On the Line: Marcella De Anda of De Anda Tacos

Looks like lunchtime.
Looks like lunchtime.
Photo by Brian Feinzimer

If the De Anda family name rings a bell, it's because Marcella's family has been in the restaurant industry since 1980 with Taqueria De Anda. Now, Marcella and her husband, Dennis, are reaching out with their updated version of Mexican fare. Expect the familiar tastes the De Andas are known for, with a few modern additions.

How does De Anda Tacos differ from the cuisine offered at your family's Taqueria De Anda restaurants?
We, of course, still offer the staples of Taqueria de Anda, such as the al pastor, carne asada, lengua, carnitas and pollo tacos and burritos. But we also added a few more things, such as adding lettuce wrap tacos. We also make burrito bowls on a bed of either lettuce, rice or, if you'd like to make it more like nachos, warm chips.

We added freshly made guacamole to the menu. We added chorizo, and [we added] papas for vegetarians to be able to enjoy our tacos and burritos. We also have a tortilla machine that makes the corn tortillas fresh and delicious. We also serve beer and wine; we make delicious micheladas. Another thing that has changed is the ambiance. I love the music that we play at the restaurant; it's an eclectic mix of music that my husband picked.

Where did you grow up, and where's home these days?
I was born and raised in Fullerton. When I was about 15, my family decided to move to Yorba Linda. I continue to live in Yorba Linda.

You're making breakfast; what are you having?
Chilaquiles verdes con cafe de olla.

How did you meet your husband?
My husband was a musician with the greatest voice I had ever heard. I fell in love with him as soon as I heard his voice.

What are the advantages to growing up as the youngest child?
Advantage No. 1 was getting to have free Uber from my siblings before I was able to drive. Advantage No. 2 was getting to experience the food industry from an extremely early age. Advantage No. 3 was getting to have all the love and attention from my siblings and parents.

Your favorite childhood memory:
Spending the summers back in my parents' hometown of Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico, at their ranch.

Favorite places to eat:
Mastro's Ocean Club, Matsuhisa (or Nobu), Houstons, Zov's and, of course, De Anda Tacos!

You have a whole day to yourself; what would you do?
I would go to the spa and get a massage and a facial. I would relax there for a couple of hours, then meet with my comadre for lunch. After that, I would go shopping for a few more hours. Then I would meet my husband to go have a nice dinner and a glass or two of wine.

How did you decide on Brea as your first location?
My husband and I decided on Brea as the first location because: 
1) We love how business-friendly the city of Brea is.
2) Demographically, it is quite diverse, which we loved.
3) The people of Brea have that 1950s family lifestyle that we both absolutely love!

Last thing you looked up/searched for online:
The last thing I searched for was a dress that I liked at Nordstrom.

Family values
Family values
Photo by Brian Feinzimer

Tell us something most people don't know about you.
Most people don't know that I am extremely shy, reserved and have more emotion than I portray.

What's the secret to a great homemade tortilla?
The secret to a great homemade tortilla is having someone who's been doing it for a long time. When someone has been doing it for a long time, they make it the perfect shape and thickness every time!

Tell us about your guilty pleasure food.
Warm pecan pie à la mode.

What is your definition of happiness?
Being with my husband and two boys. The restaurant industry is a time-consuming profession. I truly love any time that we have together.

What profession would you like to try if you weren't in this business?
I would've loved to become a flight attendant. I absolutely love traveling, and what better way to travel than to travel for free?!

Hardest life lesson you've learned:
There will be times in life when making certain decisions that there can be someone that does not agree with your decision. It's extremely important to look at other reasons as to why they believe that. But in the end, it's more important to decide for yourself what is right for you. Many times, you'll be correct. Other times not. Always follow your heart, though.

Visit De Anda Tacos at www.deandatacos.com.

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