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Any "Must Eat" Mexican in South O.C.?

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Former Angeleno coming out to South O.C. from the Chicago area for a few days later this month. Can anyone recommend any "must eat" Mexican restaurants? Oaxacan recommendations would be particularly welcome.

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  1. If you are looking for Oaxacan, there is at least one place in Santa Ana... but I thought that Chicago has captured the regional (and higher end) Mexican quite well already.

    If I were to choose a must eat for visiting South OC it would be in the opposite direction... perhaps Americanized but very uniquely Orange County, which is Taco Mesa.

    It looks like nothing from the outside but they work with high quality ingredients... Many of the specials are amazing and I can't remember getting anything less than totally delicious. Again tho, its not just that the food is good... but rather I don't know of anywhere outside of OC that's quite like it... so thats what makes it a must visit for the area.

    2 Replies
    1. re: theonceler

      I'll second Taco Mesa, or it's slightly more upscale sibling, Taco Rosa. Definitely not your everyday chain menu selections... freshly made and mighty tasty. I agree, the daily specials won't disappoint. One in Irvine Marketplace (Jamboree north of the I-5), one in Newport (near Mariner's Church off Culver, southwest of UCI).

      1. re: Bogey153

        I third Taco Mesa (on 17th). I drive from NOC, and it's worth the drive. They need a location up here! Their bacon wrapped shrimp special (on Sat) is DIVINE! (as is everything)

    2. Not S. OC but, definately a "must eat" would be Mariscos Puetro Esperanza in Orange. Do a search here for it.

      http://members.dslextreme.com/users/s...

      My other rec would be for lobster fajitas at El Adobe De Capistrano.

      1. I really like the tacos at El Patio Cafe in Capistrano Beach.