There some OC Mexican market dynasties–the Gonzalezes of Northgate, the Bonillas of El Toro, El Toro Bravo, and El Camino Real, the Rubalcavas of La Reina and Rubalcava's Bakery, the Zambranos behind Taco Mesa, La Reyna, and Soho Taco–whose imprint is all across Latino OC, whose product travels far and wide. And then there's Nuño Brothers Market in SanTana, a sprawling shopping plaza in–yep–Nuño Brothers Plaza, off of big, bad Standard. The namesakes are fabulously wealthy, frequently popping up in campaign-finance reports in city politics, and generous in local charities–but their only location is that shopping plaza. There, they have a market, a carnicería, taqueria, and what we care about for the purposes of this column: a tortillería.
I've passed by Nuño Brothers for years, because it's right across the street from Tortillería Rubén's. But on a recent rainy Saturday, with my stash of corn tortillas done, I decided to swing by and get a pack. They actually had a couple of varieties of corn tortillas, including a king-sized one, but I went for the regular thee-dozen pack.
Good stuff, if not particularly remarkable. The nixtamal flavor was faintly there, and it cooked well, slow enough so you could monitor the point to where it gets too brown and therefore impossible to bend for taco purposes. I would've liked them a bit thicker, with more earthiness, but Nuño Bros. knows their mass-market tortillas well, and the texture in particular was great: strong, toothsome, and able to stand a pozole dunk and not turn into a soggy mess like a GRUMA nightmare.
Grade: B. I've been making tacos and quesadillas the past couple of days, and the tortillas have withstood the refrigerator test, too. Maybe the king-sized ones are thicker and therefore better? We'll swing by later this year, after we review some more…in the meanwhile, if you buy Nuño Bros., you're A-OK in our book, even if they didn't get an A!
Nuno Brothers Tortillería, 1214 S. Standard Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 972-0488.