Located on the gorgeous shores of Lake Mission Viejo and decorated with hand-painted murals, the picture-perfect hacienda features a menu packed with Mexican favorites. House specialties include carnitas (fresh, Mexican-style pork with frijoles, arroz, salsa fresca, and guacamole, $14.95) and the mole Maria (tender chicken topped with homemade mole sauce, $14.95). If you bring a Valentine's date, the platon de tacos (for two people, $26.95) gives you both ample opportunity to eat from either end of a custom-made taco and meet in the middle—a couples activity as romantic to experience as it is disgusting to watch. Seafarers will dig the marinated convergence of raw fish, lime, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro in Tortilla Flats' ceviche ($11.95) or the sautéed crab and shrimp medley of chimichanga de mariscos ($18.95), while herbivores can savor some deep-fried tostadas stuffed with veggies ($10.95). Chase it all with a dessert of fried ice cream ($6.95) or caramel flan ($4.95). Tortilla Flats also offers a respectable wine list.
On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina shares its menu of Mexican comestibles in nearly every U.S. state and more than five countries, acquainting diners worldwide with the classic recipes and innovative ingredients of the Tex-Mex tradition. Tortilla artisans bundle enchiladas, burritos, and chimichangas with surprising flavors such as beef brisket and chili pesto while sizzling platters reinvent traditional fajitas with the addition of ranch, bacon, and cold-fusion technology. On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina has partnered with Susan G. Komen For The Cure, pledging to donate a minimum of $250,000 annually to the charity to help bring attention to the importance of breast-cancer screenings, support important research, and supplement medical costs for breast-cancer sufferers.
Housed within a bright, renovated historic warehouse, Tia Juana's Long Bar & Grill serves authentic Mexican cuisine and features live music and dancing each night. The menu channels classic Tex-Mex comfort cooking with homemade savories such as Baja nachos stacked with spicy meats and cheeses ($11.95), and the guacamole estilo Mexico spiced with serrano peppers and red onion, textured with cotija cheese, and splashed with fresh lime juice ($8.95). Take in entrees such as the camarones al mojo de ajo, in which sauteed jumbo shrimp croon over a backing band of rhythmic rice, harmonizing black beans, and an eccentric guacamole saxophonist ($18.95). The unique Cabo roll lights fires inside a tortilla wrapping with grilled chicken or carne asada, avocado, pico de gallo, and cheese ($12.95).