Is Costa Vida Another Cafe Rio?

I'm both intrigued and kind of wary that a Mexican chain called Costa Vida is planned for Irvine, next to Strickland's at the Albertons plaza near UCI.

I'm intrigued because like the Cafe Rio chain, it is Utah-based (how many Mexican chains they got over there?)

I'm wary because I hope that Costa Vida isn't more of the same. Gustavo tried Cafe Rio and it turned out to be a disastrous disappointment.

Costa Vida's website won't tell you much except that it features meats like carne asada they call "grilled steak" and something called "Raspberry Chipotle Chicken" that you can stuff into your tacos and burritos.

If you've guessed that "Raspberry Chipotle" sounds like an American invention, you'd be right. The flavor is actually Texan, created and popularized by Fischer & Wieser, a specialty food producer of jellies and sauces owned by the union of two German families. Now, how it migrated from the Lone Star State to the Beehive State is as much a head-scratcher as why there are so many Utah-based Mexican chains eager to conquer the world.

Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook!


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >