I have never eaten at El Torito. Until the day I came to taste their new renovated Baja Flavors menu. I am a lover of street food and my favorite street food without a doubt would be tacos. I have been to literally hundreds of taquerias. I know the owners of Mexicali Tacos in L.A. by name. I'm saying I know my Mexican food. So when I went to a sleepy city on the outskirts of the O.C. for a tasting with El Torito I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. Once there I was greeted by Chef Loreto Alcala the mind behind El Torito's new menu offerings.
We were offered mixed drinks but seeing as I dont drink (bar editor position is still open guys!) we headed straight into the food. The first dish was ceviche tacos. I didn't eat them but was told they were good. I was waiting for the dish Chef Alcala said he picked up growing up in Mexico and going back recently for a trip...fish tacos. Now besides being a little fru fru with the garnishes these were excellent tacos. The tacos has everything going for them a fish taco should...moist inside crispy outside and not oily. Continuing the meal we tried bacon and jalapeno wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese (talk about a belly bomb) I am not a bacon fan but I enjoyed the dish. Warning to people sensitive about heat. The jalapeno is pretty broken down so you will be getting all the heat it has available.
While waiting for various courses it was nice to see they have a open kitchen so you can watch your food be made. I was surprised to learn they make their corn tortillas to order, which is a turned I would like to see more of. Chef Alcala is a natural teacher and was showing the cooks various things while he was in the kitchen preparing our meal. You could see this also by how he broke down how each dish was prepared for me. Their new carnitas dish is marinated in cola, orange juice and spices overnight. Carnitas are pork and its a meat that takes on flavors through marination very well. It was a well executed flavorful and moist dish. Last we tried their new enchiladas. These are super light. Served with grilled corn I would say easily the lightest thing on the new menu. Stuffed with shredded chicken and cheese this was the prettiest dish we got all night. Overall it was a great tasting and I have new admiration for Chef Loreto Alcala cooking skills.
EASC is giving away dinner for two to El Torito! Check out our FB page for details! Enter here
|Chef Loreto Alcala|
|Bacon wrapped shrimp|
|In the kitchen|