Behold the beginning of our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2016 listicle! Every day through the publication of our Best Of 2016 issue (and sometimes, twice a day), we’ll be bringing you our favorite dishes across Orange County, leading up to the best in the land. Enjoy!
The English translation on Cancun Juice’s menu describes the tortas as “Mexican subs”, but they’re more like aircraft carriers. On board are the usual enlisted crew of sandwich ingredients of tomato, lettuce, onion, and cheese. But the sandwich is also equipped with such advanced sandwich weaponry as refried beans, jalapeños, avocado cream, and chipotle mayo.
The best torta I’ve had so far at the Santa Ana branch of this OC chain is the Cubana, which has all of the above and then loaded with not one, not two, not three, but four meats: pierna (pork leg meat), milanesa (breaded beef steak), jamon (ham), and pavo (turkey). When you eat it, it’s a full-on assault on your hunger and senses—a blitzkrieg on a toasted bolillo roll that overwhelms your defenses until you surrender and admit this is one of the best sandwiches you’ve ever had.
81. Adobo Bowl at Irenia
82. Garlic Noodles at Krave Asian Fusion
83. Broccolini at SeaSalt WoodFire Grill
84. Spicy Tuna Roll at Yard House
85. Amber Roll at Orange Roll and Sushi
86. Frito Chili Cheeseburger at Burger Parlor
87. Maui Sunrise at The Original Banzai Bowls
88. Meals from The Performance Kitchen
89. Pizza-Sized Quesadilla at Los Sanchez
90. Filipino Brunch at EATS Kitchen And Bar
91. Mexican Chocolate at the Pie Hole
92. Biscuits at James Republic
93. Mushroom Flatbread with Kale and Kumquat Salad at Lemonade
94. Mexican-Style Gelatins from Santa Ana’s Gelatina Goddess
95. Hot Pastrami Caesar Salad at Bruxie
96. Jalapeño Pupusas at Las Cazuelas
97. Meatball Sliders at Fresh Brothers
98. Buffalo Cauliflower at Mead’s Green Door Cafe
99. Raindrop Cake at Sunmerry Bakery
100. Doughrito at Surfin’ Donuts
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.