La Sirena Grill - Laguna/South Laguna/Irvine
Saw some references to this place here and finally tried it last night. I have no idea how long they've been around, but we've lived in this area for 25 years and had never heard of it until a couple of weeks ago. We're closest to South Laguna, so that's where we went.
My first impression was "we've found another Taco Mesa". The South Laguna location is in a strip center (Across PCH from The Montage) and is an order-at-the-counter place with more than ample inside and outside seating. Friends that frequent it said the ingredients are all very fresh and they were right. They feature organic and free range chicken and organic eggs, among other things.
The head honcho was on duty was extremely friendly and put together a combo plate for my wife of a chicken taco, chicken enchilada, rice and beans. Typical fare but very nicely prepared and very tasty. I had a La Sirena Carnitas plate...... kindof a carnitas/fajitas scramble dish served with warm tortillas. Good! SIL had two carnitas sopes - perfect here because she loves all things with shredded pork and these came on a thick corn 'pancake-like' thing with beans, cabbage, crumbled cheese, salsa and lots of carnitas. She's a health nut (except for pork) and loved it.
We'll definitely be going back often........ unless Taco Mesa builds a new location closer to us than Mission Viejo. Why? TM offers crispy tacos (which my wife prefers to soft), their menu is more varied, and their prices are about 25% lower on most basics. Also, the condiment bar at La Sirena is not as good.
I couldn't get a permalink to work, so here's their website: http://www.lasirenagrill.com/start.ph...
NOTE: The menu shown is not exactly the same as the one in South Laguna, which includes sopes and has the 'scramble plates' instead of traditional fajitas.
La Sirena Grill
30862 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
La Sirena is very much like Taco Mesa in that it is great food in a very casual, almost to-go place atmosphere.
The South Laguna beach location started about 6-7 years ago after everyone found the hidden gem on Mermaid Street near main beach. That place was so very very small, but their food was/is great. Menu is much more limited than Taco Mesa, and recipes are not as . . . what's the word . . . lots of ingredients from several regions. Both are fresh and tasty and actually quite low cal for Mexican Food.
I have been going to the Mermaid St. location for years. Spoth Laguna and El Segundo once each. I've said it before, their Blackened Salmon Salad while perhaps not an authentic recipe, is my favorite salad in Southern California. Fish is fresh and cooked to order nice and hot on the cold freshly dressed mixed greens, so tasty!
La Sirena Grill
347 Mermaid St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Midlife, have you checked out the new Olamendi's in the Gelson's shopping center? They took over the spot vacated by Crab Cove. I have only been once to that location, but I had a veggie enchilada that was so light and tasty I was blown away. Very reasonable prices and the owner's son decorated the place with his collection of art from the village where the family came from in Mexico.
I'll have to give the new Olamendi's a try, but we live very near to where their San Clemente/Pico was (now a Panda Express) and every combo dish I ever ordered there was swimming in a light liquid (from salsa or pico de gallo I would think). We got pretty turned off to their food from that.
Went recently to a work event and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food and the flavor profiles....
I loved the Horchata, it had a slight pink tint for a touch of Prickly Pear Syrup they ad. So smooth and fresh tasting... it would go AWESOME with a shot of rum...
Also had the Carnitas Taco Plate, and was shocked at how HUGE the tacos were... good deal. The flavor of the carnitas was okay, what I really liked was the super warm handmade tortillas they used.
Another thing I loved was they offer a salad in place of rice and beans (I think for a $2 upcharge). The salad is a Mexican Cesar which is VERY tasty, again bright in flavors and fresh.
Now, overall, it's not as good as Frida's (which is the restaurant I think they are closest to w.r.t menu). You won't find anything overly special or regional when it comes to the dishes, but they do seem to care about the ingredients and prep of the food... so I'd go there again versus the other Mexican choices in El Segundo/Manhattan Beach area...