No. 77, Carne en Su Jugo at La Cocina de Mi Abuelita

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Dave Lieberman
From now until OC Weekly's Best Of issue comes out, Stick a Fork In It will be counting down one hundred of our favorite dishes in the county--one dish we think you should be eating each day until the magnum opus is published.
La Cocina de Mi Abuelita is a bizarre, bizarre place. Inside, it looks like a Johnny Rockets impostor threw up on the walls... and the floor... and the ceiling. It's the sort of place you think should serve crappy wan hamburgers on tiny buns and twenty-five cent sock water labeled "coffee", but it's actually a hidden Mexican gem.

The owners are from Jalisco, the Texas of Mexico--and while other tapatíos who own restaurants go in for carnitas or tortas ahogadas, La Cocina de Mi Abuelita specializes in carne en su jugo. That doesn't translate well into English--meat in its juice--but it doesn't need to: thin, tender beef, crisped-then-braised bacon, and beans braised in green chile, smooth as silk. Add homemade tortillas--which you should request and pay the dollar or so upcharge for--and the usual accoutrements of onions, cilantro, radishes, etc., and you've got one of the most satisfying meals ever to compete with a burger and fries.

The list so far:

78. S'mores at Ti Amo Biscotti & More
79. Broken Rice at Dat Thanh
80. Bulgogi and Potato Pizza at Chicken & Pizza Love Letter
81. Braised Bacon at Break of Dawn
82. Cake Donut at Cream Pan
83. Bistec de Pollo at Mercado El Rey
84. The Rhino at Rancho a Go Go
85. Cabernet Brownies at Blackmarket Bakery
86. Cookie Monster at Lola Ice Cream and Deli
87. Polenta Board at CUCINA Enoteca
88. Falafel Taco at Taco Asylum
89. Wagon-Wheel Bread at THE RANCH Restaurant
90. Toothpick Tacos at Mexico Supermarket
91. Hoppin' John at Memphis at the Santora
92. Free Beans and Chips at Taqueria Zamora
93. Pig in a Blanket Waffle with Gringo Bandito at Cafe Calacas
94. "Pork Hash" at Huong Giang
95. Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla At Kogi
96. Licuados at Mil Jugos
97. Hawaiian Ahi Poke at California Fish Grill
98. Takoyaki at Takoyaki Tanota
99. Fiesta Noodles at Jollibee
100. Chilaquiles Verdes Con Huevos Estrellados at La Tablita California

Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2010!
Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2011!

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Location Info

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La Cocina De Mi Abuelita

2640 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA

Category: Restaurant

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2 comments
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John J.
John J.

I try not to judge food by the pictures but that soup looks kinda nasty. I would try it, but the color or something doesn't translate well.

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