Inspired by his trips to San Felipe, Mexico, a coastal shrimping and fishing town in Baja California, Kevin McCarney opened his first Poquito Más in Studio City in 1984. His dedication to small-batch, scratch-made ingredients such as corn and flour tortillas (using Fresh Mex organic masa), as well as sourcing wild-caught shrimp and sustainable fish, has proven to be a lasting concept, resulting in multiple locations throughout California. And the most recent location is the chain’s first in OC.
Poquito Más sits in the renovated, historic 1898 Tice House along Beach Boulevard in Buena Park and specializes in Baja-style shrimp tacos. Its signature taco uses wild-caught Pacific shrimp that are broiled to plump perfection, then nestled atop a freshly made corn tortilla. The shrimp tacos San Lucas are covered in spicy salsa roja (think smoked chipotle) and served with griddle-melted Jack cheese. Each taco is a few bites at best, so be sure to order a side of chips and fresh guacamole to get your fill.
For fish, you have your choice of ahi tuna in tacos or a burrito, topped with onions, cilantro, crisp cabbage and roasted-bell-pepper crema. And for those who prefer meat, there are great carnitas, chicken and asada tacos. (A vegetarian option is also available, with grilled veggies or beans, cheese and guacamole.) What puts these tacos over the top, though, are the delicious homemade tortillas upon which they rest: fresh-pressed, the perfect size, texture and thickness to cradle fillings. Because each restaurant produces more than 900 tortillas a day, McCarney invented an aluminum steel press (a machine for which he holds multiple patents) for all 10 of his eateries.
Also offered are beef or chicken taquitos served with rice and beans, tostadas, and Tazóns bowls. For the latter, you choose chicken, steak, shrimp or carnitas to go with black beans, white rice, tomatoes, lettuce and zesty Tazóns sauce (ask for extra). Don’t forget to order a refreshing agua fresca to wash it all down while you bask on the outdoor patio, daydreaming you’re on the beach in Baja.
Poquito Más, 6591 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, (714) 523-8832; poquitomas.com.
Cynthia Rebolledo covers anything and everything food, culture and spirits.