Now that Cinco de Drinko is over, let's celebrate a real raza victory: 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Avila's El Ranchito, OC's own Mexican-restaurant chain. It might've started in Huntington Park, but the other 10 locations are in la naranja, and the now-adult children of founders Salvador and Margarita Avila are staples in the Southern California charity scene. You're not real OC if you haven't done at least one mega-dinner at one of Avila's spots, from the hacienda-like SanTana location to the party-riffic Newport Beach branch to the one in Orange that's in a former church.
Best of all? Avila's is always tweaking its menu to keep up with the times. Its latest great move is creating cocktails anchored by Corralejo, the best name-brand tequila of them all. That's how I found myself drinking Avila's Guava Margarita.
True story: I don't really care for margaritas and am not a fan of guava. But combined with Corralejo Blanco, and Avila's has created a margarita simultaneously dainty and macho. It's perfectly tart with a dash of fruitiness gracias to guava nectar. And shining through is the Corralejo: spicy, sweet, the pride of Guanajuato. Drink this for dinner, at lunch, but whenever you do, raise a glass to Avila's—Orange County at its Mexi-best
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Find your nearest Avila's El Ranchito at www.avilaselranchito.com.