Legendary Mexican Seafood Chain Mariscos Hector Coming to Downtown Santa Ana

Some great shrimp a la diabla...EXPAND
Some great shrimp a la diabla...
Photos by Julie Leopo

The third outpost in the Marisco’s Hector empire of Mexican seafood breastaurants will be “bringing wabby back” to downtown Santa Ana when they open their doors in late April. That’s according to general manager Oscar Olivares, who’s been cutting his teeth for three years as general manager at Marisco’s Hector #2 (the one at McFadden and Standard) and will be the head honcho at their new location, across the street from Rags Newsstand on Broadway.

Hector’s on Broadway will be open for both lunch and dinner, and plans to have weekly banda-fueled all-nighters are imminent. “I eventually want to have a rock en español night, mix it up a bit,” said Olivares. “We want to be a restaurant where you feel good enough to want to hang out all the time, where you can bring your sancha…or your sancho.”

What better place to take your mistress than to a lively restaurant that offers a wide array of seafood dishes that pay homage to some of the most renowned fishing regions of Mexico? The Casuelita Nayarit is a refreshingly chilled bowl of tender octopus, perfectly cooked shrimp, cilantro, red onion and lined with crisp cucumbers and practically a whole avocado resting on the rim. If you’re looking for something with a kick of picante, the Langostinos a Tu Gusto (Prawns to Your Liking) is a delightful mess of prawns cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce, surrounded by cool citrus, tomato slices and slabs of cucumber. Armed with plenty of napkins and a cold Mexican beer, it’s a dish that’s as fun to eat as it is satisfying.

...fabulous aguachile, and...EXPAND
...fabulous aguachile, and...

Got too faded the night before and need to cure a crippling hangover? Just stumble your ass back to Hector’s for one of their patented micheladas—The “No Pasa Nada” (No Worries). It’s your choice of Mexican beer commiserating with chamoy and tomato juice (canned Clamato, no less) in a frosty Mason jar with a rim decked with shrimp and cucumber slices lightly dusted with Tajin and other secret spices—a shot in the mouth, in a glass.

Olivares plans on keeping the Mariscos Hector reputation for keeping it real alive and well. Although they don’t feel they can get away with putting El Chapo on their menus (as they do at their McFadden location) or even wall-sized images of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata at their new spot, they’ll continue their tradition of setting up chairs right outside during fight nights for looky-loos who want to see the fights but can’t pay to get inside. “I always, always, always, loved being around raza," Olivares says. The way I see it, we’re in their neighborhood; we should be making them feel at home.”

The chicas!EXPAND
The chicas!

Chef Juan R. Obregon, from Jalisco, Mexico, is looking forward to the move and sees it as an opportunity to flex his culinary muscles. “Downtown seems like an exciting place where people are adventurous eaters and chefs are always trying new things,” said Obregon. Besides keeping some of his classics, Obregon plans to instill a rotating menu of dishes that he feels wouldn’t be appreciated at the McFadden location, but will be embraced in the culinary climate that is downtown Santa Ana. Chef Obregon spoke of the new location’s entrees possibly offering filet mignon or even the occasional surf n’turf dish, depending on what ingredients he can get his hands on. “I like the food in downtown Santa Ana, it’s really good and interesting, “said Obregon, “but I’m going to bring something bold and new to the area with a lot of sabor.”

The exact date of their soft opening is still unclear, but check out their instagram (@HECTORSONBROADWAY) for updates.


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