From the free-for-all that is my Facebook page:
Where is a good Ecuadorian restaurant in OC? Preferably CM or Santa Ana. I watched Anthony Bourdain's show about Eduador and I'm more than ready for some yummy soups, stews and ceviches. I'm sure your friends know all the best places, right? THANKS!!
My answer after the jump!
Nowhere. Not a single Ecuadorian restaurant I know of in OC. I've long heard rumors of one (and just might know where it is but am saving it for a Hole-in-the-Wall Life review, or–cue Oscar Bluth–…am I?), but that's not a big surprise. The damn U.S. Census website doesn't give thorough enough information on Orange County, but I do have a paper showing the exact breakdown of la naranja's Latino community via the 2000 Census–and Ecuadorians didn't even make the list of the groups named.
Largest? Mexis, of course, with a scary 85 percent of the total community. Next up were Salvadorans and Guatemalans, followed by Puerto Ricans and Cubans. Colombians made up the largest segment of South Americans, but honestly had their heyday here culinarily in the 1990s, when a couple of colombiana places existed in SanTana and South County. Now? Only Sara's Mercado in Westminster specializes in Colombian grub–and it's mostly frozen.
It'll be interesting to see what the 2010 Census shows us about the country's Latino population, but I know for a fact that Ecuadorians haven't made any big inroads into county life. I'd wager Bolivians now make up the largest South American community, and the increase in their restaurants in recent years alludes to this–Rollie's, the reopening of Beba's, and some panaderías masquerading as Mexi joints. The Venezuelan community is increasing, as evidenced by Mil Jugos experimenting with Friday-night dinners, already slammed. Argies have increased as well, but they've been around for decades. And here's to hoping the