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Excellent Authentic Mexican in LAGUNA!

junglekitte Aug 22, 2006 01:29 AM

Hi all...was on the LA board long ago, moved to NYC, and now I'm back in OC visiting... but I just had to tell everyone about my favorite little Mexican joint in Laguna Hills named "La Rana". Its the best, most authentic restaurant in the entire area. The best tacos el pastor, pozole, fish tacos, chiliquiles, and more...
Friendly staff too. Don't go expecting ambiance. Just really good, fresh, Mexican food.

27001 Moulton Pkwy (Oso Pkwy)
Laguna Hills, CA 92656

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  1. c
    cdmedici RE: junglekitte Aug 22, 2006 04:45 AM

    Wow, you had me excited for a sec. Laguna Hills is very different from Laguna Beach and about 9 miles away. But if it as good as you say then a trip down the toll road is worth it.

    1. junglekitte RE: junglekitte Aug 22, 2006 05:13 AM

      haha its not that far! This is no taco loco or wahoos....;)

      1. 1000steps RE: junglekitte Aug 22, 2006 03:23 PM

        LAGUNA... great... oh hills? Not so great. Anyways will try it out in spite of the fact you dissed Taco Loco.

        2 Replies
        1. re: 1000steps
          junglekitte RE: 1000steps Aug 22, 2006 04:42 PM

          haha you guys make it seem like laguna beach and hills are sooooo far. if you like authentic mexican then there's really NO WHERE in laguna beach (that i know of) that has it....

          taco loco is good and all. it is what it is...

          1. re: junglekitte
            Ernie RE: junglekitte Aug 25, 2006 06:06 PM

            I was recently pleasantly surprised with the chorizo breakfast burrito at Adolfo's in Laguna Beach. Very tasty and authentic.

        2. e
          EclecticEater RE: junglekitte Aug 23, 2006 10:01 PM

          The place you want to go to for authentic Mexican food is Taqueria Y Tortelleria El Campion—31921 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano. English is spoken as a second language. They have all kinds of freshly prepared meats (pastor, carnitas, buche, lengua, etc. They make wonderful tacos and full plates. They have horchada and liquidos such as papaya and mango. Not much atmosphere, not really a restaurant although there is a counter and a few tables. Just good, real, authentic Mexican food. They also have a retail store, carneceria, tortillas and all kinds of Mexcian canned goods. Be prepared to be stuffed after eating lunch there.

          1. t
            torta basilica RE: junglekitte Aug 25, 2006 07:52 AM

            None of which withing walking distance of Laguna Beach ;-( Oh well, there's always La Sirena, Taco Loco & Javier's for 'Laguna-style' Mexican...

            1. jacquelinec RE: junglekitte Aug 25, 2006 08:47 AM

              had a great meal at Las Brisas, I think that's in Laguna Beach? (possibly Niguel?)

              1 Reply
              1. re: jacquelinec
                cdmedici RE: jacquelinec Aug 25, 2006 05:26 PM

                That was you. I heard that Las Brisas served a couple of good meals last year. :-)

                One should avoid resaturants owned by the El Torito chain.

                The view is awesome though.

              2. l
                Liquid Sky RE: junglekitte Aug 25, 2006 04:06 PM

                I heard Las Brisas is actually better to go for the drink and the view. If I'm at Laguna Beach, which would place would you guys recommend if I want to do MINIMAL TRAVELLING: Javier's or Taco Loco?

                For dinner, I'm more in to the food than the atmosphere. LOVE fish tacos, moles, etc.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Liquid Sky
                  1000steps RE: Liquid Sky Aug 25, 2006 11:26 PM

                  Totally different. Both excellent in my opinion but Javier's is a sit down place and can be costly - still fun and loud though. Taco loco is a small curbside place that has roughly 10 seats and the best guacamole in the world to put on their blackened mushroom quesadillas.

                  Only go to Las Brisas for sunset cocktails.

                2. e
                  EclecticEater RE: junglekitte Aug 25, 2006 07:24 PM

                  Las Brisas has the best view; good for ogling females or males; nice to walk along the path in front. Food was much better than I remember it from previous occasions so they may have upgraded their chef, not cheap but not out of sight. But not the be-all and end-all for Mexican food by any means. Have a drink outside and enjoy the eye candy and the view of the Pacific.

                  1. junglekitte RE: junglekitte Aug 26, 2006 03:10 AM

                    the point of my post was to mention a truly AUTHENTIC mexican experience. i've been to most of the restaurants previously mentioned and you cannot compare it to La Rana (or probably the one in san clemente, haven't been there though) ....practically like comparing apples and oranges...

                    oh well

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: junglekitte
                      torta basilica RE: junglekitte Aug 26, 2006 03:26 AM

                      I think we're just more upset after getting all excited after reading your title thinking that it was actually in Laguna (where I'll travel a big 7 miles south tomorrow to stay on the beach for 8 nights) - sorry - will check out your authentico when I'm not paying the big $$ for a house on the beach within walking distance of downtown Laguna...

                      1. re: junglekitte
                        Professor Salt RE: junglekitte Aug 26, 2006 03:31 AM

                        Your tip is appreciated, don't worry :)

                        This just goes to show that Laguna Hills isn't Laguna Beach. Apples and oranges indeed.

                        1. re: junglekitte
                          Itslikeimsayin RE: junglekitte Aug 26, 2006 03:56 AM

                          Calling Laguna Hills "Laguna" is a bit odd, but not odd enough for everyone to hijack this thread into a "Laguna Beach Mexican food" thread.

                          I live a couple miles from La Rana and noticed it recently. I'll try it soon based on your recommendation. What style are the fish tacos? (Breaded fish or grilled?)

                        2. c
                          ChristianZ RE: junglekitte Aug 26, 2006 04:15 AM

                          Do they have any good desserts at La Rana?

                          1. junglekitte RE: junglekitte Aug 28, 2006 09:41 PM

                            i'ved lived in in laguna for 23 years. they are all relatively close. especially since good dining so scarce! i'm willing to drive to laguna beach, laguna hills, aliso viejo, or laguna niguel for something tasty.

                            to each their own.

                            ps. their fish tacos are fried i believe. they also have shrimp.
                            ps2. deserts consist of flan or tres leches (i think) never got them before.

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