Thursday, June 24, 2010

Amber's Hidden in Plain Sight?

Amber's Cantina
31341 Niguel Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Amber's Cantina can be easy to miss, even though the two times I have been there, I have had to wait close to twenty minutes. So, either the food is pretty good, or the restaurant is really small. I will answer both of those statements with a yes. Amber's is in the shopping center that once had a Peppino's in it, on Niguel road. Sandwiched between an out of business florist and a nail salon, this tiny strip mall restaurant blends in with its surroundings so well, that it is kind of like a chameleon, but it is worth seeking out.

The small,  twenty table restaurant is staffed by an all woman wait staff. All of them have been very friendly, and not trying to be sexist, they are all very easy on the eyes. For as busy as the place is, it is a controlled chaos. The food comes out relatively quick, and Katie has stated that she enjoys the atmosphere of this place. Let's see how the food tastes on this visit.

First up are the chips and salsa. The tortilla chips here are thick and very crisp. The salsa is fine, I would like a little more spice. I did like the big chunks of onion in this salsa, and the flavor is decent also.

For an appetizer we chose the Mexican Pizza. A flour tortilla topped with beans, beef, guacamole, sour cream, enchilada sauce and cheese. This is very good, but I wish they would slice it up for you. The tortilla, even with all of the stuff on it still stays crisp. I thought that the $6.25 price for this was well worth it.   

Katie got the Two Item Combination Plate with a shrimp enchilada and a chicken taco. As far as the chicken taco goes, it was better than most that she gets. I usually shy away from chicken tacos, because at most Mexican restaurants the chicken comes out too dry. I also feel that chicken tacos have less flavor than other tacos on the menu. The shrimp enchilada was good, and had plenty of shrimp in it. I liked their enchilada sauce as well.

I had the above Amberito. This is basically a kitchen sink burrito. There is a little bit of everything in here. Beans, cheese, steak, chicken, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, peppers and onions, topped with three sauces, verde, enchilada and ranchero sauce. There is definitely a lot going on here. I liked this burrito, but it was better after I added some Tapitio to it. The rice and beans were good as well. Lots of cheese on the beans, which I like. A pretty solid burrito.

Amber's is a decent place to go for Mexican food. I am looking forward to going back and trying some of their other items. I thought that it was priced competitivley with other Mexican restaurants around the area. Make sure you bring your GPS with you or you may miss this place.

Out of five flamenco dresses, (which is part of their logo), five being best to zero being worst, Amber's Cantina gets 3 flamenco dresses.

For more information on Amber's Cantina, check them out here:

Amber's Cantina on Urbanspoon

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