Thursday, November 29, 2007

La Perlita in Foothill Ranch

There are only two known Mexican restaurants in my town, and one is Taco Bell. So being a respectable Mexican I was compelled, dare I say required, to patronize the other Latin establishment called, La Perlita.

Actually, I've driven by it a million times and never visited until one of our vendors took us there for lunch. Apparently she'd been going for years and loves it.

The interior resembles Tijuana. It is very colorful with decorative paper strewn from the ceiling and inflatable Corona beer cans are prominently displayed. The booths are well worn and you sink into a butt imprint that millions before you have contributed to.

The story on the menu talks about the family, their dedication to tradition, love of quality Mexican food and desire to be the most hospitable. As evidenced by the quick delivery of chips and salsa and friendly waiter. The chips were decent, but the salsa lacked flavor. It was very runny and seemed like dressed up tomato sauce. There was nary a chunk of tomato, onion, or pepper in the mix.

The menu itself is a traditional one with tacos, enchiladas, burritos and a variety of meats all accompanied with rice and beans. Ty had a combo plate with an enchilada and a taco. Susan had a cheese enchilada plate. I had the red chili colorado - beef chunks in a red sauce. One huge downfall of this place is that the tortillas are not homemade. I selected corn and they were dry and tasteless.

Susan always orders the same thing and hasn't tried much else from the menu. So she was very happy. Ty said her meal was good, just a little bland. My chili colorado was ok. The chili sauce wasn't very savory, it lacked a depth of flavor. There were no hints of garlic, onion or chili. It was very tomatoey. The cuts of beef itself were poor and I found a lot of gristle and fat in my dish.

Overall I would say the food is kind of tastless. The rice while fluffy and red didn't taste much different than white rice. The beans, while not from a can, needed a lot of salt and were watery. I didn't have frijoles de olla so they weren't supposed to be.

I'm not in a big hurry to go back. If I did, I would probably go for something more generic like Ty. It isn't the taste of home I was hoping for. My quest continues to find real Mexican food anywhere nearby. Unfortunately I have to keep driving up to LA or down to San Diego. Although Avila's El Ranchito has delicious carnitas.


You're other Mother said...

Once again, you captured the moment perfectly. I would only ad that if you want really really goood salsa, go to El Canejo in Laguna Hills. Most excellent, and you will crave it for ever after. Order plate #16, it's my favorite

Marti said...

El Conejo in Laguna Hills - where is that? I've never heard of it.

Udias said...

What about Miguel's?! I'm partial to Italian food but this place has the best Tor-ti-LA soup within 3 - 4 miles. ha!

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with you girls. I am Latin, Non-Mexican Latin, and I know our food. They not only make traditional Mexican food, they also make some Latin food that can also be found in the Caribbean... such as the ROPA VIEJA (old clothes) or I as I tease the colorful waiter at this restaurant la Vieja sin Ropa! This is my favorite dish here and trust me, I know Ropa Vieja... also, they make very good guacamole and Ceviche..

@Marti... Miguel's is very Americanised MEXICAN FOOD.

Marti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marti said...

I didn't try any of the food you mentioned but what I did try was not very tasty. As a Mexican-American, who lived in Mexico City for seven years I'm gonna pass on La Perlita. I agree that Miguel's is Americanized but their homemade tortillas are worth going there for. The only food I will actually eat at Miguel's are the fajitas - pretty hard to screw those up.