If there are a lot of police cars parked outside a restaurant all the time, that's usually a sign that the place is one of the best restaurants in town. That, or it's totally ghetto. In this case, it's the former (although from the exterior the place looks pretty beat). Casa de Soto is basically a Spanish-operated Mexican restaurant near the Korean part of Garden Grove frequented by a lot of white people.
After eating here for almost 20 years, I've still never tried the mild salsa (that's the one others refer to as ketchup) as their hot salsa is among my favorites around. Over the years it seems like it's gotten a bit less hot, or perhaps I've become more immune to it as the time goes by. Another good measuring stick: if it makes your nose a bit runny, you know it's hot. As you're just getting started on the chips and salsa, that's interrupted abruptly as your meal ends up on your table within 5 to 10 minutes after ordering it, with it often being closer to the 5 minute mark. Don't worry though, you can keep eating the chips and they'll bring more out.
I like to put the hot salsa on other things too. As for what those other things are, let's just say that this is one of my favorite "cheat" meals as eating healthy goes out the window when I'm here. The chicken tacos are something I've always gotten (crispy yet somehow soft and in danger of falling apart at the same time), other times I'll add a beef burrito and/or cheese enchilada. I usually pass on the beans, double up on the rice, and yes, throw some of that salsa on. Then, I make sure to have plenty of iced tea with lots of sugar.
The former owner passed away over a decade ago, so his son runs the day to day operations these days. I was introduced to CDS by his other son when I was young. The staff hasn't changed much since then, and they still have the cash register separated by plastic glass and have candy suckers on the counter for the kids on the way out. I still always grab one, then walk right outside to my car that's surrounded by police cars.
*my 100th review
So, 2 Asian guys walk into a legitimate authentic Mexican food place on West 19th St...
Ok, I'll back up a bit. An Asian and a half (me being the latter) walk in after not being able to find it and almost giving up when we saw the El Toro Bravo Market instead. What, is there no restaurant? But, I read a Yelp tip that points us in the right area...
Line's outside the door @ about 6p on a Tuesday. We're not going to eat inside (it's not a sit-down place), or at one of those tables outside next to the line. That's ok, we're not backing out now, are we?
We look at the menu. We see some combo meals and specials, but we're confused. Should we gracefully exit?
Where are all the a la carte items? I go further inside to the right of the line and see:
WTF are all these things???
Shiiiiiiiiiiit, they're gonna realize I'm not Hispanic and laugh us out of here!
Shiiiiiiiiiiit, I should've remembered Spanish from my 9th grade High School class.
Shiiiiiiiiiiit, I'm the Whitest person in here.
Shiiiiiiiiiiit, it's our turn to order and I have no clue what to say. We're intimidated!
Don't Be Scared Homie!
I frantically keep reading Yelp reviews and figure I'll order something I see noted, even if I can't find it in the actual restaurant anywhere.
JACKPOT!!! First, the guy we got speaks English. Second, everything we ordered actually existed (you know, burritos, nachos, tacos - shocking that a Mexican place would have those!) Third, just watching them put together those bad boys is a thrilling adventure! And what the hell are they doing in the kitchen with all those huge bins? My friend's eyes were popping open. Shit, we're really getting ALL that?!? I mean, shiiiiiiiiiit.
If there is a more authentic Mexican food experience in the area, I'd love to know what it is. My problems have been solved. I don't need to venture outside Costa Mesa to get the real deal!
This stuff is cheap (cash only BTW) and super filling. Ridiculously so.
Gimme gimme gimme more, more food that is. I don't wanna bother complaining about prices. Instead, I'll just say give me more food, instead of charging less.
The guy in front of me asked how large a taco was and proceeded to order one. They're $4, so I bought 2 (an adobo and a korean steak) and I basically scoffed them down within a couple minutes. I can't imagine how the other guy got by with only 1.
Both tacos had their own zing to them so I was pleased in that regard. They were easy to eat and didn't fall all apart like some tacos do.
I'd probably need 4 to satisfy my appetite, but would I really wanna pay $16+ tax for that?
I didn't buy a drink. Guess I was expecting them to have Bud Light Lime.
Sí ! Sí ! Sí !
Seriously, Fiesta Grill is largely responsible for me taking an almost 2 year abstinence from Mexican food. The reason being? Because when I was living in the Pacific Northwest, I knew that nothing could measure up to some Southern CA Mexican food, so I didn't even bother trying places up there.
Just like I have a go to Mexican food place to sit down and eat, I have a go to spot for take out, that place of course being Fiesta Grill. I would have nothing against sitting inside here, I enjoy looking at all the little stickers beneath the front counter and seeing what soccer game is on the TV. However, it's more of a take out hole in the wall and this shopping strip is pretty much a real shithole, as they say.
They always knew exactly what I wanted, and packed in lots of chips and salsa with it. Be careful of that salsa though, you may be tempted to throw it on everything and be left with extra chips with no salsa to dip them into.
Last time I went here, after that near 2 year absence, they still remembered what I ordered. I didn't order everything that I usually do since I was trying to limit the calories, but when I got home I unpacked the bag and what do you know, but they threw in a chicken taco for free (since I always ordered it before). Who does that? Really impressed me.
I love their taquitos, I don't order them at any other Mexican places but with their crispness and some guac and salsa, I can never pass these bad boys up. I usually throw in a beef enchilada to round things out. I may spend almost $10, but to get 3 things and chips and salsa is a real steal.
Sí ! Sí ! Sí !
If you might be turned off by pro wrestling, don't worry, it's hard to call what they do here that. It's more like a party or a show. After leaving my first Lucha VaVOOM show, reflecting on what went on inside the ring, I felt like the business had been bastardized. But then I realized that had happened long ago, probably around the time David Arquette won the WCW World Heavyweight title, if not earlier, and got over it.
This is unlike any another lucha venue and crowd you'll encounter. For starters it's at The Mayan so there's a bar as opposed to a snack bar. When not backstage, I mainly hung out on the balcony. It's more accessible than the packed floor and a better spot to take everything in. There were several "C" list celebrities in attendance, including the aforementioned David Arquette, and then Paul Ruebens (Pee Wee Herman), SpongeBob (the guy that does his voice), and wait for it...Grant Show of Melrose Place fame! There were others, but Grant Show made me forget the rest.
So this is one of my all time greatest life moments: I had driven the main eventer (Dr. Wagner Jr.) to this show, and when we go right to the VIP entrance to get in, I see Grant Show on the other side waiting in line with the commoners. So yeah, the day I die I can always say for one night in my life I was more important than the guy that played Jake on Melrose Place.
The other highlights for me were observing the Burlesque girls backstage, hanging out with midgets, and watching Mistico (now known as Sin Cara in WWE) basically acting like a dick and having plenty of "bacne" on him. Guess they didn't have a Wellness Program for the talent. I think I also saw more dancing from the luchadores than the Burlesque chicks. The guys even danced with their opponents.
It was Halloween week when I went but it's not a stretch to think the way the performers and crowd were dressed, would be the same any time of the year.
Text from a friend a couple months ago: "let's go to Feeds"
Me: I don't know what that is
Friend: my friend told me it's really good, should be on Main St. right by where you're staying
I thought to myself: how could there be this place called "Feeds" that I don't know about?
Turns out his friend couldn't spell correctly when texting, and my friend didn't know what Fred's was.
If I had known we were going to Fred's, I would've recommended something else. I can't even remember what I had to eat here, and it has nothing to do with what I drank. It's just that the food is unmemorable. Of the few times I've ate here over the years, there's nothing that I would look forward to having again.
It's got some nice outdoor seating with a view and can be a decent place to hang (which almost any place that had its location on the corner of Main St. could say) but if I'm hungry it's not my first choice, 2nd choice, or even in the top 10 for places around here. Getting drinks, chips, and maybe some appetizers can be decent (and in that order), but I wouldn't recommend much more. Next.
In regards to the "cantankerous malcontent" referenced in Robert H's review, if someone were to allege that it was me, Brandon C, who flagged that "damning review" he was referring to for violating Yelp's content guidelines (which led to it being removed) I wouldn't deny it.
Anyways, I came here at about 10 on a Monday night. I heard it's open late on weekdays and wanted to hit up a place nearby that had food, not just drinks. I drive by this spot practically daily and ever since it opened it seems as packed as an overstuffed bra. But when we arrived it was an empty as a promise from a politician.
We sat at the bar as the lights were off at one side of the restaurant, plus that's what you're coming here for at that time of night. For the most part the kitchen had shut down around 10. There is a food bar menu available, but not everything on it was actually available. They do their best to try to get you something. Taquitos, nachos, and maybe 3 other things are on the menu. The 2 blokes working were always helpful, but I think they took off every 20 minutes (see pic). Regardless, I hope my friend tipped them well. If not, damn cheap ass has no respect.
Maybe about a dozen more people came into the bar area all night. All I had was a couple beers and the forgettable but acceptable thing I ordered from the food menu. I'd like them to have more, but can't blame them too much. It's a new spot and I'm guessing staying open later is sort of an experiment. If more people come, they may have more stuff available.
I kept looking for places to stop for lunch in the Bakersfield area on my drive down from SF to OC on the I-5 South, but after having no luck, ended up at my go-to fast food place, as it was better than the alternatives. It's also the last stop before hitting the Grapevine, so I felt forced to make a decision.
The food was comparable to what you'll get at other Del Tacos, I didn't notice any difference. So, I'm here to only point out what stood out:
-the parking lot is huge
-they called my number and I walked up to get my order (like I'm used to), but for the 2 guys that ordered after me, they walked their order to them (and no, they weren't disabled)
-when I went to go to the men's restroom before departing, as I opened the door, the female employee that earlier took my order was inside cleaning it up. I'm sure it could use a clean, but they could also have used a sign to indicate not to go in during that time. So, AWKWARD!
-it's very difficult to get good cell phone service in this area. I got texts, but couldn't pull up my e-mail, apps, or internet easily
There's a Del Taco in Oregon? Better yet, it's less than a mile away from my office! Awesome. That means I don't have to fly 900 some odd miles south to get my fix.
Let's be honest, this is basically just quick, cheap, good junk food. A real guilty pleasure. That being said, it's still better than most of the places that purport to be Mexican food around here. It sure beats the other fast food joints in this shopping center, but that's kinda like being the skinniest kid at fat camp. The quesadillas are my faves but tend to be on the more expensive side, so I'll take one of those and add a taco or 2 (w/ some inferno sauce) and some nachos or fries, and get out for about $5.
The drive thru moves rapidly, I may order 5 things and still get everything within 2 minutes. I'm not a fast food type person at all, but it's hard to avoid temptation sometimes when I'm in a bind for lunch knowing there's a Del Tacs just around the corner.
|obligatory Vegas list||"this sweetness will not be concerned with me. no the sweetness will not be concerned with me."|
|food that instantly leads to my stomach growing||not places I think of as my typical hang-out spots or services being sought|
|places to watch MMA or get MMA related things||liquor stores, bars, pubs, lounges, etc. or restaurants where I saw someone way off in the corner of the dining room having a drink|
|throw on a fanny and enjoy some of San Franny||put about anything in between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich|
|Being a Gangster in HB ain't easy||"In my country there is problem..." if that makes no sense Google it or watch The Ali G Show|
"I have come here to chew bubblegum and Yelp...and I'm all out of bubblegum"
Newport Beach, CA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Oktober 2011Dinge, die ich mag
acai, double entendres, MMA, dim sum, music, metaphors, mom and pop shops, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, girls that like pizzaHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
The Mean Streets of Newport Beach, CM, or HB, and the gymHeimatort
GG, CAWarum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
WARNING: the mere act of reading them may be hazardous to your healthMeine zweitliebste Website
The Wrestler, Falling Down, Garden State, They LiveErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
I allegedly occasionally watch Lifetime moviesMeine neueste Entdeckung
avoiding traffic on the way to LAIch schwärme gerade für
Taylor Momsen, Rachel Zane