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45. Tijuana-Style Carne Asada Tacos at Tio Flaco's

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Dave Lieberman
¡ÓRALE!

Real carne asada, long the dominion of tíos armed with barbecue grills in their yards on Sunday after Mass, is finally starting to make its way into restaurants north of the border. San Diego has a branch of Tijuana's Tacos el Poblano; there's a taco stand at a llantera in South L.A. that even gets nervous Westsiders to venture south of MLK; even Vegas has TJ-style tacos at Tacos el Gordo. But Orange County has been slow to adopt; we love our lonchera flat-top carne asada too much.

But after we published the Only Taco Guide to Orange County You'll Ever Need last week, reader Jim Flores chimed in with Tío Flaco's, a brand-new taco shop in on Magnolia Avenue that grills their meat over wood fire.


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The Only Taco Guide to Orange County You'll Ever Need

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Micah Wright/OC Weekly
Wood-Grilled Tacos at Solita

By Gustavo Arellano, Edwin Goei, Charles Lam, and Dave Lieberman

You really want us to pontificate on the glories of tacos in Orange County as an intro? Fuck that: our Mexican in Chief wrote a whole book on the subject--find it! In the meanwhile, make this your bible for the rest of the year, starting . . . now.

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51. Consomé de Barbacoa at El Torito Nuevo

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Photo by The Mexican
Slurp up

We're reaching the halfway point of 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Look at those garbanzo beans: fat, glistening, pregnant with earthiness. Look at the pool of consomé from where it came from. And look at the barbacoa, barely visible and fuzzy in the shot. That's the order of preference that you should tackle the barbacoa plate at El Torito Nuevo in Orange.


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UPDATED: Southern California Hatch Roast Locations!

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Dave Lieberman
Hatch your chile roasting plans now!
UPDATED: Due to supply and store concerns, there have been some roasts that have moved around. This is the very latest we have.

It's almost that time of year, when the front patios of supermarkets across the Southland turn into roasting pits for Hatch chiles. Here are the dates for this year's chile roasts, with Orange County and Long Beach's dates bolded and at the top of the list for each date. Bookmark this post for updates as we get them, especially if times change or if the season runs shorter or longer than expected.


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54. Molletes at Taco Maria

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Photo by The Mexican
Bolillo it Up!

We're reaching the halfway point of 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

I'm sure you're going to see Taco Maria a couple of times on this list, and rightfully so: it remains the best restaurant in OC for many reasons, with the molletes being one of them. It's a seemingly ridiculously easy meal: just a toasted bolillo, refried beans, queso fresco, and salsa. But that's when Chef Carlos Salgado brings on the 100 and does his magic.


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Nectarines In Guacamole? Long Beach's Padre Does That--And It's Great

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LP Hastings/OC Weekly
If you're one of those Americans who balked when The New York Times suggested putting peas in guacamole, then you should know that Padre puts nectarines in its version. Yes, nectarines, cut up in bitty pieces, are folded into the mashed avocado along with onions and spices. And I'm glad to report it's delicious. In fact, I wished there were even more nectarines in there because this guacamole--silky, fresh and bursting with fruity flavor--was as good as guacamole gets. I've ordered it twice from two different servers on two separate trips to Padre--the new restaurant that replaced Bliss 525 inside a bank-like, two-story, granite-and-marble edifice--and both times, I was warned it included the stone fruit.

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Naugles Alert: Soft Opening NEXT WEEK!!!

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Brian Feinzimer/OC Weekly
Delivering on his promise

The last time we discussed Naugles, Gustavo wrote up the grassroots campaign by food blogger Christian Ziebarth to boot Del Taco's ownership of the defunct Mexican brand. Christian Z.'s next goal: open a Naugles branch. As luck would have it, we recently crossed paths with him while headed to dinner.

Amidst talk of friends and his upcoming nuptials, we inquired about a Naugles update. He responded by saying they're aiming to soft open next week! If you're craving some grub, we've got the all-important details.

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2015 Hatch Chile Roasts in Southern California Begin August 8--Here are Locations!

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Dave Lieberman
Hatch your chile roasting plans now!
[UPDATED 8/7/2015]: There have been some dates changed. Please see the latest update here.

It's almost that time of year, when the front patios of supermarkets across the Southland turn into roasting pits for Hatch chiles. Here are the dates for this year's chile roasts, with Orange County and Long Beach's dates bolded and at the top of the list for each date. Bookmark this post for updates as we get them, especially if times change or if the season runs shorter or longer than expected.

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Lola Gaspar to Host Donald Trump Piñata-Bashing BBQ July 25!

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Illustration by Lalo Alcaraz
Dale, dale, dale...

Lola Gaspar wingman Eddie Perez writes in to let us know that not only does his fine SanTana restaurant have a Donald Trump piñata (already on display at Lola's patio, which just expanded), but that he's going to have FIVE piñatas. And to celebrate the destruction of those piñatas, Lola Gaspar is going to hold a barbecue on July 25--HELL YA!!!


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91. Tostilocos at Tortas y Biónicos "Nice"

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Photo by The Mexican
Dig in!

Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!
Will tostilocos--Mexico's revenge on the nacho, an ungodly mestizaje of Tostitos, cueritos, peanuts, onions, and chamoy--ever become as popular as nachos? Never. But that's fine: those of us who love salty-briny-spicy-sweet combos can dig into the slit bags for years to come. And a fine place to get introduced to this dark art is at Tortas y Biónicos "Nice" in SanTana.

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