Chaparosa Grill: The District in Tustin Loses a Restaurant

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Edwin Goei
Chaparosa Grill at The District in Tustin has closed. When it was open, the place was noted for its Caribbean totems, color-splashed walls, and numerous ceiling fans that swoop the air as if the place was in the tropics. A large framed photo of their bald chef, Tony Corke, a native of England, lorded over the room like a conquering leader.

For a while, they touted a Recession Lunch Special, where $10 bought you a soup or salad, and your choice of three selected sandwiches or a linguine with tomato, zucchini and basil. But even then, I remembered being one of only three parties in the large, spacious dining room during the middle of a weekday afternoon. Now the restaurant has been gutted and any mention of the Tustin branch has been scrubbed from the restaurant's website. 

The original Laguna Niguel branch of Chaparosa Grill still stands.

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Matt Bidart
Matt Bidart

This place sucked. I remember getting some chicken nachos over there. Came out horrible. How do you mess up nachos? Seriously. Really strange menu selection at this place and it was pricey. Not sure what market they were catering to. A  buddy and I actually bet on how long this place would be around. We were 2.5 years off.


Frankly, I can't think of one restaurant at The District that appeals to me except for maybe the free food samples at Costco.  ;)


When I worked in Irvine Tony actually came to our office and dropped off menu's.. I took one look at the prices and knew i wasn't going to go... I know its not a fair assessment and I should judge it by the food,  but to me tilapia is not much higher on the fish chart than catfish, though i will eat tilapia, I wont pay almost 20 bucks for tilapia.  

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