5 Unbeatable Mexican Dishes
Summer is on the way, and that sunny SoCal heat is in the air. Something about our California weather always makes spicy bites and margaritas seem very appealing, and what better way to gear up for Cinco de Mayo than with some tasty and unique spins on traditional Mexican plates? The Newport Beach dining scene is full of seafood, classic American cuisine, and of course, plenty of Mexican eateries. Whether you’re in need of a good taco fix, or something more gourmet, there are plenty of local choices. Here are five of our favorite dishes to help you gear up for the festivities surrounding Cinco de Mayo this year.
Shortrib Taco on Blue Corn Gordita + SOL Guacamole
There’s something very California about dining on the water. At SOL in Newport Beach you can bask in the beautiful views of boats bobbing on the harbor and the slow moving sunsets. Add a refreshing housemade margarita to that mix and it can’t get much better. Then again, it can, and it will. SOL’s Shortrib Tacos come on a handmade blue corn ‘Gordita’, topped with delicious slow-cooked boneless beef shortribs, red chile puya salsa, avocado, cotixa cheese and onions. It’s a serious burst of flavor combinations. Add a side of their signature SOL guacamole, with mango, tequila, creamy goat cheese, toasted pepitas and cilantro, and you’re in for a sensational Mexican meets California dining experience.
Carnitas in Red Chile Guajillo
Slow cooked pork in chili sauce… oh yes, a must-indulge carnitas dish indeed. At Red O you’ll be presented with a bounty of flavors and colors on each plate delivered to your table. There’s just something about the carnitas at Red O that’ll keep you going in for bite after bite, no matter how full you might feel. Chef Rick Bayless (Bravo’s 2009 Top Chef Master winner) nails this dish by incorporating slow-cooked salmon creek farms pork, orange-guajillo chile sauce, whole black beans, and a crisp jicama-citrus petite salad all together in perfect harmony. Fill your forks up, this plate will end up clean in no time.
All You Can Eat Taco Tuesdays + Mamá Avila’s Soup
Avila’s provides Newport locals with some of the best home-style Mexican cooking in town, aside from maybe your own Abuelita’s house that is. Avila’s famous chicken and rice soup will leave your insides feeling like they’ve just been given a big hug. Flavorful chicken, rice and roasted vegetables swim together in a rich developed broth, topped with fresh avocado. Avila’s soup is pure authenticity in a bowl. Not to mention, they’re a staple for the beloved Taco Tuesday, offering all you can eat tacos for just $5 every Tuesday night, and often with a side of live music.
Sancho’s is the idealistic beachside taco shop, casual and perfect for a post-surf session. Newport Beach is Sancho’s flagship location, and the best part is, their menu is filled with killer traditional Mexican eats. This is the kind of food you want to stick with you for the day, it keeps you full and makes you feel warm and good inside. The Sancho’s Nachos are the perfect example of this – and, it’s hard to resist something that states ‘takes more time’ on the menu. The fresher, the better! Made to order chips, beans, and fresh onions are covered in melted cheddar jack cheese, sour cream, and garnished with cilantro and your choice of salsa. Add some grilled steak, chicken or carnitas to the mix for the ultimate nacho experience. This plate will have you yelling at your friends, “these nach-yo nachos, yo!”
Grilled Cuban Style Corn
When you find yourself with a hankering for Mexican food, sometimes a simple grilled corn-on-the-cob will hit the spot more than you’d expect. Wild Taco has taken a popular street food classic and brought it up to another level. Perfectly juicy and grilled on the surface, and smothered in creamy cheese and Cuban spices, it’s an addicting hand-held treat. Sweet, savory, and everything you could want from a traditional Mexican corn, with a Cuban twist.