Second Anepalco's Opens Today; Already Awesome, and Features the Best New Burger in Orange County
|Photo by Todd Barnes|
|Godinez at work at the old spot|
I eat at Anepalco's Cafe in Orange enough enough so that I've gotten to know chef-owner Danny Godinez pretty well, the kind of relationship where he tells me things months in advance, then swears me to secrecy because he knows I won't blabber about it to everyone until he says it's nice and ready. So the new Anepalco's at the Ayres Hotel in Orange? Have known about that project for months. Am glad to report it's opening today, Godinez's platters are awesome--and he has created the best new burger in Orange County, topping even the much-lionized Umami Burger, which opened this weekend to a collective county shrug.
Godinez had a packed preview dinner this past weekend, a four-course meal with more than a few highlights showing what a chingón he already is and will become in this new spot.
The meal started with a rich, buttery lobster bisque enlivened with bits of habanero and cebollitas, which added a hint of heat and crispiness. Straightforward, and a good starter before the...
badly named, wonderfully tasting Ayres Spring Mix salad. It was more than just a bunch of greens tossed together: think beet puree, roasted peanuts, and a creamy, fluffy requesón sauce, simultaneously light and hearty.
For a third course, eaters got to choose between a Mexican ratatouille (which is at the original Anepalco's off Main Street in Orange), a tilapia that was marvelous, or Godinez' take on al pastor via pork tenderloin. I chose the latter.