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.
An open-air patio with a swinging saloon-door gate and an awning made from timber logs greet visitors to Antojitos Don Juan, hinting at the feasts of zesty Mexican cuisine to be found inside. With its canopy of umbrellas, swaying palm trees, and adobe-and-tile furniture, the deck space combines a laid-back tropical vibe with a Southwestern aesthetic, like a sun-soaked beach party in the middle of Arizona. In the shady confines of the interior, soccer jerseys and strings of pennants hang above a bar top, framing feasts of cheesy enchiladas suizas or beefy bistec ranchero. Guests chow down from the ample seafood menu of fried fish and shrimp dishes or sample traditional fare such as menudo y pozole soup or barbecued goat.
A burger, a hotdog, and chili are usually separate meals, but not at Spoons Grill & Bar. Its Macho Burger is a combination of all three: a beef patty topped with a split hotdog, a heap of chili, some cheese, and barbecue sauce for good measure. However, it's a meaty diversion from the rest of Spoons' Tex Mex–style menu, which is focused on tacos and sizzling fajitas. While diners dig into such feasts, Spoons' giant high-def TVs air sporting events. Those just visiting Santa Ana, meanwhile, can order meals delivered straight to their hotel rooms daily until 10 p.m., meaning they won't have to eat the complimentary bars of soap.
At El Zocalo Mexican Steakhouse, the sounds of sizzling shrimp and chicken fajitas mingle with the horns and strumming guitars of banda and mariachi music. Servers add sight and smell to the sensory party by carting out colorful plates of parillada meat grills. The menu's grilled meats complement a sizable selection of seafood—lobster and salmon, to name a couple. But they also pair nicely with refreshing provisions such as cocktails and buckets of beer sourced from a 21-and-over sandbox.
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.