Being a wab of Zacatecan ancestry puts me in the unique position of admiring borderlands cuisine from an outsider and insider perspective. Southern California standards like wet burritos, crispy tacos, pork in green chile, and flautas always fascinate me for their exotic-yet-familiar origins. But I usually don't eat this type of "Mexican" cuisine as it is the gut bomb of so much infamy (more on this tomorrow) and really isn't that good. Especially flautas, which I so often find a greasy, crumbling, pocho mess.
But a couple of weeks ago, I found flautas of glory provided by La Casa Garcia, an Orange County institution better known for owner Frank Garcia's philanthropy than the quality of his food. They offered flautas and chips at a 40th anniversary celebration for one of the county's League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) chapters, and a perfectly fine buffet salsa. Although I had already eaten, I gorged on these flautas: chopped in half, steaming with lean chicken chunks, not too greasy but with enough oil to slick a road. I won't vouch for the other food at La Casa Garcia, but order a couple dozens for your next Carne Asada cousins, and watch your chingón reputation grow.
La Casa Garcia, 531 W. Chapman Ave., Anaheim, (714) 740-1108; also at 1201 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 999-0088; lacasagarcia.com.
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