Jan 17, 2014

A Different Kind of Mexican Food - Antojitos Don Juan in Santa Ana

The 4.5 stars raving reviews on Yelp got my attention on Antojitos Don Juan initially. Eagerly to try some authentic Mexican food, I went there few days after for dinner during the week. 

It was not quite as I had imagined when first stepping into the restaurant. There were only a couple tables of customers and perhaps five total throughout our meal, definitely not as busy as expected. 

Antojitos Don Juan is a father and son restaurant. As soon as we arrived, both of them greeted us and started chatting for a while. From the conversation, it seems like the restaurant also offers a selection of "fusion" dishes on top of typical Mexican dishes such as burritos, enchiladas, and tacos. My friend and I felt adventurous and decided to give those creations a try.

But before that, chips and salsa to start off the meal -

Unfortunately a few of the chips were slightly chewy or so stale.

Menu - 

Many dishes are only listed in Spanish so it might be hard to comprehend, even though the owners are always more than happy to chat with customers about their menu items. They are both very friendly and would love to share their stories and food ideas as long as you're willing to listen.

Kids menu -

Main dishes average around $12 to $14 -

Hibiscus flavored tea -

Escargot -

I had no idea we were getting escargot that night at a supposedly Mexican restaurant. It's one of Mr. Don Juan's creations with a little Italian flare.

The escargot was cooked in olive oil and lots of chopped garlic. It seems like the escargot was cooked in the sauce for some time so the texture is on the soft side with just a little bit of chewiness. The garlicky sauce goes really well with toasted bread -

Chorizo stew in the front, even more chorizo with prawns in the back -

Both dishes were cooked with a little Spanish flare this time. Tomato and garlic based sauce with just a tiny bit of spiciness. 

It reminds me of the mouth-splitting monster from Resident Evil -

The dishes were decent but we both felt like something was missing, perhaps some more distinct seasonings. The tomato based stew pretty mild and slightly sweet. 

To fill in our cravings, we asked the restaurant for some suggestions and went for one more dish, bacon wrapped shrimps -

Quite tasty but the flavors were still similar to the earlier dishes we had. The restaurant only had this type of base stew that night.

Overall the meal was just above average and I do applause for owner's willingness to try new things. Service was superb, making customers feel warmed and welcomed. I'll still come back again in the future, but this time I'm going to order the real Mexican dishes instead of their fusion creations.

Cindy's Rating: 6 (keep in mind that I didn't try any of the common Mexican dishes)

Antojitos Don Juan
1130 West Warner Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 662-2035

Operating Hours:
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

*Accepts credit cards
*Several outdoor tables. Restroom is also located outside at the end of the patio

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