Saturday, February 12, 2011

Is Carnitas Los Reyes the King?

Carnitas Los Reyes
273 S. Tustin
Orange, CA 92866

A rare Friday off for both Katie and I. So, where to eat? We were going to be leaving for the mountains about lunchtime, so this was an opportunity to try somewhere along the way. Somewhere  that would prepare us for the long weekend ahead with her family. Of course I am kidding, kind of.

After checking the food reviews in the OC Weekly, Carnitas Los Reyes looked promising. Even more promising was the fact that there was a line out the door when we arrived after 1 pm. Carnitas Los Reyes is a no frills taqueria. It is very rare to get a seat in this tiny restaurant. We had to get our food to go, and we were more than happy to eat in the Carl's Jr. parking lot down the road.

Before we get to the pictures of the food, here is a shot of the kitchen area, where about ten guys churn out tacos with the speed of Usain Bolt. These guys were busy chopping, saucing, and wrapping tacos to keep the line moving quickly. It was almost a lost cause though, because the line was just as long when we left, as when we got there. Tacos in hand, we headed down the road to eat alfresco, by the shade of the Carl's Jr. sign.

Behold the aura of the tacos! The first thing we noticed about these were the tortillas. Very well made and fresh. They stood up to the insides of the taco well. We ordered two each of these tacos, plus a hard shelled taco. The best of the bunch was the chicharon taco. Great taste, and the texture of this was awesome. Normally I am not a big fan of chicken tacos, but these had very tender pieces of chicken in them. The carnitas were flavorful, and the edges had a crispness to it that I liked. Oh and did I mention that all of these tacos were $1.25. Making these one of the best bargains in the OC.

Here is a quick shot of Katie's hard shelled taco, with a side of beans. The beans were good, but Katie said that she prefers the soft tacos to this fried version. Also of note is the salsa here. It definitely had a little kick to it, and really enhanced the flavor of the tacos. Good stuff.

Carnitas Los Reyes was everything it was cracked up to be. Leave your prissy friends at home when eating here. This restaurant is not going to impress people with their atmosphere, but they will do so with their tacos. I look forward to going back and trying more things off of their menu, but I am going to try to avoid the busy times. If there ever is slow times here.

Out of five kings, (because Reyes means Kings in Spanish), five being best to zero being worst, Carnitas Los Reyes gets 3.5 Kings.

Carnitas Los Reyes does not have a web site, but you can find information about them here:

Carnitas Los Reyes on Urbanspoon


  1. There is no date on your blog but trust me this fine establishment DOES have a website.

    Having once lived a block away I have been eating here since literally the day they opened. Everything is delicious.

    Oh, senor Gabacho, Chicarones have nothing to do with chicken, they are pork.

  2. Long time Patron - This blog is from 2011, and I have looked for a website, but have not been able to find one still. If you can provide me one, I'd love to post it here.

    Guess I should have worded it better, but I was describing all of the tacos I ate. I maybe should have separated the tacos to describe them. Sorry for the confusion.

    Have you heard any news about them opening up again after the fire? It's going on 4 months now.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, and for reading the blog. Much appreciated.