One of the cardinal rules of Drinks of the Week is that they have to be available here in Orange County. There's no point in writing about something our readers can't get, right? But this week we're going to make a rare exception. Why? Well, first, because it's damn good mezcal. DAMN good mezcal. I ... More >>
Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!! Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for ... More >>
"Orange County has the best patrons! Our Orange County followers are loyal, supportive, encouraging and generous. We love serving here in the OC" - Tony Lu And that is how you start an interview! Tony Lu and crew have been truckin' between counties, offering luxe meals in an approachable lonchera s ... More >>
On a weekend morning near the Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana, two hundred tijuanenses are gathered under a blue roof, talking and eating and drinking and causing an uproarious din you'll hear from the main street. Fifty more people are parking and waiting for tables. All 200 people are eating ... More >>
Meeting Roland Rubalcava for the first time was a bit nerve-wracking. It's not often we're asked to interview someone who's friends with El Jefe. Yet Roland was more unassuming and chill than many of our subjects, despite the constant ebb and flow of regulars filtering through the market. From his s ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And should the U.S. bring back the guest-worker program for Mexicans?
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And what exactly is a huipil?
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why do Chicano Studies professors always wear guayaberas?
A couple of chairs flipped right side up in the middle of a gutted dining space. That is how we roll with Chef Gonzalez in his unfinished room, also known as Phase Two in the grand scheme of things at Roe in Belmont Shore. Thanks to some dedicated parking spots, we start our session on time and with ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] This Santa Ana restaurant is the first outpost of a Mexican chain devoted to pozole—but there's much more
On June 6, Chef Rick Bayless received from the Mexican government the Order of the Aztec Eagle, Insignia class (lower ranking reserved for non-royals and non-politicians) for his work in promoting Mexican cuisine in general, and Mexican haute cuisine, specifically, in his PBS television series Mexic ... More >>
Forget the Korean taco, Seabirds' avocado taco, even the Choco Taco: the most interesting taco in Orange County right now are the suckers above, which come directly to you from the late 1940s, when the crispy taco ruled America but taco fryers had yet to become popular and thus cooks fried them by c ... 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 >>
The Oaxacan rapper brings xip-xop to OC
"I believe music is universal, and it responds to the context in which it was created," says Mare Advertencia Lirika--or Mare, as she's known professionally. "In my case, coming from indigenous roots, my music is the voice that speaks to this context." In Oaxaca, Mexico, where Mare makes her home, ... More >>
Dave LiebermanHarbor Boulevard in Anaheim and Garden Grove is well-known as a black hole of good food, being lined with every chain America could come up with. Eventually, though, the beige sameness peters out, and by the time you cross Lampson Avenue, you're back in the dusty, grim ... More >>
To the right is a picture of the cocktail I drank nearly every single night during the holidays. (On a related note, I may need to get over my horror of Bonobos or other stretchy-waist trousers.)I couldn't help it. I'm obsessed. I almost never drink cocktails with soda in them, but I've got a sec ... More >>
In Los Angeles, New York and other hipster enclaves, the Mexican drink of the moment is mezcal, tequila's country cousin (tequila? SO Chapman U sorority party). Oaxacan-food princess Bricia Lopez (of Guelaguetza fame) just opened a mezcal bar at her family's restaurant, and a mezcal bar is being ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And what are the three milks of pastel de tres leches?
What, you thought your last name had to end in -a, -o or -z to be able to review tortillas? Nope! The humble disk of corn, the legacy of pre-Columbian Mexico, is a staple not just for Mexicanos; they're indispensable even in European-mutt households.La Reina is a market with a bad location: cater ... More >>
Flickr user christine zeninoSan Francisco is going to play quite a role in my coming book on the history of Mexican food in the United States--and that's all I'm going to say about that right now. But Baghdad by the Bay is in the Mexi-food news right now, because pendejo health inspectors have as ... More >>
Phot by Kevin LaraCan a name for our featured chef be more appropriate than Jared Cook? Nah. The man in the kitchen at St. Roy Chef's Pub offers us his thoughts on foodies and how he likes to spend his free time. On the Line, Part One, begins below.What are six words to describe your food?Real, c ... More >>
Deep, deep in the highlands of the Mexican state of Guerrero, a place known more for the cruise ships that ply the city of Acapulco and the silver stands of inland Taxco, lies one of the gastronomic destinations of Mexico: Teloloapan, the home of mole rojo guerrerense.
Time was, all the good weed came from Mexico. After all, that's where it'd been grown for who knows how long, up in the hills of Sinaloa, Michoacan and Oaxaca. Now, the good stuff is grown north of the border, and with the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes now 15 years in the making, ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] Mexico City-style dishes abound in this tiny, homey Stanton dive
A couple of years ago, a friend gave me the above tequila bottle. I've kept it over the years because it's decorative, but the image has about as much to do with tequila as the Finns. It's an Aztec warrior--but tequila wasn't created until long after the fall of Tenochtitlán, and then by Spaniar ... More >>
Dave LiebermanIf you're going to be a proper hole-in-the-wall hound around these parts, the first thing you've got to learn is that a great deal of the best food in Orange County comes not from restaurants or food trucks, but rather from sandwich counters in grocery stores.
Flickr user Steve SnodgrassYes, people have dressed for Halloween as theseAs usual, too many great stories this week on this infernal blog--read them all! Too lazy? Some highlights after the jump!
Ask a European what to do with squash blossoms and the answer will be nearly invariable: stuff them with cheese, batter them and deep fry them.Ask a chilango--a denizen of Mexico's capital region--and the answer will be just as invariable, but different: quesadillas de flor de calabaza, squash bloss ... More >>
Flickr user ocean_of_starsSure, you can call them lamb's quarters, but around these parts, if you ask for lamb's quarters you'll be served meat, not greens. Around here, these cousins to the quinoa plant are called quelites (pronounced "kay-LEE-tayss").
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And: Do Mexicans measure up?
[Hole in the Wall] This Garden Grove eatery actually does serve Morelian specialties
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 >>
BY GABRIEL SAN ROMANFor years, Lila Downs has melded her powerful multilingual vocals with musical arrangements that engagingly blend the sounds of our global village. Of mixed heritage herself, the signature syncretism that has come to define her artistic presentation has been most recently evid ... More >>
If the three people standing outside Irvine Barclay Theater late this afternoon represented the "Vicente Fox Welcoming Committee at UCI," the committee that has not forgotten Chiapas, Atenco, and Oaxaca, the committee that "opposes Fox and other oppressors wherever they show their faces," ... More >>
2008 OC Weekly Best Restaurant in Orange County Avanti Cafe in Costa Mesa has a treat for you. From an email by one of Avanti's owners, Mark Cleveland: Visit Avanti Cafe on Nov 4, flash your 'I Voted' sticker and we'll treat you to a tangy sweet. It's an historic election & it's exciting to Vote! ... More >>
Show Me the Mole!
Or: How to keep Mexicans in Mexico
Of Micks and McDonald's
And the Food They Love
This Week in Salsa
The quixotic quest for great gourmet Mexican cuisine
Five Mexican Mexican restaurants to fiesta at during Cinco de Mayo
Orange Countys first Oaxacan restaurant