It’s been at least two years since I last visited Mil Jugos, I know this because they moved a few doors down to a larger space and I had yet to visit. So, when I was going to meet two of my friends for lunch this particular day, one Peruvian and another, raised in Brazil, so why not we lunch at a Venezuelan spot while catching up?
The inside still possessed the same bright colors as the old location but it’s now twice as big, but with the warm vibe I distinctively remember.
The boys started off with a Papaya and Passionfruit Smoothie which I took a sip of. Very fragrant with strong aromas of passionfruit.
We all ordered something and things started to hit the table rather quickly. Who doesn’t like fries and Yuca Frita ($5) are crispy and delicious and topped with the flavorful green sauce (guasacaca) they give you to use on almost everything you eat here.
If you like plantains then Tostones ($8/6pc) is your best bet. Plantains are flattened and fried to a perfect crispiness and topped with beef, chicken and black beans. There are two of each on the plate and all tasty in its own way. My favorite was surprisingly the black beans.
Empanadas Jamon y Queso ($3.50) and Pabellon ($4) are great as well. The exterior is crispy and not greasy at all even with the rich queso filling.
I remember eating the Cachapas ($7) before, but also recalled not liking the sweet corn pancake texture of them. I think ours was veggie-filled and although I liked the filling, but it was too sweet for me.
If I wanted something sweet, the Plantains ($4) are caramelized nicely bringing out its sweetness. They’re pretty straight-forward as they’re not seasoned allowing its true flavors to come through.
However, what we all come here for are the Arepas and my favorite is the asado ($4.75), sliced round eye meat cooked in a wine and brown sugar sauce, seasoned with garlic, capers, olives, salt and pepper. It is rich, it is savory and the arepa is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There are cold or hot varieties but most of them are really good!
The restaurant belongs to a mother and daughter team and you will often see one or both stopping by at tables to talk to their customers, making you feel you are dining in their home.
318 W 5th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701