sinaloa, Tacos Jerez, Tortas Sinaloa, and Super Pollo.

Non-Mexican restaurants I've been to since the last roundup entry include: J&J's House of Subs, the deli at Gelson's, Claim Jumper, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Express, Boudin SF, King's Hawaiian, Rockin' Crepes, Mugen Japanese Cuisine, Gyu-Kaku Japanese Barbecue, Pacific Whey Cafe, Funashin, La Palma Chicken Pie Shop, Crab Cooker, Ruby's, Sagami Tei, The Chippy, Pei Wei, Andrei's, Ruby Palace, Green Rice Kabob, Basilico's, Capital Seafood, Ameci's Pizza and Pasta, Bob's Big Boy, Cafe Hiro, The Counter, Rumbi Island Grill, Old Spaghetti Factory, The Anaheim White House, The Blue Bayou, Taste of India, Lucca Cafe, Don the Beachcomber, The Haven Gastropub, Mrs. Knott's Chicken Restaurant, Catch of the Day, Mongolian BBQ, Portillo's, Tenko Teriyaki, Mona Lisa, Capone's, Five Guys, Italy's Little Kitchen, Pinot Provence, Sushi Plus, Fu Wing Low, Clay Oven, Cafe Grill, Nalu's Island Grill, Bruxie Gourmet Waffles, Kabuki and Tokyo Table.

Rubio's


The Rubio's Beach-Mex chain is now testing hand-battered fish tacos in several OC locations: Tustin Marketplace, Costa Mesa - Newport & Harbor, Santa Ana - MacArthur & Fairview, Laguna Hills Mall & Fountain Valley. I guess this means they're going back to their roots?

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Raya


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Yes, that is actually soup, at least the beginning of a bowl of the ethereal huitlacoche corn soup from the new Raya at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. When I first heard about Raya I thought it was a Mexican restaurant. Then I go there and see that it's really more of a pan-Latin/pan-Asian fusion restaurant. Still, they do have a couple Mexican items and this soup is, well, out of this world. Once they pour the soup over the toppings (bottomings?) it looks slightly less intriguing but then you get to taste it . . . and you will be glad you did. Edwin Goei at the OC Weekly wrote a whole article just about the soup. You can also click on the photo to go to the entire album of photos I took on my visit there.

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Raya's Mushroom Ceviche

Seasons 52

This is the fairly new place at South Coast Plaza that serves no food item that is over 450 calories, but don't let that make you think the food is tasteless. Here's an excellent chile relleno I got from there:

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6ix Park Grill

Here's a few Mexican items I got at the 6ix Park Grill restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Irvine:

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Quesadillas

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Carne Asada Tacos

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Huevos Rancheros

Pee Wee's Famous

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This is a hamburger and hot dog place near Springdale and Edinger but they have a really good bacon-wrapped Mexican hot dog. Check it out:

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The press release they sent me about it said:

Regardless of the ancestry, the delicacy begins with a Bolillo, a Mexican-style French Roll bread. The all-beef hot dog is wrapped with bacon for added flavor and cooked together which allows the juiciness of the bacon to saturate the sausage. Finally, a wide array of toppings finish off the Mexican Hot Dog in just about any way the customer has a craving for.

While some may choose the traditional hot dog condiments such as pickles, ketchup and relish, the adventurous (or those looking for a truly genuine experience) will select grilled or pickled jalapeños as a base and add crema (a Mexican crème fraiche). Pinto beans, salsa, pico de gallo, cilantro, and avocado are all authentic additions. With cheese such as Mexican Cotija or shredded yellow cheese, Pee Wee’s Mexican Hot Dog is one that will send your taste buds south of the border.

Official Site

An Update About Updates

It's nothing new but I don't update the blog as much as I used to but I have by no means forgotten about it. I have also been spending plenty of time keeping the blog in good working order; there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on that isn't always readily noticeable and the bigger the blog gets the more there is to do. Part of what happened is that I started putting mini-updates on our new Twitter and Facebook pages. There are also tons of photos on the associated Flickr page. There is a little bit of overlap between the blog, the Twitter, the Facebook, and the Flickr photos, but each "channel" also has plenty of unique content.

And, yes, we still accept guest reviews and pay $10 per each published review.

Funny Search Terms

Sometimes in my roundup entries I mention funny search terms that people have searched on that have led them to this blog. These are all real and, no, I did not make them up:

  • "organic snowcone toppings"
  • "beast tacos in orange county"
  • "is taco bell authentic?"
  • "cinco de mayo week is the absolute worst"
  • "rastafarian last supper poster"
  • "preparation of orange squash by using whey"
  • "dexter holland salary"
  • "has anyone ever bought coconut at the l.a. produce market?"
  • "if i don't use my library card, what happens oc"
  • "can i have jack in the box tacos sent to me?"
  • "george costanza sundae"
  • "why isnt there a cafe rio in new mexico"
  • "el torito grill honey butter recipe" (isn't it just honey and butter?)

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