Izalco Restaurant

300 W. 5th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701


  • Daily 11am-9pm
  • $
  • Free Wifi
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • Beer/Wine
  • Garage Parking, Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
Izalco and its chef Fernando Vallardes’ pupusas are fat, cheesy, perfectly crispy, and even his curtido is memorable, spicier than the norm and arriving in large jars. This is a kid with chops: a simple sample plate comes out carefully placed like a bento box; a simple order of camarones a la diabla features a complex sauce equal parts spicy, cheesy, gritty, and smooth. He obviously has ambitions, and the talent to match it—he even has a pastry chef on his team, who whips up Salvadoran favorites like tres leches cake and a quesadilla (not the Mexican tortilla with cheese but a sort of cornbread mixed with cheese—toasty, earthy, wonderful).

Related Stories (2)

  • OC's Best Aguas Frescas
    Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 4:30 a.m. by Gustavo Arellano

    Bad news, ladies: As of this summer, I'm off the market. She's a real beaut, although one that doesn't accompany me in this column's escapades until I appear on KCRW-FM 89.9's Good Food With Evan Kleiman and plug a restaurant I revi...

  • Izalco Is Saving Salvadoran Food
    Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 4:30 a.m. by Gustavo Arellano

    Next to 50-cent tacos, Salvadoran restaurants are the most endangered food genre in Orange County. We have enough of a Salvi population to keep about a dozen or so pupuserias alive—but the population is at that unfortunate nex...


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