Ramón Sanchez might not be as familiar a name in the annals of Mexican food history as, say, Glen Bell, Larry Cano, or King Taco, but he was nevertheless a titan. His Ramón's Cactus Patch in Ontario was one of the oldest remaining Mexican restaurants in the United States, a Cal-Mex shrine that had ... More >>
Last night, the Orange County Press Club held its annual awards ceremony at Encore Dinner Theater in Tustin, and in-between a hoppin' swing music set, a pretty good four-course dinner, reporters gossiping, and way too many smoke breaks to count, there were awards handed out--and, surprise, surprise. ... More >>
I finally visited the snazzy corporate offices of the OC Weekly last week, to interview my editor, Gustavo "¡Ask a Mexican!" Arellano. Despite writing for years for the county's favorite alt-weekly, I'd conducted only an email relationship with the staff and editors. I arrived in person to tape my ... More >>
Today is National Margarita Day, a made-up holiday so food critics like myself can do listicles like these and ensure more readers will click through our posts to read regurgitated facts like how the margarita is the nation's most popular cocktail (somewhat true) to that Emiliano Zapata invented ... More >>
Pardon the awful fake Spanish--frankly, it's no worse than reading the menu at Chevy's.Real Mex, the parent company of pretty much every chain sit-down Mexican restaurant in OC that isn't Avila's El Ranchito, has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Summer here is bliss, better than anyplace else in the States
Nation's Restaurant News has reported that Dick Rivera is retiring as chairman and CEO of Real Mex, the Cypress-based parent company of El Torito, Chevys, and other casual-dining Mexican restaurant concepts.
From Twitter follower @iamrandyz:@OCWeeklyFood what's the best Taco Tuesday spot in north countyI asked if he wanted places with specific Taco Tuesday promotions, or places where it's Taco Tuesday every day, and he responded,@OCWeeklyFood well Id like to know both!Well, then!Taco Tuesday, of cour ... More >>
Churros, like an empanada or a concha, is one of those Mexican pastries almost impossible to improve, almost always good, almost never splendid--but when done wrong, a disaster. Most of the churros in Orange County fall into the former category--really, do diners care about eating anything other ... More >>
I recently hung out with the Soho Taco guys, and they confirmed what I suspected: The new executive chef at Taco Rosa, Javier Zambrano, is related to them--he's their uncle.Taco Rosa, of course, is the higher-end concept created by the Taco Mesa guys, a great place to try delicious Mexican food a ... More >>
Does 86-year-old Larry J. Cano, who spread sit-down Mexican dining across the U.S., have one more cuisine-changing idea in him?
My cover story this week focuses on Larry J. Cano, the founder of El Torito and one of the people I'm highlighting in my coming book about the history of Mexican cuisine in the United States. He truly is a pioneer in his field, but in researching the story, I was surprised at how much El Torito h ... More >>
I interviewed El Torito founder Larry Cano a couple of weeks ago for my upcoming book on the history of Mexican food in the United States. Lot of great stories that I'll save for the book, but here's a funny tidbit that Señor Cano had forgotten.This appeared in a 1957 ad for the Los Angeles Time ... More >>
Usually, I avoid media dinners because that means I have to rub elbows with PR hacks and the reporters who reprint everything they tell them to, and because accepting free meals doesn't sit well with me, and is something I've never done for any Weekly print review I've ever written. And I always ... More >>
Orange County authors try to bring unity to people of different religious faiths. For this they will face the wrath of believers. Again.