Start with its full name—not just Mexico Lindo (Beautiful Mexico), but Mexico Lindo . . . Y Que Rico (Beautiful Mexico . . . And How Delicious!). More than just a proclamation of the worth of its food, it’s also probably the best restaurant pun in Orange County: A take on the Jorge Negrete mariachi classic “México Lindo y Querido” (“Beautiful, Beloved Mexico”), the “God Bless America” of the country south of our border. That name is a signifier to Mexicans that here is a spot for them and them alone, that Mexico Lindo doesn’t care if gabachos come in—it probably doesn’t even expect them to because it’s located in Stanton.
Okay, it’s technically in Anaheim, but this stretch of Magnolia Avenue ain’t exactly the Champs-Élysées. But here is a well-lit spot, with neon trim on the large windows and Christmas lights on the roof year-round. Besides, the sight of a roaring fire heating up a spit of al pastor will comfort you. So will an armada of jugs filled with aguas frescas—horchata, tamarindo, strawberry, pineapple and so many more. Come nightfall, Mexico Lindo’s customers essentially ditch the rest of the menu to line up for the fresh al pastor tacos and aguas frescas. It’s the latest trend for Mexican restaurants in la naranja—and Mexico Lindo does it best.
The tacos are as perfect as can be: large, juicy, fragrant, and accompanied by slices of cucumbers and jalapeños, as well as a swarm of pickled red onions (radishes, too, but rábanos belong on tacos the way Mexicans belong in the Trump campaign). The al pastor is tender and only the slightest bit crispy, the type you’d find at Tijuana’s legendary Tacos El Franc—all that’s missing is the avocado salsa. Instead, Mexico Lindo mixes it up with a strong red. These are the type of tacos that you’ll order, finish, order some more, finish, then get a third helping—the best compliment to a taco I have in my arsenal (and I can easily go for four trips).
Mexico Lindo’s regular menu is a mishmash of Cal-Mex, chilango and even pozole verde, the Tierra Caliente specialty that should become the next chilaquiles. But the nighttime taquiza is when Mexico Lindo is on fire . . . ¡que rico!
Mexico Lindo . . . y Que Rico!, 10962 Magnolia Ave., Anaheim, (714) 821-1659.