The seemingly normal August 2011, DHL shipment from Mexico to a Santa Ana apartment near the Orange County District Attorney's office didn't contain what a mailing declaration stated: gift basket. During a relay stop at the delivery company's Ohio facility, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agen ... More >>
Remember Tosh Plumlee? He was the star of my Sept. 2006 cover story, "Cocaine Airways," which detailed his colorful career as a contract pilot for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. In that story, I wrote about how Plumlee, a Texas native, found work for the CIA in the 1950s flying weapons to Cas ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana food truck serves specialties from Guadalajara
I still can't believe this is happening, but since it's now on Facebook, it must be true: tonight, I'm appearing on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel to talk with correspondent Soledad O'Brien about the famous Mexican soccer club Chivas de Guadalajara and their laughable foray into MLS Soccer. W ... More >>
Here's some cocktail history for you: pretty much every cocktail you've ever had can trace its lineage back to the Old Fashioned: spirit, sugar, water, bitters. Switch the bitters for citrus juice and you have a sour; switch the sugar for grenadine (or raspberry syrup) and add orange liqueur and you ... More >>
Every second and fourth Wednesday night of the month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau hosts Dinner with Dave at Memphis at the Santora, where he treats drinkers to a free meal and live music as the evening progresses. To remind ustedes of this great night, Dave treats us every W ... More >>
Sorry for the lack of blogging as of recent, gentle readers: the chica and I just completed our annual two-week trek to the South for the World's Longest Yard Sale, which you can read more about at her blog. Needless to say, I brought back a lot of bourbon, Tennessee whiskeys (one of which I gave to ... More >>
It might only be in the United States, or possibly Southern California, where one finds Caucasian, Vietnamese and Latino students dancing together to traditional, folkloric Mexican songs. The Eighth Annual "La Purisima Ballet Folklorico" at La Purisima Catholic School in Orange featured just that. I ... More >>
An Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) bus was found in San Clemente less than an hour after someone stole it Tuesday afternoon.No word on whether a terrorist had attached a bomb that would explode if it reached speeds under 30 mph.
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why won't my hot Mexican gardener take an HIV test?
[Hole In the Wall] Dive into a Mexican-Italian mash-up that's gloriously OC
Pogo, pot and punk-rock! Here are some fast paced songs from both the old and new school's of to celebrate today's hazy holiday.
The OCMAs have been pimpin' local acts since 2001
From Niyaz Pirani of Fat Dude on a Diet:If you were me, working across from the courthouse in Downtown Santa Ana and needed to eat, but had no cash, just a card, where would you go for lunch? One of the problems is there's so many Mexi joints and only one me. So I don't know how to figure out the ... More >>
House of Blues
True story: I wanted to focus specifically on Chivas Tortas, the best overall tortas ahogadas experience in Orange County. It's a great lonchera, and one of the few places where you can drink the fermented corn mash tejuino and Chivas Cola, the official drink of the Chivas soccer squad from Guadalaj ... More >>
Dave LiebermanLast week, we tipped you off to the existence of tortas ahogadas at a new-ish truck on Santa Ana's 5th Street. (That's funny, you don't look new-ish.) These are not sandwiches for the faint of heart: rolls are split open and left to dry out overnight, stuffed with beans and carnitas ... More >>
Dave LiebermanYou're not manly enough for the sandwich in the picture above. That, dear readers, is the pride of Guadalajara, the torta ahogada. Made of bread (classically a birote roll) spread with a little bit of bean paste, stuffed crammed to creaking with carnitas, then absolutely drenched (" ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] Also, how not to get your pregunta answered
Sweethead perform at Alex's Bar on FridayDon't know where to go this weekend? Heard Mentality makes it easy--here's the rundown of great music coming to town.
The saucy tortas ahogadas from Guadalajara have landed in Santa Ana
[Hole In the Wall] Los Chilangos in Anaheim is anything but 'defectivo'
The original is set up to look like a 1950s diner--strange...A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how the longstanding SanTana Salvadoran restaurant Pupusódromo was closing and would be replaced by a place hawking tortas ahogadas, the drowned-in-salsa tortas native to Guadalajara. I neglected to m ... More >>
Esty Seller SouZouCreationsComplete with veggies and seafood--and a floating pair of chopsticks, of course. $12.50.Another week of eating, recipes, crime and general food-related goodness has come and gone at Stick a Fork in it, and with Grace off on a vacation, I'm standing in for a roundup of t ... More >>
pbe @ flickr.com CC BY-SA 2.0Pambazo: the illegitimate child of French toast and panini.One of the foodie complaints about so-called "Mexican" restaurants in the United States is that the food on offer is not usually remotely like the food served in México. Mexicans at home don't eat burritos; t ... More >>
BAD: There aren't enough Salvadoran restaurants in Orange County, and that one of the few and longest-standing has closed down means Salvis are probably leaving their traditional OC homeland of SanTana for greener, more assimilated pastures. Pupusódromo didn't serve the best pupusas, but did serve ... More >>
Obvious observation of the year: it's hot. Go to these place we haven't discussed in years, all fine eateries, and cool down with their native sodas:PUPUSERIA SAN SIVAR: The hole-in-the-strip-mall takes special care with their pupusas, which have a crispy yet malleable crust encasing thick, stick ... More >>
Corporate wants us to write arbitrary Top 5 lists--traditionally left for year-end reviews or Best ofs--for SAFII. Instead, we'll do lists of five: no particular order, but all fine representative of their genus. Let's start--surprise, surprise!--with my favorite salsas:*Habanero salsa at Conde Cake ... More >>
Singing Jailbirds: The Musical, Fri., May 22 thru Sun., May 31, 8 p.m.The new production titled, Upton Sinclair's Singing Jailbirds: The Musical, will feature a large cast of performers. The story is set in 1920's San Pedro, the Port Town of Los Angeles amid the demonstrations of union activists du ... More >>
Nomadic Image Gallery
Stylistic note: photo is not of Taquerias Guadalajara, nor is Calvin pissing on a location. He's pissing on the logo of the Chivas, the Guadalajara-based soccer team whose colors and goat mascot Taquerias Guadalajaras uses for promotions. Chivas pelan. For years, Taquerias Guadalajara was the pale ... More >>
Pizza for Pesos: Chicago Pizza
Special Comida Edition
THIS WEEK IN GOAT
FIFA 2005 introduces Mexicans to save its luster
Winter Music Issue
Alejandro Sanz sings no evil
A Match Ordained in Heaven
Scouting Santa Ana for superior lunches
Where to eat after an all-nighter
Monique Powell on boys, bands and bananas in the bathtub
And its one, two, threewhat are we dining for?
The Brothers Calderon return to the streets