One of my favorite restaurants in Orange County is Anepalco’s Cafe, and if you haven’t been there yet, then you’re missing out on one of the culinary experiences of your life. Chef Daniel Godinez is a creative genius, combining his French training with his Mexican roots for some of the most innovative and delicious items you’ll ever taste.
I love the dinners at the Chapman location and Chef Daniel launched a new menu recently with some mind-blowingly crazy palate popping dishes. Some old favorites remain and I’m sure if he tried to remove those would create a furor among his fiercely loyal customers.
One of my favorite new items is Pambazo Ahi Crudo ($10) a piece of ciabatta bread soaked in a Guajillo chile infused sauce before it is topped with avocado puree, sushi grade ahi tuna, serrano chile, fresh lime juice, red radish and micro cilantro. The flavors make my head spin and I literally have to close my eyes to savor every moment of this before my son devours what I’m not quick enough to put in my mouth.
Pork Belly Tacos ($9) is a version of a style of tacos Chef Daniel remembers eating after late nights of partying in Mexico. These tortillas hechas a mano — hand made tortillas — are square and served with a house made salsa, red onions topped with micro cilantro. The pork belly is crispy and unctuous at the same time and is absolutely a delight to eat.
Meat lovers can try the Aladobo ($18.50) an 8oz all natural sirloin culotte steak topped with chimichurri sauce with a mini portion of their famous chilaquiles alongside.
Chile Negro ($16) is a pumped up version of a chile relleno (well, at least to me). An Ancho chile is filled with all natural Arrachera steak and sits on top of arroz verde topped with red radish and micro cilantro. Soooooo good!!!
My favorite things to eat at Anepalco’s is seafood and Huachinago ($18.75) is to-die-for. Perfectly cooked red snapper, oh so tender and melt-in-your-mouth is served with purple cauliflower, sauteed corn with an Aztec jus. I’m salivating just remembering it.
For a taste of both meat and seafood, Surf & Turf ($19) will offer you pork belly, scallops with green potato puree, quail eggs and salsa de Almendras. I don’t know what everything is, but it all comes together so beautifully!
To be honest, Chef Daniel can put unspeakable roadkill in front of me and I’ll probably eat it without question. I trust him implicitly when he presents me with something to eat — he has never steered me wrong. His cuisine does indeed reign supreme and I’m an avid fan! The dinners are incredible and if you’ve only experienced breakfast/brunch at Anepalco’s, I think it’s time to go back and try the dinners!!
3737 W Chapman Avenue
Orange, CA 92868