Caliente Southwest Grille whips up Mexican eats from ingredients brought in fresh daily. The menu brims with masterful Southwestern dishes, straddling the border between two cuisines like a foie gras Hot Pocket. The carnitas burrito ($5.35) wraps flour tortillas around tender chunks of slowly braised pork, pico de gallo, salsa, cheese, and guacamole, and the wow chicken taco ($2.85) drizzles a bright citrus dressing over grilled chicken, jicama, cucumber, lettuce, queso, and pepitas. Health-conscious diners will delight at the eatery’s salad selection, including a caliente tropical salad ($5.45) made with sweet chopped apples, sun-dried blueberries, pineapple and jicama lounging atop a bed of fresh romaine lettuce. Toast the completion of a difficult crossword puzzle with refreshing libations, available in domestic ($2.95) and imported ($3.50) varieties as well as an exotic, grape-hewn “wine” ($3.50) format.
From 14-hour days during the beginnings of their first restaurant in Long Beach more than 37 years ago, Super Mex founders Manuel and Socorro Orozco built franchises across Southern California. Inspired by the local cuisine of the village he was born in—Villa Jimenez, Michoacan, Mexico—Manuel brought his passion for traditional Mexican food to California, where the business grew with a dedicated following of college students. Striving to craft dishes that taste homemade, Super Mex offers Mexican classics such as burritos, tostadas, and flautas.
Rockin' Baja Coastal Cantina's positive local press hones in on its Puerta Nuevo–style Mexican coastal menu, overflowing with buckets of fresh, high-quality seafood and beachy spins on traditional Mexican dishes. Baja's specialty is its Seafood Baja Buckets, pails filled with alaskan king crab, lobster tail, shrimp, snow crab, and more, all flash-fried in the shell, seasoned with mexican spices and flanked by ranchero beans, mexican rice, flour tortillas, and honey chill butter ($17.99–$39.99). For non-bucketed fare, the Outrageous Tacos come outfitted with steak, pork, or grilled chicken interiors ($8.99+), while Gnarly Nachos slather crispy corn tortilla chips with cheese, ranchero beans, jalapeños, tomatoes, and guacamole ($9.99). Diners are given the gift of unlimited chips and salsa, and Rockin' Baja's crew is capable of delivering appointed table captains beer by the bucketful even with hook hands ($18–$23).
From a humble beginning as a family business in Tustin more than 25 years ago, Jalapeños has flourished into multiple restaurants throughout Orange County. It's an achievement almost as impressive as the sheer number of burritos on the Tustin menu: 15. And that number could be easily doubled by having each one made mojado-style with melted cheese on top. Classic combinations of beans and meat share the page with creations like the Chile Colorado—beef chunks, red chile, and cheese—as well as vegetarian burritos that are stuffed with the likes of chiles rellenos and veggies instead of just another tortilla wadded up.
Of course, the menu also includes tacos, tortas, and tostadas. Specialty dinners here range from enchiladas to plates of beef tongue and carnitas. To add a little tang to your meal, order an entire marinated jalapeno on the side and douse the spiciness with an imported beer.
Settle into the capacious dining area and notice how the colors on the walls perfectly match the salsa, likely meaning it's possible to dip chips in the walls. Snap back to reality and get to appetizing with a pair chicken or steak flautas with chipotle dipping sauce ($6.35) or some carnitas nachos ($4.95). Big burritos comprise the core of the menu—nab the steak species to taste queso fresco and grilled bell pepper ($7.95), the fish to taste chimayo tartar and mahimahi ($7.95), or the California veggie with zucchini and avocado to keep it strictly unmeaty ($5.70). If you prefer unwrapped eats, opt for a shrimp taco ($3.50), the cheese enchiladas ($5.95), or a combination of entrees ($8.99+). Those dining during dinner will receive a free flan for dessert.
At La Terraza Mexican Grill & Bar, talented chefs conjure up delectable medleys of Mexican flavors made from preservative-free, all-natural ingredients. Mouthwatering burritos and crispy tacos bulge with fresh, never-frozen meats, ensuring that taste buds swoon under the spell of farm-fresh chicken and beef ladled with salsa made fresh daily. Terracotta tile, bright yellows, and effervescent greens color La Terraza’s vibrant interior and full bar, providing a bright background for their sweet-and-salty margaritas. An outdoor patio aerates overheated palates and shelters patrons with bright red and yellow umbrellas.