The best way to familiarize oneself with a different country's culture is to spend 10–15 years in one of its maximum-security prisons, but the second-best way is to taste its cuisine. Learn about the Southwest with today's Groupon: for $6 you get $12 worth of Mexican cuisine and drinks at Caliente Southwest Grill in Costa Mesa.
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.
Fifty-one Yelpers give Caliente Southwest Grill a four-star average rating:
Caliente Southwest Grille
It's no wonder why Caliente Southwest Grille is always so crowded. Using locally grown vegetables and making their own sauces, salsas, and dressings in-house, the chefs serve both Tex-Mex classics and intriguing innovations. For example, there's the carnitas platter, a helping of tender braised pork cooked in banana leaves, and the seafood tacos, brimming with wild salmon, grilled mahi-mahi, or Cajun shrimp. Pineapple tortilla wraps are livened up with a fresh pineapple-jicama relish, and salads like the caliente tropical salad prove that even vegetables can set your ears on fire. Breakfast is also available, with offerings like french toast or chorizo and egg burritos.