Orange County: Mexican Food with French Technique at Anepalco
Anepalco likes to say it’s Mexican food with French technique. As a result, presentation is very stunning. It’s quite the unexpected find since it’s a restaurant attached to a hotel in the city of Orange.
One of the most popular drinks at Anepalco is Hooked. The mezcal cocktail with amaro was one of the prettiest with a cool swirly lemon twist. This is a drink for all you Manhattan drinkers who want something a little bit different.
Hooked – Ilegal Mezcal Joven, amaro, maraschino, Olive Heights Padre Pio bitters
Some first bites included the delicious wagyu beef tartare and octopus presented on top of a tequila bottle.
We loved the fresh bread rolls so much we may have gotten a second round (key word *may*). Yes, of course we got another round of bread!
For a twist on crudo, try the ceviche amarillo. The hamachi (or yellowtail tuna) is served with squiggles of squid ink and amarillo foam. For a kick, there’s a sprinkling of sliced chili peppers as well.
We also tried the beet salad which was served whimsically on only one side of the plate. But don’t think you only get half as much. There’s plenty of salad.
As mentioned, we were there researching Negroni Week and one of the better white Negroni variations I tried showcased Breckenridge bitters.
Anepalco is probably best known for their chilaquiles. For brunch, you can have a choice of protein but I recommend steak. After breaking the egg and letting the yolk slide all around, you have a decadent and quite filling dish.
The next time I’m down in Orange County, I’ll have to remember this awesome meal and try more tasty bites! They have foie gras, tortilla soup and I’m interested in the lamb duo (barbacoa and taco) served with nopal tortillas. And I’ll wash it all down with the bottled barrel aged cocktails.