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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Azteca's - Review #3 (Mother's Day Brunch)

Date of Visit: May 14, 2006

18033 Magnolia St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Listing on Yahoo! Local

Listing on's Citysearch

No known official website.

Appetizer: Chips and Salsa
Entree: Chile relleno taco/tamale combo plate
Drink: Fresa Jarritos

Azteca's of Fountain Valley; Exterior

While discussing with various family members possible brunch options for Mother's Day I jokingly suggested Azteca's in Fountain Valley. Azteca's is right by my parents' house so it is basically our default location for Mexican food and we all like it but I was actually hoping that my brother Lee would cook up some lobster tails at home for the occasion. But Mom picked Azteca's and that's where we went. Azteca's food is very similar to food served by Mexican restaurants that started in the 1970's or earlier, nothing too fancy or intriguing on the menu but they do what they do well. When they opened about five or six years ago I wondered if they would last given the fairly anonymous spot they occupy in a fairly anonymous corner shopping center but they have been going strong with many locals patronizing them frequently and telling all their friends about it. There is also a good Indian restaurant next door with a similar name: Ashoka.

Azteca's of Fountain Valley; Interior

Azteca's of Fountain Valley; Interior Shot #2

I tried once again to order my old favorite combo, combo #44, but was told this time they can't even cobble it together from ingredients from other combos. So, combo #44, rest in peace. In my mind's eye I can see you at that great taco stand in the sky cavorting about with other long gone Orange County Mexican food traditions such as Taco de Carlos, Pup 'N' Taco, and the limited time only Chicken Monster Tacos they used to have at Jack in the Box.

When I realized I had to decide on something else I noticed something on their menu I had never seen before: a chile relleno taco, so I had to try it. It is only mentioned as an a la carte item but I substituted it for a regular taco on the taco/tamale combination plate. It was just like what I was expecting: a chile relleno stuffed into a taco (profound, huh?). It almost seemed like a breakfast taco, very eggy and cheesy in a crisp shell with fresh, cool lettuce and a pepper that informed the overall flavor of the taco without jumping up and biting me on the nose.

Azteca's of Fountain Valley
Lee goes for the taco/enchilada combo

Azteca's Tacos
David keeps it simple with four tacos

Azteca's of Fountain Valley
Mom goes for the taquito plate

Azteca's of Fountain Valley
You can't tell by looking at it but there's a chile relleno stuffed in that taco.

Azteca's retains their original four Speedy Gonzales rating. The food was just right and the service was attentive and they didn't mind when we teased them about typos on their menu (e.g., "cron tortillas"):

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

Afterwards we went back to the house and enjoyed a fruit tart I had purchased the day before from the bakery at King's Hawaiian Restaurant in Torrance.

King's Hawaiian Fruit Tart

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