100 Favorite OC Dishes, #72: Salsas from Salsa Bandolera

Caliente AF
Photo by The Mexican

Gabachos now eat breakfast burritos the way their grandparents gobbled up chicken and dumplings. They buy more tequila than Mexicans. They purchase tortillas like white bread nowadays. And hot sauce? No contest. But if there’s one facet of Mexican food that gabachos have yet to fully embrace, it’s fresh salsas. Oh, they love their Pace and other jarred shit, but I’m talking small-batch gems, made by just a couple of people in a kitchen—and those people are either a mom, an abuelita, or a gossipy tía.

Enter Salsa Bandolera. The woman who whips these up at the East End Kitchens in downtown SanTana must be a mami, because there’s nothing but love in her three salsas. The green version is tangy and floral; the red one deceptively spicy with its judicious mix of chile de árbol and Japanese. But her true star is the salsa de aceite: smoky, clingy, and caliente AF. Use Salsa Bandolera’s products on everything from stir frys to tacos to your eggs; better yet, just buy a big ol’ bag of chips and plow through a couple of salsa containers. You can only find it right now at Alta Baja Market (full disclosure: the wifey is a partner) and the Santa Ana Farmers’ Market on Sundays, but start buying it and make Salsa Bandolera as much an OC obsession as Gringo Bandito.

Follow Salsa Bandolera on Instagram at @salsabandolera

The List:

73. Chorizo Breakfast Bagel at Spigas Bakery and Cafe 
74. Whole Chicken Combo at Falafelo  
75. Toothpick Lamb at Sichuan Impression 
76. Hainan Chicken Rice at Baos Hog 
77. Fruit- and Ice Cream-Topped Waffles at Crave 
78. Garlic Shrimp Poke at Costco 
79. Chimichurri Fries at Piaggo on Wheels 
80. Torta Cubana at Cancun Juice 
81. Adobo Bowl at Irenia 
82. Garlic Noodles at Krave Asian Fusion 
83. Broccolini at SeaSalt WoodFire Grill 
84. Spicy Tuna Roll at Yard House 
85. Amber Roll at Orange Roll and Sushi 
86. Frito Chili Cheeseburger at Burger Parlor 
87. Maui Sunrise at The Original Banzai Bowls 
88. Meals from The Performance Kitchen 
89. Pizza-Sized Quesadilla at Los Sanchez
90. Filipino Brunch at EATS Kitchen And Bar
91. Mexican Chocolate at the Pie Hole 
92. Biscuits at James Republic 
93. Mushroom Flatbread with Kale and Kumquat Salad at Lemonade 
94. Mexican-Style Gelatins from Santa Ana's Gelatina Goddess 
95. Hot Pastrami Caesar Salad at Bruxie
96. Jalapeño Pupusas at Las Cazuelas
97. Meatball Sliders at Fresh Brothers
98. Buffalo Cauliflower at Mead's Green Door Cafe
99. Raindrop Cake at Sunmerry Bakery
100. Doughrito at Surfin' Donuts

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