No. 96, Licuados at Mil Jugos

Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!

don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love
this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it
is rather fun to do this for us Forkers–an opportunity to highlight
dishes from restaurants we'll never full review, or secrets from old
standbys. Anyhoo, let the march continue..

Despite the name, there aren't a thousand juices on offer at Mil Jugos–only 24, but that's plenty because you're in the presence of fruits airport-customs officials would confiscate if they found you trying to smuggle them in your carry-on. So why bother with the Jamba Juice standard bearers of banana, strawberry and mango when you can sample mora, mamey and the incomparable charms of guanabana, a spiky menace of the tropics that has an invigorating tang within its fleshy, cream-colored pulp? 

Mil Jugos owner Norah Briceño and family will whir up your chosen fruit in blenders with ice and a few spoonfuls of sugar, turning out licuados, smoothies easier to sip than parking in downtown Santa Ana is to find, smoothies such as lulo, which tastes as though God got bored with creating pineapples, oranges and bananas and decided to put all of their flavors into a fruit that looks like a tomato. 
Whatever you do, drink it quickly. Don't even wait for the still-crunchy sugar crystals to dissolve. The longer you let any of the licuados sit, the more the drink separates. Take this not as a fault, but rather an indicator that they are concocted from the most basic and natural ingredients. Because of it, I consider Mil Jugos easily the best juice bar in OC.

The list so far:

97. Hawaiian Ahi Poke at California Fish Grill
98. Takoyaki at Takoyaki Tanota
99. Fiesta Noodles at Jollibee
100. Chilaquiles Verdes Con Huevos Estrellados at La Tablita California

Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2010!
Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2011!

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